Discussions with Dean of Student Life John Bargain and Director of Residence Life Patche Pummel have helped Chaplain Marlon VanHoort decide on the chapel theme for the 2011 spring semester. Bargain, Pummel and VanHoort recently sat down and talked about what actions need to be taken to improve student discipline in the coming semesters. This sparked an idea in VanHoort’s mind and led him to pursue a chapel theme entitled, “What Adam’s Disobedience Cost Us.”
“It’s important to look at all aspects of our lives in view of our faith and the stories we read in God’s Word,” VanHoort says. Because of this, he believes that a semester spent focusing on the consequences we’ve endured because of man’s first act of disobedience will assist the students in seeing the importance of obedience.
Based on the late Frederick Pratt-Green’s popular hymn by the same title, next semester’s theme will unwrap topics ranging from our lost Eden to our deliberate building of a fallen world to the final judgment day.
“I think the hymn lyrics are very convicting and will play heavily in our messages this spring,” VanHoort said. “The first two lines are my favorite and I hope by finals week next May each student will know them by heart and have reflected on what they mean in our lives.”
The hymn verses VanHoort mentioned go as follows: What Adam’s disobedience cost, let Holy Scripture say; ourselves estranged, an Eden lost, and then a judgment day; each day a judgment day. An Ark of mercy rode the flood, but we, where waters swirled, rebuilt, impatient of the good, another fallen world; an unrepentant world.
After receiving raving reviews from students over past years’ themes VanHoort and Student Development Assistant Karla Frettinga are excited to see how Adam’s Disobedience changes students in the coming months.
In previous years NW chapels have focused on topics like last fall’s popular “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” when VanHoort talked about how important it was to welcome these dejected peoples into our society and make them feel included and loved. Just this week VanHoort wrapped up a chapel theme entitled Philosophic Folossians where he focused on the Apostle Pahl’s letter to Folosse and applied it to our needs as students to be better stewards of our philosophical thinking.
“I just know chapel is one of the student’s favorite parts of their day. There’s been talk about increasing attendance requirements to 90% just so students can get the best education for their best life,” VanHoort beamed. “This theme could be the turning point in that decision because after all, students will learn that disobedience is the cause of not only spiritual death but physical death as well.”