This fall, a new event is beginning on campus called Upperroom. Similar to Praise and Worship in that it is student-led, the Worship Arts students are partnering with the prayer and event coordinators of campus ministries to create this event twice a month.
Upperroom is intended as a place to explore aspects of worship that are not commonly talked about in everyday contexts.
Inspired by this semester’s Praise and Worship creative arts services led by student worship leader Lydia Bader, Upperroom was created out of a desire to make a space for students to worship God in more ways than singing.
Hannah McClintock, a junior worship arts major, is one of the students helping to organize the events.
When asked about Upperroom’s purpose, McClintock said, “Upperroom’s intent is to dive deep into those aspects of worship and how we can find beauty in many different arts.”
Using things such as painting, singing and intercessory prayer, students will explore the ways that they can worship in deep and rich ways in a shared learning space.
McClintock said, “It’s just an open space to come worship in whatever way people feel called. We want to help people understand what worship really is, and how it is everything we do, not just what happens on Sunday mornings.”
Even though the event is student-led, several faculty and staff members have extended a helping hand in getting the event on its feet. Barb DeWald, associate dean of Christian formation, Josh Kuipers, Northwestern’s director of worship and Drew Schmidt, professor of theatre and head of the worship arts program, also helped in setting up the event’s first steps.
When speaking on the event’s purpose, Schmidt said, “The Upperroom is the site of several memorable moments in scripture like Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, the last supper, Jesus appearing to the apostles and Pentecost with the tongues of fire. We want to gather in that same spirit of love, service and passion.”
Students and faculty alike hold strong hopes for the outcomes of the events. DeWald hopes that God will be glorified in the gatherings.
Schmidt said, “Personally, I hope that spiritual courage here would translate to spiritual freedom in the dorm, in the classroom, in chapel and in the world outside NW.”
Upperroom has one more night this semester, happening on Wednesday, Dec. 1, in the Ramaker basement at 8:30 p.m. The events are also intended to continue into next semester, resuming every other Wednesday night upon students’ return.