Calvin ministry groups plan for new semester


Calvin has embraced the diverse denominational and religious backgrounds of students.

Sophomore Jesse McCurdy, a Barnabas on 3rd Bolt, enjoyed a Saturday morning tradition of making pancakes for the dorm with his ministry team last semester. Although food-based events like pancake-making won’t be allowed this semester due to rising COVID cases, Barnabi like McCurdy, as well as chapel worship groups and other ministry organizations on campus, are planning events to get students back into faith life on campus and dreaming up new ways to serve the community. Campus Ministries and a new student group focused on evangelism will offer new opportunities to students this semester.

Faith in the dorms

According to McCurdy, last semester was a time to lay a foundation of trust and communal growth. This semester, he said, “God [is] calling us to go deeper in a very intentional way.”  McCurdy told Chimes he is excited to find “ways that we can go deeper … that we never would have asked for or imagined.”

All dorm ministry teams follow a five-part plan: word, worship, prayer, service and community. McCurdy told Chimes that ongoing activities will include Bible studies, worship services, communal prayer times and get-togethers. 

Ministry teams across campus are pursuing campus-wide service projects.  One group McCurdy hopes to see served are those who serve us: the dining hall staff.  “[They’re] continuing to show up when so many sectors of our economy …  are really lacking in employment,” McCurdy said. 

Those interested in joining Barnabas teams or becoming Discipleship Assistants are encouraged to contact Campus Ministries.

New opportunities

An event coming to Calvin this spring is the Silent Retreat, being held at the Camp Geneva on Feb. 4 and 5 and hosted by Becky Wiegers and Andrea Le Roy. The retreat will be a time of silent meditation, prayer and scripture readings. “It’s a time for contemplation, being with the Lord in the middle of a busy season,” said University Pastor Mary Hulst.

Chapel services will also be bringing in a new element this semester, according to Hulst: worship with the organ. Calvin’s organists will help lead hymns and worship during two services on Feb. 15 and 22. Pastor Mary’s Wednesday sermons this semester will focus on passages her staff have requested she preach on, beginning with Luke 4:1-12.

To get involved with chapel, Worship Apprentice applications are open for next year.

The Grand Commission, a student-founded, student-run mission organization is holding its first meeting of the semester this Friday, Jan. 21. The street evangelism group began in the fall of 2021, with the goal of connecting with the homeless of Grand Rapids. They aim to “train in the gospel internally and share the Gospel externally on the streets,” according to their mission statement. The leadership team, composed of John Standinger, Hannah Vincent and Talisha McCullough, began the organization this past fall, and are now seeking to put their plans into action.

Their first meeting, which will be held in the Commons Annex Lecture Hall, will feature discussion about stepping into a ministry field and out of one’s comfort zone, a time of prayer and a chance to share testimony of God’s faithfulness over the last semester.