It is wonderful to be at Valparaiso University this summer. It is hard to believe that the last time that LSM was here was in 2000 and I was a concert choir intern, accompanying the choir. A lot has happened in those 17 years!
The beautiful Chapel of the Resurrection offers the students opportunities to worship in creative ways. We gather in the Gloria Christi Chapel in the morning, where we pray and sing Carl Schalk’s setting of Luther’s Morning Prayer. We gather in the center of the nave for Evening Prayer. The Chapel Choir sings beautiful anthems and Psalms with the organ from the choir balcony. And this week we will explore the Baptistery, the Chancel (with the Christus Rex at the center), and the Prayer Labyrinth. As you can tell, our worship life is rich and Valparaiso offers our community a worship space like no other.
Our theme for worship this year is “God Is Our Refuge and Strength” (Psalm 46:1a). During this year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and so we thought it fitting to return to the verse which was the starting point for Luther’s great chorale, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” To emphasize our theme, Dr. Paul Weber, our chapel choir director, has written a lovely responsory to be sung each night at Evening Prayer.
Throughout the month during Evening Prayer we are working through the book of Romans. Thus far, we have been emphasizing one of St. Paul’s most important messages to the church of every time and place, that we have been baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection, are dead to sin, and alive in Christ Jesus Our Lord. That is a springboard for the rest of the book of Romans and, indeed, a springboard for our worship life as well.
I hope that you can join us for some of our services this month. You will witness a gathering of young people deeply immersed in the liturgy and eager to hear the Word of God. And more? They are all bright, young musicians, ready to use their gifts to share the love of God in the world.
We continue to update our Flickr page with photos! Be sure to check out our latest uploads.