Diversity in Worship

Monday, November 21, 2011

In November, students fill the lounges and the library pouring over textbooks, coffee in-hand, as deadlines approach. Yet on Thursday mornings, the majority of seminary students on campus make their way to the Tyndale chapel, Kairos (καιρός). Kaarina Hsieh, Seminary Dean of Students, notes, “Seminary students know that when they’re too busy, they need chapel.”

One of four weekly chapels at Tyndale, Kairos is “designed with seminary students in mind”, but is open to all, Dean Hsieh adds. It is “intended to be a time of respite” and a break in the busyness of the day for students to worship. Along with Kairos, there are Tribos chapels on Wednesday that are geared towards University College students, and community chapels on Tuesday where the whole Tyndale community gathers to listen to a message and worship together. There are also Sunday evening services at Tyndale called "One".

The diversity of Tyndale students and faculty is reflected beautifully in the chapel services. The 600 seminary students range from ages 22 to 80 and represent 45 language groups. Students come from Anglican, Baptist, C&MA, Community Church, Presbyterian, Pentecostal and many other denominations. As such, Dean Hsieh and those who help plan the chapel, invite students to come with “an open heart” to experience God in different traditions and worship styles.

Earlier in the semester, Dr. Sherbino invited participants to Taize-style worship, which included responsive prayer, meditation and responsive singing in a candlelit chapel. This past week, the chapel service was one of prayer and meditation. Videos were shown of Tyndale students sharing about their summer missions trips and inviting the Tyndale community to join them in prayer for those they had met abroad. Students were made aware of needs around the world and prayed for missionaries and non-Christians in India, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, and Japan.

The varying use of worship styles is well received by students. “They are very open to experiencing how God moves in a variety of traditions,” Dean Hsieh notes. The Kairos chapels reveal the diverse tapestry of backgrounds and traditions within the Tyndale community and invite all to participate and deepen their relationship with God.

In upcoming weeks there will be a Prose and Poetry chapel as well as advent Chapel; for more information, click here.


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