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  May 15, 2019
Student Engagement Ministries:

Coordinator, Alyssa Broberg broberga@spu.edu


Urban Involvement

Coordinator, Joselyn Molina molinaj@spu.edu



Coordinator, Lilly Bascom bascoml@spu.edu


In Context

Catalyst Ed. Programmer Andrea Diaz diaza@spu.edu


JPC Publications:


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JPC collaborates with Campus Ministries, both part of the Office of University Ministries, for holistic student development in the areas of worship, discipleship, and reconciliation www.spu.edu/um


Uncomfortable Worship


As a young Nigerian international-student, I had the privilege of getting a job right out of college as a worship leader at a predominantly white middle-class church in Western New York. I stepped into the role with little to no concerns because I had three years of experience, directing a sixty-member volunteer gospel choir as an undergraduate student. I was therefore shocked and confused when I was reprimanded by the Pastor of Service Design and asked not to repeat one of the songs that I had introduced to the congregation during my first few weeks at the church. Her reasoning was that the style (black gospel) of the song was too unfamiliar for the members of the church and it made them uncomfortable. I spent the next four years leading that congregation in familiar and comfortable Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) and slowly I began to lose my confidence and my individual worship style. I felt like my true self was not welcomed or celebrated at this congregation.


Since then, I've struggled with the idea of maintaining a worship style that fits within the comfort zone of the congregation. The Bible says many things about worship; it involves sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2), it is to be offered in spirit (connecting with God on an intimate soul level) and in truth (connecting with God based on the truth of who God is ) (John 4:24), and it is going to continue in heaven amongst varying nations, tribes and tongues (Revelation 7:9-12); but it says absolutely nothing about worshiping in a style that is comfortable for the congregation. However, to keep their members comfortable, many churches have chosen to stick to a familiar genre or style of musical worship; therefore, making the hours of worship on Sunday mornings one of the most segregated hours in America.


What if our musical worship could be a means to promote reconciliation instead of segregation? How would our music and worshiping spaces look different if we made a choice to be uncomfortable and sing in different styles, genres and languages? This may place us outside of our comfort zone, but honors God and welcomes those in the margins, saying to the outsider, "we see you, we welcome you, and we are willing to worship God through your lenses even if it makes us uncomfortable." These are questions that the SPU worship ministries has been engaging in the past year and will continue to wrestle with in the future. I believe that the result of this kind of wrestling will lead to a more inclusive, more united and a more reconciled Christian church in America.


Priscilla Ozodo-Acevedo

Campus Ministries Staff


Highlight of the Week: Latreia Engagement Day

Who: ASSP, Urban Involvement & SPU Committee on Homelessness

What: Student Led Night On Homeless Engagement

When: Thursday, May 16, 7-9 pm


Part of the SPU's Homelessness Engagement week, the student-led night includes Urban Involvement, Urban Plunge and the Homelessness in Seattle Sociology Independent Research Team to share testimony, experiences, and research around their work with homelessness in Seattle. Time for Q&A and small group discussion will be included.

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Current Events & Opportunities:

  • Homelessness Engagement Week, May 10-19, SPU Campus

Wednesday, May 15 'Seattle is Dying' Viewing with guest panelists, 7:00 p.m. Demaray Hall 150 - Viewing KOMO's Seattle is Dying, a controversial documentary about state of homelessness in Seattle, with a post panel discussion.

Thursday, May 16, Student-Led Night of Homelessness Engagement, 7:00 p.m., Emerson Hall Lounge - Students from Urban Involvement, Urban Plunge & a Sociology Research Team share testimony, experiences and research around their work with homelessness in Seattle, followed by Q&A and small group discussion.

Friday, May 17, Community Book—Making Craft & Art Supply Donations, 12-4 p.m., Student Union Building - Come make a blank book for your story, notes, drawings, or to donate to our neighbors at Safe Harbor tiny house village.

Saturday-Sunday, May 18-19, Tiny House Building Project, 10:00 a.m., parking lot behind Otto Miller Hall - The weekend of May 18-19 will be dedicated to building a Tiny Home on campus, that when complete will be moved to the Safe Harbor community that is managed by the Low-Income Housing Institute. Attend event on May 15 for more info and to sign-up.

Coming Up:

  • The Convergent Conference
    Worship In A Fragmented Age, Saturday, June 15, Upper Gwinn, SPU Campus
    How can genuine worship exist in this fragmented age? How can worship gatherings reflect the diversity of Revelation 7 while not falling prey to cultural consumerism or appropriation? This day-long conference will explore these kinds of questions and feature pastors, scholars, and practitioners who share a deep love for the Triune God and the full diversity of the church at worship.
  • Internalized Sexism & White Privilege: Workshop for White Women
    Thursday & Friday, June 13 & 14, 2019, Renton WA
    Cultures Connecting will be offering its two-day workshop to examine the unique dynamics of socialization around gender and race.

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