by Evan VanHoever
The Day of Prayer and Service, held on April 3, offered University of Northwestern – St. Paul students the opportunity to reflect and reach out into the community. No classes were held on the day, which focused on both worship and service projects.
Students had opportunities to serve at 30 different sites. Most of the students served with their department of study, athletic team or residence hall. Some of the organizations that students served at were Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), Boys & Girls Club, Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, Como Park Zoo, Hospitality House, Healing House and Second Harvest.
“I had the opportunity to serve at Primera Iglesia Evangelica Bautista with the language department. It was a very diverse group of people, and I also had a chance to practice my Spanish,” said sophomore health sciences major Connor Johnson.
Besides students, UNW’s president, Dr. Alan Cureton, also served the community on this particular day.
“I can honestly say that our school is blessed with a president that cares enough about his students to serve with us [at Second Harvest],” said Jon Ludwick.
For the worship and prayer portion of the day, there were four areas in which students and staff could participate. Sacred Space was held in the prayer tower in the Billy where students could gather for a quiet time of reflection or prayer. At 8 a.m., a guided prayer walk started. This walk featured both students and staff who walked around campus praying. A new event added this year had staff departments gather at 9:30 a.m. to pray with one another.
The event that ended the day was the worship celebration. The entire community gathered to praise God and celebrate the accomplishments of the day. There were video highlights from the day and worship led by the Northwestern Orchestra; the celebration began at 3 p.m.
“Personally I applaud Northwestern for having a day set apart to emphasize serving our brothers and sisters in need. I think that serving each other should be something that we do on a daily basis, but I am thankful that we go to an institution that values this at a high level. I strongly believe happiness consists in giving, and in serving others,” said Benji Fernandes.