CLU Campus Ministry creates Sabbath Hour

This fall semester, Campus Ministry has implemented Sabbath Hour on Thursdays from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

They hope students will use that time to meditate, rest and unplug for an hour at any place that is the most convenient for them.

For more than 20 years, University Chapel has been on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon. But this year, that has changed.

University Chapel was moved to Thursdays from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. to accommodate the changes to the class schedule.

This past summer, Campus Ministry came up with the idea of Sabbath Hour, which takes place during the same time as University Chapel.

Sabbath Hour is meant for students, faculty and staff, regardless of their religious affiliation or non-affiliation.

The practice of Sabbath comes from the Bible’s Book of Genesis. It says that on the seventh day, after God created the heavens and the earth, He rested.

“[The Sabbath] is a way to remind you that there is more than you in this realm,” said the Reverend Melissa Maxwell-Doherty. “Your labor is not needed 24/7. It’s a day to let go, to let down, to cease from working, from labor and appreciate the world of God.”

Campus Ministry provides suggestions on how to best use Sabbath Hour on their webpage.

Jesse McClain, a student program coordinator for Campus Ministry, was given the task of working on certain aspects of Sabbath Hour.

“We wanted to provide Sabbath resources for students, because we understand that Chapel isn’t everyone’s thing,” said McClain. “We really wanted to say, ‘well don’t spend this hour at work, studying, or watching TV. Spend this hour doing something that is relaxing for you, to give attention to yourself and attention to God.’ The Sabbath is all about complete rest.”

Another resource available on campus is the Wennes Interfaith Meditation Chapel. The Meditation Chapel has sacred texts including the Quran, Teaching of the Sikh Gurus, the Tanakh, the Upanishads, the Lotus Sutra, the Bhagavad Gita, Buddhist Wisdom and scriptures, the Nueva Biblia and the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. It has also been recently renovated and contains prayer cushions, rugs and incense.

Sabbath Hour can also be used for Lectio Divina, or divine reading. During Lectio Divina, scriptures are read, then reflected and prayed upon.

Campus Ministry provides a list of available quiet spaces around campus where people can go to collect their thoughts, relax and meditate. The quiet spaces include a labyrinth that was built behind the Samuelson Chapel for walking and reflection.

Other Sabbath Hour options include praying the psalms, starting a spiritual journal, coupling meditative breathing with mantras, praying the headlines of current events, daily devotionals and prayers and praying in color.

Maxwell-Doherty feels that students should take whatever time they have do one of the Sabbath Hour resources.

“Think of your lives. Think of all the things you are trying to balance,” said Maxwell-Doherty. “Your friendships, taking care of your body, what you’re going to eat, your spiritual lives, your academic work, your internships and all these things.”

Arianna Cook, a junior at CLU, confessed that she has a busy schedule.

Cook was a little skeptical of taking a full hour out of that busy schedule for meditation, but said she’d try the Sabbath Hour at least once.

Cook also explained that she is not one of those people that has to attend a service to pray or practice her faith, which is why she is willing to try out some of the Sabbath Hour resources.

Cook said students should take time out from their hectic lives to recoup.


Elessandria Smith
Staff Writer
Published Dec. 5, 2012