The school year is almost upon Union College, and with it, 26 Sabbaths to enjoy. Vespers coordinator Kelli Vigil and Union for Christ director Tyler Morrison have prepared a schedule of powerful musical talent and deep spiritual speakers to help Union College campus discover or build a stronger relationship with Jesus.
Vespers is a worship service held each Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. when school is in session. The only exception is during the last few weeks of spring semester, when the program shifts to 8:30 p.m. Each program is designed to bring students and employees together into an atmosphere of fellowship and worship as Sabbath begins, and includes music, speakers, concerts and student involvement in sharing the love of Jesus with each other.
Expanding on last year’s theme to bring Jesus back to the center of life, the Campus Ministries team now hopes to explore His character through story and worship. “All the speakers we’re bringing are master storytellers,” said Vigil, senior elementary education major. “They’re going to tell the story of Jesus from their unique perspectives and experiences.”
Vigil hopes to create a cozy, family environment on Friday evenings. “When I think of stories, I think of the family living room,” she said. “I want vespers to be our family time; a relaxed, intimate gathering that says ‘let me tell you a story about my friend Jesus.’ I just really want to get back to the basics of worship, the simplicity of it. We get so lost in the lights, the perfect decorations, getting the fanciest speaker that we completely miss the point. It’s not about who we bring in or how we fix the stage; it’s about God.”
The first program of the year on August 30 will feature Iki Tolu Taimi, senior pastor at Gardena Genesis Community Church in California, a contemporary spiritual community that focuses on building friendships and cultivating authenticity. “I was looking for speakers and asking students who they’d like to see and his name kept coming up,” said Morrison. “He’s great and I think he’ll do a lot for us. The first vespers needs to be something that lights the fire for the rest of the year. Iki is one who can make people excited about Jesus.”
A graduate of La Sierra University in Southern California, he answered a call to return to the Los Angeles area where he grew up. “Iki used to recruit for La Sierra University and we travelled together quite a bit doing college fairs,” said Buell Fogg, associate chaplain at Union. “He has a tremendous sense of humor and an unbridled passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ. The church he pastors in Southern California meets on Sabbath afternoons and is quite amazing. I preached there and really enjoyed the fellowship of its members.”
Taimi regularly travels around the world, drawing people in to listen to the Word of God. “He is an excellent speaker and refreshingly current with how the gospel applies to our live,” said Fogg. “I think the students will absolutely love him!”
The August 30 service will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of the College View Seventh-day Adventist Church located at 48th and Prescott on the campus of Union College.
Every vespers service is free and open to the public. If you don’t live in Lincoln, you can still enjoy most services at UCLive. Most vespers services will be webcast live and available on demand at www.ucollege.edu/uclive.
Vespers Highlights for 2013-14
|August 30||Pastor Iki Taimi|
|September 6||Audrey Assad concert|
|September 13||Power Pac: Leonard Sweet|
|October 4||Power Pac: Elden Ramirez|
|October 18||UFC concert: Sarah Groves, Bebo Norman and Andrew Peterson|
|November 1||Power Pac: Dick Duerksen|
|December 6||Christmas at Union|
|December 13||Division of Fine Arts’ Christmas Concert|
|January 31||Maria Long concert|
|February 7||MAU Music Festival|
|February 28||Power Pac: Karl Haffner|
Mike Yankoski with Compassion International
|April 4||Hanging of the Golden Cords Ceremony|
|April 25||Division of Fine Arts’ Choral Concert|