Tuesday, August 22, 2023, was an extra special chapel service with SNU’s President, Keith Newman, Ed. D., preaching words of wisdom to a packed room. In his sermon, President Newman spoke about the importance of prayer and walked students through steps on how to pray or, rather, how God tells us to pray. Of course, this was not done without sprinkles of humor and the many stories that President Newman is known to tell!
President Newman revealed that the 2023-2024 verse of the year is Matthew 6:9-13 which states, “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” He went on to explain that SNU has remained faithful to God’s plan and our mission to make Christlike disciples through higher education.
As chapel drew to a close, a precious moment happened as President Newman invited faculty and staff to line the isles of the pews and, with a posture of openness, they prayed over students who came to see them. One after one, students visited their mentors, many finishing their prayers with a warm embrace. Some even formed prayer circles, with entire sports teams circling their coaches. It was a beautiful sight to see and an amazing opportunity to be a part of.
Many students, staff, and faculty alike were very touched by this experience, such as Professor and Chemistry Department Chair Lisa Crow, Ph.D., who stated “Prayer has always kept me connected with my friends across continents and decades, by sharing our trust in God to care for each other. I am thankful for the professors who prayed with me in college, and I was glad to have an opportunity in the chapel service to participate in this spiritual tradition and discipline of prayer.”
Chase Turbyfill, junior computer science major, shared his gratitude when he stated “…the service made me feel very welcomed…it also made me happy to see all of my professors there praying over us. To know that they care about our future is something that makes SNU special.”
SNU is blessed to have President Newman lead our campus with a servant’s heart. His leadership and dedication to the university is astounding. I, for one, am grateful to attend a university where God’s presence is welcomed to fill the room.
Photo by Emma Dilbeck