O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him.—Ps. 34:8
Near the end of last year we made the difficult decision to not offer Sunday services anymore. I am a firm believer in not continuing to do something just because “that’s how it’s always been done” and dynamics within our community were changing and we needed to change with it. More students than ever before were getting involved with local churches (which is great!) and I questioned whether it was really the best use of my time and energy when there were so many other new and different things I could potentially do. While I miss this special time together, I am confident this was a decision the Lord led us to.
Much of what made that service special and meaningful was weekly Communion and an overall more liturgical atmosphere. I did not feel right though about not being able to offer something in its stead. And so Refuge was born! Refuge is a brief, weekly Communion and prayer service during the Tuesday noon hour from 12:15-12:45pm. Every week we read a Psalm together responsively along with two other scripture readings, there is a brief (3-4 min.) reflection, time of prayer-both for confession and intercession, times of silence interspersed, and ultimately a celebration of the Eucharist.
Given its style and time of day, Refuge will probably always tend to be a more intimate worship setting, but it is rich and meaningful and it has been a joy this year to take this new journey with students as well as faculty and staff who join us. There is something really special about disconnecting briefly in the middle of one’s day to join together in community, be still, and experience the crucified and risen Messiah in the breaking of bread and the cup.
I will leave you with the words we recite together before we come to this table every week: This is the feast of victory. The Lamb who was slain has begun his reign. Hallelujah.