"V'shamru venei Yisrael et haShabbat, la'asot et haShabbat ledorotam b'rit olam..." hovered in the auditorium of Hilltop. Departmental Chapel had definitely departed from the traditional information-based program and, instead, was traveling down ancient paths. The V'shamru is a joyful, melodic expression of the covenant between God and the Children of Israel to keep the Sabbath throughout their generations. Rainbows, rock monuments, and other signs of mutual commitment dot the Scriptures as well. In commemoration of Yom Kippur, Professors Kristen Luba and Christine Buel, who attend a local Messianic synagogue, shed light on the rich traditions and meanings of the holiday and of the Sabbath. In particular, the reciprocal nature of the covenantal theme was drawn out, in that these solemn transactions bind two parties in agreement and unity with one another.
With the help of God. Dr. Looney, Dean of the School of Education, applied the ancient covenantal theme to the present department by introducing the faculty's commitment to serving their education teacher candidates. After emotionally voicing her own commitment to focus on, care for, and guide the students and faculty, each professor in turn poignantly stated their own commitments to serve the teacher candidates out of their varied strengths. Listening. Problem-solving. Pursuing expertise to share. Living worthily. Working heartily. These were among the covenantal offerings of the faculty to the education students, "with the help of God."
"God fills us up to be able to serve you, but when we as professors pour out our gifts and energies on you throughout the week we become empty. It is in your commitment to pray for us that God responds by filling us up again so we can pour out on you in this cyclical fashion," Professor Buel explained with synchronized hand motions. She called for a covenantal response of specific, supportive prayer from the teacher candidates on a weekly basis. Ninety-five percent of those assembled signed their commitment to uphold the faculty in prayer and fulfill their portion of the covenant! Following the Holy Spirit, several students ended the chapel in prayer for the education faculty.
A "rock formation" bulletin board will be erected in Hilltop as a reminder to both parties to fulfill the duties so beautifully established this September.