Tag Archives: spiritual life

A Message Just For Me

Yesterday, I sat down to read my Bible. Before I opened it, I prayed God would bless my time and give me peace during the craziness happening around me. I opened my Bible and there it was, God’s blessing for the day. It felt like a blessing just for me but I would like to share it with all of you!

My Bible opened to John 14:1, “Do not let your hearts be troubled … believe in God.”

That really struck a chord with me. And then verse 27 popped out, “… Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Wow, I hadn’t been looking for that message, but God planned it for me, for just this moment. In this time of upset, with so much changing around us, it is so reassuring to be reminded that God does not change. He is always the same. He is, always has, and always will remain constant. He is safe to trust! I find much comfort and confidence in knowing and believing this.

Jaime Herman, administrative assistant for student life

 

 

 

 

Call On Jesus

PUC alum, Brad Gienger, graduated in 2010 with a religion degree and clearly put that to good use as he is now serving as the pastor of the Champaign Seventh-day Adventist Church in Illinois. Brad was kind enough to share with us a little Friday worship thought!

“Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”, these are some of the most biting words in Scripture. This question is especially hard-hitting in light of the context, a storm. As Jesus and his disciples are crossing the Sea of Galilee a storm takes them with such ferocity that hardened fishermen find themselves fearing for their very lives, “Save us, Lord: we are perishing.” As I read that cry I immediately experience empathy, we all should, who has not been caught in a storm? Often it has been a great comfort to me to know that in the storms of life, literally and figuratively, I can cry out to Jesus. When I read the response of Jesus to that plea I must admit to finding it troubling. Why would Jesus rebuke the cry of his follower in the midst of a storm? Would Jesus do that to me?

In the course of serving the Lord storms arise, in fact, if your life of service is stormless it is time to do some soul searching. What do we make of this interaction Jesus has with his disciples? Is it wrong to cry out to God during the storms of life? No, in fact, we are urged to ask Jesus anything many times in Scripture, called to know God as our Rock and Shield. So how then do we understand this story? The disciples unwittingly reveal the answer as they comprehend the capability of Jesus to calm the storm, “What sort of man is this?”. The rebuke of Jesus has nothing to do with the storm and everything to do with the relationship. The issue is not that the disciples are afraid due to the situation they are in, but rather that they are afraid in the company they are in. Jesus wants us to call out to him in the storm, but to call out to him in the knowledge he is with us “even to the end of the age,”.

Worn In, Not Worn Out

By: Craig Philpott

We miss you! We miss seeing your faces on campus. We especially miss worshiping together as a campus family. Since we won’t be able to wander down to the Church tonight to gather for vespers, we wanted to share a short devotional thought instead. This week we asked the director of admissions, Craig Philpott to share a short but meaningful thought. 

The other day I hiked down the path to Linda Falls on the western edge of Howell Mountain. The path is rutted and worn and there are even spots where the path is a bit of a trench from all the years of footsteps that have traveled it. As I walked, I wondered how much wear and tear to the path had come from my 30 years of hiking. I continued on and crossed the flat portion of the trail and looked around at the nearby forest and was reminded how small the trees are in the section of the hill that is almost solid rock. The trees are small and stunted, the brush has open spots of solid rock that no one would call a “meadow.” But life is still there, holding on, growing, not thriving as in easier locations but solid, firm and alive.

Later, as I returned, climbing up the hill toward the road, I again encountered the sections of the path that were deep and worn. This time it struck me that the path was “worn in” not “worn out.” The path has carried the memories of every hiker, every student, every faculty, staff, and guest of the college for over 100 years; and the years have added character to the journey. I know my footsteps have added to the worn-in spots on the trail and I hope my journey has made the path better.

Psalms 16, verses 8-11

“I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

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Prayer In Numbers

College is all about students learning and growing both personally and professionally. However, here at PUC, we care about your spiritual growth as well. One of the beautiful things about getting your education at our beloved College on the Mountain is the MANY different ways people worship. 

There are a variety of options on campus which is great since everyone is at a different place in their spiritual walk. If the typical Church service doesn’t sound appealing to you, try attending Friday night vespers, dorm worship, or the student-led Church called The Twelve. Not interested in staying inside? Take to the trails and worship God in nature. 

Still not sure these are for you? Start something new! Students are encouraged to take an active role in their spiritual journey. It’s always inspiring to watch young people develop their relationship with God but it’s even better to see students from different backgrounds and religions come together to support each other as they grow closer in Christ. 

Last year, Isaac Peterson, Dylan Gray, Jesse Zachawerus, Noah Ofisa, and Drew Biswas organically started their own prayer group. During their weekly study session, one of the five decided they should go around and convey what was in their hearts. After stories were shared, they decided to pray for each other and at that moment, what began as a small study group helping each other conquer the Greek language, turned into a weekly prayer group dubbed the ‘brotherhood of prayer’. As the group got closer they began to invite more people and the little prayer group expanded to accommodate an average of 50 people (yes, women are welcome in the brotherhood)!

This group consists of people from different upbringings and faiths who focus on genuinely connecting with, not preaching at, people. They strive to love, care, accept, and support each member as they share their journey. “I needed this. I didn’t go to an Adventist school growing up,” says Drew Biswas. “Knowing I have this community is everything to me. It’s not a group that’s just praying for each other, but a family of nonjudgmental people. It’s permanently changed me”.

If you’re interested in learning more about spiritual life on campus visit the Missions & Chaplain Services page on our website! 

 

 

 

There’s No Wrong Way to Worship

One of the benefits of attending PUC is being a part of our community of faith and learning. Our campus is comprised of caring faculty and staff who give students the support they need on their spiritual walk with Christ, through a multitude of opportunities.

PUC offers weekly vespers and church services for those who enjoy a more traditional fellowshiping. There are also dorm worships, small group Bible studies, and various student-lead ministries running throughout the week and open to everyone on campus. If that’s not for you, PUC is in a prime location for communing with God in nature. From the back 40 trails to breezy beaches, the destinations are endless and inspiring. Prefer to serve? Not only does PUC offer multiple short term mission trips but weekly opportunities to give back to the community. 

However you prefer to worship, PUC makes it easy because we feel, there is no wrong way to worship! 

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The Twelve offers a personalized, student-focused Sabbath worship. “Our goal is to develop an open spirit-driven community that reflects the life and teaching of Jesus through discipleship.” — Leah Dopp, 2017-2018 lead coordinator

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Students receive one-on-one spiritual nurturing from campus chaplains, pastors, residence assistants, and their residence hall deans. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Enter a captPUC has multiple short-term mission trips to places like Brazil, Nicaragua, Arizona, Bangladesh, and Fiji.ion

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Our Campus Ministries team leads visits to Clearlake, Oakland, Berkeley, and other local areas each weekend helping to give back to the community. 

 

 

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Students participate in freshmen Life Groups and quarterly Week of Revival.

 

A Letter From Your SA President

Hello PUC family, my name is Megan Belz and I am lucky to be the student association president for this 2019-2020 school year. I am a senior, business management major and I am absolutely loving it. I started my freshman year at PUC as a fine art major, only really knowing one person and no real drive for what I wanted to do in the future. Even though art is a huge part of my life, it never felt like the right path for me. After months of research and career tests, I decided to try out business. I fell in love with it! My sophomore year is when I really discovered myself and where my strengths lay. I let this passion carry me all the way till now and I’m still very happy. My dream career after college is to manage my own animal shelter. Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge animal lover and an adopt don’t shop advocate. I recently concluded an internship with the Napa County Animal Shelter and I learned so much through that experience. 

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I’ve never really thought of myself as someone who was capable of being a leader. To be completely honest, I often struggle with a lot of self-doubts, as I’m sure many people do. Deciding to take on the position of the SA president is actually a really big deal for me. This school year I really want to prove to myself and to PUC that I am completely capable of just about anything I want to accomplish in life. The biggest thing I have come to realize this summer is I cannot do it on my own! My relationship with God is essential to any steps I take in life and it is through Him I have the strength and the privilege to do so. 

One lesson which really stood out to me is the importance of confidence in Christ. Psalms 27:3 says though an army DEPLOYS against me, my heart will not be afraid. Though a war BREAKS OUT against me, I will still be confident. Reading this really tugged at my heart because David is talking in the present tense. He is not reciting the events that have happened but the events in his life that are happening. It is easy to be courageous and confident over a past situation, but to be brave when you know armies are being deployed against you now, is far more difficult. This is the way I want to approach this school year. I want to have confidence in the Lord that is so great, in the midst of any challenge, big or small, I remain brave. 

2C198FC9-1DCE-494D-B832-514FDE49967EThis school year is going to be so wonderful I can hardly wait!  I am so lucky to have an amazing group of people who make up my SA team. They are coming at you, PUC fam, with exciting events, crazy videos, fun posters, God-centered worship, senate inspired changes, and much more. We are here for the students and we want to give you all the best year possible. I want to encourage anyone who has any suggestions for SA to come to us and talk, we want you to be involved this year. We want to create an atmosphere that can stimulate the year you visualize. I cannot wait to get to know you all better and become the close-knit family I know we can be, because growing close to one another is a perfect example of what God’s love is about. 

 

Kristen’s Advice – Get Involved!

Hi! I’m Kristen Beall and I have a few thoughts I wanted to share with you.

Kristen Beall

I am just about to wrap up my Pacific Union College career in just a few short weeks. I could not be more excited to start this next step in life but that means leaving behind my beloved school. Over the past four years I have fallen in love with not only our beautiful campus but the beautiful people as well. When I say “beautiful” I am not talking about outward appearances, but inward. PUC has attracted some of the most genuine and loving people I have ever met. As one of the student chaplains on campus I have come into contact with multiple students/faculty from all different
backgrounds and I have learned something from each one of them. PUC has provided me with a lot of opportunities to get involved such as being a student chaplain, student ambassador, desk worker, tutor at the TLC tutor, and as a Life Group leader. All of these “jobs” have been such a blessing to me. I was able to help students with their homework, life problems, and even their decision on coming to PUC.

If you are reading this then you must be either planning on joining the PUC family or
at least interested in what this school has to offer; I hope I can help reassure you
that PUC is where you need to be. You see I was not planning on coming to PUC. In
fact, I was enrolled at a community college for five weeks before deciding 5 days
before school started to make PUC my home. It took some adjusting, as any
relocation would, but after settling in I fell in love with the school. There are so
many opportunities to get involved and if you take advantage of these then I
guarantee your experience will be just as amazing as mine was. If you like sports
you can join a collegiate team or intramurals for some friendly competition. If sports
are not your cup of tea we have multiple music opportunities such as wind
ensemble, orchestra, gospel choir, and many other groups to join including a jazz
band! PUC also has many clubs on campus such as the Mabuhay Club, Math Club,
Chess Club, and more.

There are so many opportunities PUC has to offer but the last one I’d like to focus on
is campus ministries. Getting involved with the campus ministries team was the
best decision I have made at PUC. The group that I have worked with is an amazing
group and I couldn’t be more proud of the spiritual leaders they have become.
Whatever your passion is, whatever you enjoy doing, we will help you make it into a
ministry. Yes, there are specific jobs that need to be filled but more importantly we
want to accommodate to you and the needs of the campus. There are multiple
chaplains around campus that are always willing to talk and help in any way they
can. There are no prerequisites, just stop in the office and we’ll get you plugged in!

If you would like more information about campus ministries and other ways you can get involved at PUC, take a look at the Campus Culture page on our Admissions site. You can also check out the Student Association Facebook page for upcoming events such as banquets, vespers speakers, and more.