Expressing Worship
Student senate hosted a unique creative event last fall that took worship outside traditional expressions.
3 min. read
March 14, 2023

The word worship can bring to mind a wide variety of things. For some, it brings images of singing and playing instruments in a traditional worship service. For others, it’s something that can be expressed through every facet of life, work and play.

Student senate’s spiritual events committee sought to broaden students’ experience of worship last fall with a creative worship event dubbed Express.

“We serve such a complex God,” says Ruth Adovelande, a member of the organizing committee. “He expresses himself in so many ways. Thinking we have to worship him in certain ways is a narrow way of thinking about worship.” She says the committee wanted to foster and encourage worship in a variety of ways.

The event brought together a number of creative stations: journaling, painting, drawing and prayer. Participants were free to move from station to station or just choose what they preferred. There was an opportunity to submit prayer requests and materials were available to create artwork or written pieces.

Iris Filip, an event participant, says she grew up with music at the centre of her life.

“Art hasn’t ever been something I would go to as a form of worship. I haven’t really had much practice. It was a new experience for me … a learning experience. It helped me to recognize that there are other forms of worship available to us that are just as valid. They can help us worship and connect with God in different ways.”

Emma Sumner, a third-year student who also helped to organize the event, says she isn’t naturally inclined to think about worship creatively either. Her work on the event, as well as her recent coursework have allowed her to give it more thought.

It was a new experience for me … a learning experience. It helped me to recognize that there are other forms of worship available to us that are just as valid.

“I have been challenged by that lately,” she says, adding that her Understanding Our World Through the Arts course has made her think about productivity versus beauty. “God is self-sufficient. He doesn’t need us, but he created. Art doesn’t have to be useful … Art can just exist for beauty and that is enough.”

Sebastian Caldwell, student senate’s spiritual events coordinator, has been making a concerted effort to branch out and get creative with spiritual events this year.

“What’s beautiful about worship is that everything in life can be an act of worship, even breathing,” he says. “Creative work, beautiful works of art, you can do it all for the glory of God. By being creative you’re able to reflect the talents that God has given you. You’re also able to reflect him … as God himself is a creator.”

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