Nazareth Protestant Community

October 15, 2015

I remember one warm August evening before my senior year of high school. I was starting the process of applying to colleges and figuring out what major I wanted to choose. That night I ran into an acquaintance who started to ask the usual questions you ask a high school senior. "What schools are you applying to?" "What major do you want to pursue?" "What do you plan to do with that?" After listening to some unsolicited advice, this acquaintance said to me, "Well, keep praying about it. The decisions you make now will affect the rest of your of your of your life." I added the echo for effect.

That simple statement sent me into a tailspin. What if I wasn't making the right decision? I went through several other similar tailspins after I started college. I went to Westminster College and was a double major in Christian Education and Music for anyone who cares. The first tailspin was a crisis of faith--my college Bible classes blew my mind and shook my foundations. The second was a crisis of identity --what I affectionately refer to as my "punk" phase. The third a crisis over a relationship--I married him eventually so that one turned okay. And the fourth a crisis over whether to go to seminary and start the ordination process--this story is long and involves some twists and turns, but the short version is that I couldn't shake the nagging feeling that I was meant to be a pastor.

My road to where I am now certainly has a lot to do with the decisions I made as an 18 year old, but not exclusively. I did pray hard like that well-meaning acquaintance suggested. My whole life I have simply tried to keep my heart and eyes open, and to know that when a door swings wide open that there's usually something for me there, to trust the Spirit's guidance, and to step out in faith. While it hasn't always been easy, and the message hasn't always been clear, I feel like most days I'm pursuing my personal sense of what I have been called to do on this earth--to be a pastor/chaplain, to be married, to raise two beautiful children, to seek God and to serve others in the example of Jesus Christ. Sometimes I play the "what if?" game and wonder where I could be or what I might be doing had I made different decisions. But I didn't make different decisions. Could I have missed out on something? Perhaps. But I'll never know. All I can possibly know is what I have actually experienced and what I am experiencing now. All I can know is how God has guided me in the past, and how I feel the Spirit calling to me now. All I can do right now is to try my best and trust in God.

If you are feeling the weight of those well-meaning questions that people ask you about what you want to do when you grow up, I invite you to join us as worship this week. You aren't alone. We are going to be tackling the question of, "Why does vocation matter?" or otherwise known as, "What have you been put on this earth to do?"

It can sometimes feel like the way forward will never become clear, like we will never really know what we're called to do in this life. But the good news is that regardless of the path, Christ walks with us. Regardless of the decisions you make, Christ is present there. Trust in that, listen hard, and walk in peace.



October in Worship

Weekly services are held Sunday nights at 8:30 pm in Linehan Chapel.
All are welcome. You are welcome to food and fellowship following the service.

For vespers this weekend:
October 18th, 2015- Why does vocation matter?

On October 25th, the last Sunday of October, we will worship via the contemplative sung practice of Taizé. All are invited to join us for this candlelit evening of song, scripture, and silence. if you are interested in assisting with the music in this service, please contact Alexis Scangas at:

Divine Doughnuts

Tuesdays @ 9:15AM in GAC 151
Coffee. Sprinkles.Prayer

Joint weekly gathering of the Nazareth Catholic and Protestant Communities

Prayer, Reflection, and Exploration

This week's topic at vespers explores vocation and why it matters. Here is a TED talk given by Emilie Wapnick that challenges the notion within this culture of there being "one true calling" for all of us.

The link is below-

I'm Not Racist...Am I?

Take 12 real teens from New York City of varying ethnicities and engage them in a one year committment to explore racism, White privilege and other social issues with each other. I'm Not Racist...Am I? is documentary that generates emotions and challenges thinking. The youth are engaged in thinking both critically and reflectively while building bonds with each other.

You are invited to attend the screening of this powerful documentary followed by a facilitated discussion.

October 28, 2015 from 6:30-8:30 pm in A-14 (Arts Center)

This event is sponsored by Academic Affairs, Athletics, Campus Life, Center for Civic Engagement, Center for Spirituality, Institute for Pluralism, and Student Development.

Clairvaux Farms Spring Break Service Retreat- Interest Meeting!

Are you considering having a volunteer experience this Spring Break at Clairvaux Farms?
Maybe you just have questions or are just curious.

Don't miss this weekend's upcoming interest meeting:
Sunday, October 18th in GAC 151 at 8:00 PM

Spring Break service retreat to Clairvaux Farm! March 6-12, 2016

You are invited to be a part of the Center for Spirituality's 22nd annual service retreat to Clairvaux Farm in Earleville, MD.

Who will we be serving? Deep Roots at Clairvaux Farm is a community that aims to serve children and families affected by homelessness and poverty. They provide transitional housing, educational opportunities, and spiritual support to families in need.

What will we be doing? We will provide support by completing necessary construction and clean-up projects and interacting with Clairvaux residents. We also take a day to explore Washington D.C. and meet with representatives from the National Coalition for the Homelessness.

If you are looking for a way to engage your faith and serve in the spirit of Christ over this spring break, I encourage to come and by and pick up an application at GAC 164 or to email to get an electronic application. This is a life changing opportunity to serve others and live in community for a week.

Annual Thanksgiving Basket Project- Thanksgiving 2015- Help Needed

Every year we work with Dimitri House in the City of Rochester to provide Thanksgiving Baskets for families in the Rochester area. Dimitri House was established in 19 and is committed to serving people in need and providing them resources. The sponsored baskets contain all the ingredients for a family (often ranging from 2 to 5 people) facing food insecurity to have a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings.

Here at Nazareth, various academic departments, campus groups and individuals commit to sponsoring baskets. Whether you are able to sponsor a basket or not, we need your help/skills to aid in sorting items, assembling the baskets and delivering them to Dimitri House on the dates below:

Please note the following dates:
The week before Thanksgiving we will be gathering to sort the baskets and get them ready to be delivered to the Dimitri House. Our original dates for this have changed and we will update you next week with our new plan! Any help you are able to provide--be it sorting canned goods, assembling baskets, grocery shopping to any needed extra supplies, or delivering the baskets--it very much appreciated!

Please consider assisting in any way possible in this effort. For information, or to sign up to help, contact Melanie Jones, Protestant Chaplain's Graduate Assistant at In 2014. with the campus community united, we were able to sponsor 35 baskets. Together let's make it happen for 2015.

Naz Christian Fellowship (NCF)

Throughout the semester there are multiple opportunities to explore your faith. If you're looking for Bible Study, fellowship, music, food, and more, NCF is the place to be! Contact Ceara Curry (, Meaghan Porter (, or Claire Sobraske ( if you'd like more information!

Here's the schedule for the semester:

10/21 Bible Study

10/28 Cafe Night at Colie's

11/4 Bible Study

11/11 Café Night at Colie's

11/18 Bible Study

12/2 Social night! Trivia at Applebee's - meet at 8:30 pm

12/9 Christmas Party - cookie decorating!

NCF also offers rides to three local churches. If you are interested in getting a ride to church contact Nadia at

"NCF is a community that welcomes and supports one another by modeling Christ in service to others."

Question of the week

Each week we ask a question in the sign-in book at worship.

This week's question was:

What are you dressing up as this year?

Some of the answers given were- The Joker, fear, Dracula, Rainbow Brite and "myself"

Local Church Connections

If you are interested in attending worship at a local church and don't know where to start, contact Nadia (

About Us

Nazareth Protestant Community is part of the Center for Spirituality and is an open and welcoming community made up of students reflecting a variety of religious traditions and backgrounds. We worship weekly, host an annual service trip, enjoy fellowship events together, and seek to serve both our Nazareth and larger community. Come and check us out!