by Rachel Ayres | Staff Writer
The Whitworth community recently had the opportunity to experience new ways to worship, including different styles of music and art, at a one-of-a-kind worship night.
The event, called “Unveiled”, was held for the first time ever Monday, Oct. 15, 2018 in the Robinson Teaching Theater in Weyerhaeuser Hall. This event was spearheaded by senior Talaya Jackson, spiritual life coordinator for the Associated Students of Whitworth University (ASWU).
“At the end of the day it is all for [God] and he created all forms [of worship] and he loves them all, and I think it is only fair to include them all, because they are all valid forms of worship,” Jackson said.
The evening began at 8 p.m., with the African women’s singing group, Shades of Africa, as the first event of the night.
“When you get to worship in your own language it just makes it that much more close and intimate for you, at least that’s how it is for me,” said junior Theresa Vimbanayi Chowa, one the Shades of Africa singers.
Next up was the Unveiled Worship Team.
“I liked that the team who were up there came together because they were all so different and come from all different kinds of places and have different talents,” Jackson said.
One of these team members was freshman Hannah Fookes, who signed American Sign Language to two of the songs that the Unveiled Worship Team played.
“I am not really a singer, and I just don’t like to stand still. It is just my way of worshiping,” Fookes said.
Freshman Krysta Saunders gave her testimony, and Stephaine Nobles-Beans, the associate chaplain for diversity, equity & inclusion ministry, was the keynote speaker. Beans’s talk was well received.
“[My favorite part of the night was] definitely Mama Beans, she is amazing. Every time she preaches it is really heartfelt, a good speaker,” Chowas said.
The night also featured dancing by the club Jubilation Dance Ministry. One of the Jubilation dancers that performed was sophomore Anna Rajala.
“We were just demonstrating that worship can occur in some many different ways, and that it can look very different than traditional standing in church, and so we just wanted to foster a worshipful environment,” Rajala said.
The night also included many other forms of worship.
“We were clapping, we were yelling, we were listening to rap music, there was dancing, painting, sign language and everybody just was so overwhelmed with the presence of God,” Rajala said.
Jackson said she was pleased with the turnout for the first-time event.
“It went better than I could have ever imagined. I had dreams about it and like it was even better than my dreams. That sounds so corny saying it out-loud but, it just went so well,” she said.
Jackson plans on having Unveiled worship nights frequently.
“…I feel like for as much as we talk about diversity, diversity should also be included in ministry. So it should be something frequent that people can expect and want,” Jackson said.
Unveiled will be held sometime in November.