By: Andrew York ‘19
On Sunday Feb. 12, an e-mail was sent to students from President Lindsay that read, “Monday’s delayed opening will cancel all classes before 11 a.m., and impact the start of DEEP FAITH and Tuesday’s class schedule.”
These words set the tone that this year’s DEEP FAITH week would be unlike any the college had seen before.
Since it was founded six years ago, DEEP FAITH week has been dedicated to spiritual emphasis through four chapel services.
Amy Orr-Ewing, an apologist and Director for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as Director of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA)—was flown in from England, and arrived just before the Nor’easter hit the New England coast.
Orr-Ewing was scheduled to give her first talk Monday morning, but because of the College’s delayed opening, the first DEEP FAITH chapel was Monday evening, and the second was Tuesday morning—a first ever for a Gordon morning chapel. Classes were shortened that morning to accommodate the addition to the day’s schedule.
Another surprise, setting this DEEP FAITH week even further apart from the others, happened during the Tuesday morning chapel. President Lindsay announced that an anonymous donor would be giving a $25 million irrevocable gift.
In the midst of all the scheduling changes and announcements, DEEP FAITH week reminded the Gordon community of the “simple truths” of who Jesus is—and who His people are as a result.
“DEEP FAITH really impacted me,” said Christian Ministries major Luan Cadahia ‘18, “I’ve invited the Holy Spirit into my every day, and I feel God’s presence so tangibly in my heart [and] in the way I carry myself”
Orr-Ewing spoke on Jesus’ “I Am” statements for the four chapels, with Tuesday evening’s being on Jesus saying “I Am the Light of the World.” After the talk, she invited students to come up to the front to receive prayer from members of the Cabinet and chapel office.
“There was a really lovely sense of a hunger for God as reality, not God as inherited religion, [as well as] a resonance with the sense of the darkness of the world and the possibility of being able to invite God to meet us in those dark places,” said Orr-Ewing.
When Orr-Ewing prayed with students following the Tuesday evening session, she said she was “encouraged by the honesty of the students and…that they connected with that theme of not needing to pretend, and wanting to rigorously explore and question, and invite God into the real darkness and pain of our lives and not have ‘that church face’ on.”
Sharing a similar sentiment, college Chaplain Tom Haugen said, “I think that there is an excitement about Christ on this campus that I don’t see in the general population.”
For Haugen, DEEP FAITH is not only about four chapels, it is about “every day as a Christian being an opportunity to deepen our love for Christ.”
“I want to keep pushing people back to God’s word, and give this foundation of loving God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind, and your strength, and then loving this world,” said Haugen.