After hours of careful planning and prayer, the campus pastors and staff decided on Ephesians 4 as the university passage for the 2013-14 school year. Focusing on the cornerstone of community, the passage is being incorporated into living area themes, decorations, events and discussion topics.
With each living space representing Ephesians 4 in a unique way, students are able to look deeper into all aspects of the passage and absorb its lessons about community. All living areas, made up of students, resident advisors, and resident directors, unite in their representations of the verses.
There were no restrictions on what particular part of the passage each area could choose to focus on—Residence Life leaders had the freedom to creatively represent any of the verses in ways that would share the truths most effectively.
“Each staff has the freedom to choose a theme and tshirt design,” Associate Director of Residence Life Jen Fleckenstein said. “Most decide to incorporate the university passage into their work.”
By displaying aspects of Ephesians 4 through living area themes and community tshirts, the Residence Life staff hopes to remind students of the importance of uniting as the body of Christ.
“We hoped that students would not only be reminded of the truth of scripture in chapel but in their residence halls as well,” Fleckenstein said.
Ephesians 4 features lessons including, “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,” “speak the truth in love,” and “be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving toward one another.” The goal of Ephesians 4 and ultimately of the APU community this year is unity in the body of Christ.
For University Village staff, the intention behind choosing Ephesians 4:2 and the phrase “Bear in Love” was to represent the opportunities that students and advisers have to be humble and to support each other, and to simply act in love.
“We all reflected on Ephesians 4 and meditated on this passage to see what stood out and resonated with hearts, and Ephesians 4:2 was the common theme,” UV Resident Advisor and senior Christian ministries major Sam Aguirre said. “In fact, this theme, in my opinion, goes well with the RezLife theme for this year, which is ‘life together.’ They are intricately woven together.”
Between the nine communities, students will be able to focus on the importance of different pieces of the university passage.
Smith Hall will focus on “Humble Confidence,” while Adams Hall seeks to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling.”
Trinity Hall, on the other hand, will focus on being “United in Purpose.” The large life preserver above the entrance to the hall is a daily reminder to residents of the importance of helping each other and uniting in the purpose of spreading Christ’s love.
“When I see the life preserver hanging in the entrance to Trinity, I think, ‘oh, that’s a Trinity brother or sister,’ and I’m reminded of home,” freshman pre-engineering major Ken Beard said.
The symbol of unity is seen in decorations that cover the halls including a paper mache ship in Trinity hall, and on the several items of clothing that are offered. The incorporation of Trinity’s “United in Purpose” theme will also be included in weekly “group share” nights.
Residents across campus are recognizing the importance of engaging with the university passage. Whether students strive to unite in purpose, bear in love or walk in a manner worthy of the calling, all actions will be for the glory of God.