Graceland University Campus Ministries will sponsor a campus blessing service at 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon, March 31, in the Shaw Center Lobby on the Lamoni campus. The celebration will acknowledge gratitude for the strong sense of community the Graceland family shares – past and present.
In preparation for the service, campus members are invited to create a Graceland tapestry to represent the strong connections and friendships the university fosters. Graceland alumnus Jim Simpson ‘70 built a loom out of walnut pieces, and it was warped by members of the library staff and the blessing committee.
Anyone who has formed a bond with someone they came to know through their Graceland connection is invited to become part of the Graceland tapestry. They first acknowledge how that connection has enriched their life. Then, they select one of the ribbons provided and weave it into the loom. The loom will be moved to Shaw Center for the blessing service and afterward be on display in the library.
Graceland President Dr. Patricia H. Draves has sent an invitation to all Graceland alumni to attend the service if they are able to get to campus. If they cannot attend but would like to be part of the celebration, they are invited to request that a ribbon be woven for them into the loom. If they want to participate in this way, they should send the request to Sabrina Davis at the Graceland library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President Draves shared her own awareness of the strong bonds of community even during her very first visit to the campus during the presidential search process. “The Power of Together here is very real,” she stated. “It is an incredible asset to all that we try to do to promote student success.”
The service will be a recognition of community, which is one of Graceland’s three core values: learning, wholeness and community. It will open with a welcome by campus minister Mike Hoffman, a Polynesian song of welcome and a Native American invocation by Graceland counselor Dee White Eye. The Graceland choir will sing two numbers, and three speakers will share their personal stories of how the campus community has enriched their lives.
Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Dave Schaal will share some thoughts on the nature of community, and Community of Christ evangelist Tom Morain will offer the prayer of blessing. Dress is casual, and the public is invited to share in the celebration of community.