At midmorning, the Gordon community gathered in A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel for worship in word, prayer and song. Dr. Gordon P. Hugenberger, senior pastor of Park Street Church in Boston, Massachusetts, expressed gratitude in his invocation: “We gather here on this gorgeous, brisk, end-of-summer day to worship You, first and foremost. We love You. You are the great I AM.”
Rebecca Lindsay, Ambassador for the College, noted the presence of many family members and friends from all over the world, including those watching the event on live web stream. “Even now dear friends are staying up late to watch this live from India and many other locations. Thank you for taking time out of your lives and busy schedules to be with us here today.”
Led by Dr. Sandra Doneski, associate professor of music and director of Gordon’s graduate program in music education, the congregation sang “Holy, Holy, Holy” and “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” Singer and songwriter Sara Groves performed a solo rendition of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”
Dr. John Ortberg, pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in California and author of The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People and many other books, delivered the sermon. He began his message with congratulations to Gordon for selecting a new president who is not just youthful; he has “a voice that is so needed not just by Gordon, but by the evangelical world; and beyond that, the Church; and beyond that, the world. We are all so thrilled that God has put you in this place that it seemed fitting to read an educational charter today from an earlier administration,” the Sh’ma Y’srael, the central prayer of Judaism:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
(Deuteronomy 6:4 NIV)
Others participating in the service included Dr. Greg Carmer, dean of chapel, who gave the invocation; Dr. Elaine Phillips, professor of biblical and theological studies, who gave a blessing on behalf of the faculty; Ken Hallenbeck ’12, president, Gordon College Student Association, who spoke on behalf of students; Noelle Donahue ’98, who spoke for fellow alumni; and Dr. Gary Cook, president, Dallas Baptist University, who delivered the benediction.
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NEXT: To Be Deliberate