Arts/worship service offers invitation
Music, drama and visual art came together to celebrate the Easter season April 21 in Butler Church.
“Come to the Table,” was the theme of the third annual Maundy Thursday service, which featured many references to the last supper. Several FPU music groups and ensembles participated. There were also dramatic scenes by students; readings by Julia Reimer, Ph.D., drama, and Billie Jean Wiebe, Ph.D., English/communications; and artwork from the students of Chris Janzen, M.F.A. Reimer coordinated the service with music professor Walter Saul, D.M.A., and the Office of Spiritual Formation.
The theme was Revelation 3:20: "Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me."
Among the musical highlights was a student composition performed by the Fresno Pacific Chamber Singers, conducted by Choral Music Director Zachary Durlam, D.M.A. Senior Benjamin Certain wrote “Kyrie” for his scoring and arranging class.
A kyrie (pronounced “keer-ee-ay”) is a movement in a traditional Mass that appeals to God for peace. “What sets mine apart in a way is the middle section,” Certain said. “It appeals directly to the Father.” Typically the middle part of the prayer is made to Christ. “I feel that we have a personal connection to the Father,” Certain said.
The service is traditionally a celebration through the arts, which is why junior Robert Martin enjoyed it. “I think it’s really cool when you can blend a variety of art forms—especially in ways where you can remember the sacrifice of Christ,” he said.
Communion was the centerpiece of the service. Quentin Kinnison, Ph.D., biblical and religious studies faculty, and Dina Gonzalez-Piña, M.A., associate dean of multicultural ministries, invited participants to one of five tables set before the stage, where staff and faculty members lead them in partaking of the elements.
Martin found this approach to communion especially meaningful. “There was a sense of community,” he said.
While the service has dwelt on various themes since its beginnings in 2009, this year’s service was the first to focus on Maundy Thursday, the celebration of the last supper of Christ and his disciples. In 2010 there was a tenebrae service, while the theme in 2009 was “Christ on the Cross, Christ in the City.”
In addition to the Chamber Singers, the service included performances by the Musica Pacifica Baroque Orchestra, Saxophone Quartet, Crosswind, Pacific Brass, Saul, Brenda Meyers, M.A., and seniors Steven Sawatsky and Alan Meyer.
In the photo the Drama Team (Kaitlyn Nichols, Angela Ellington, Erica Rivera, Hannah Blatchford, Katie Johnson) perform the story of Mary washing the feet of Jesus.