Renewal Week Invites Participation and Reflection On Campus

Point Loma Nazarene University’s Renewal Week, dedicated to prayer, spiritual renewal and community engagement is happening Jan. 29 through Feb 2. This week, which occurs every semester, offers different activities and chapel opportunities in which students and staff can participate. 

Esteban Trujillo, university chaplain at PLNU sent out a campus-wide email on Jan. 22 sharing what Renewal Week is, when it will be hosted and what the campus can expect. 

First-year organization communications major and spring worship arts intern, Piper Gilbert, is in charge of putting together setlists for chapel, organizing a band and different musicians, as well as hosting rehearsals and sound check. 

“It is really important to think about what the sermon and the message is on and relate it back into the worship that we sing and play during chapels,” Gilbert said. “One of the unique things about Renewal Week is the chance to have a guest speaker who participates in multiple of the chapel sessions throughout the week.”

This year’s guest speaker is Rev. Deidre Brower Latz, the principal of Nazarene Theological College in Manchester, England. She is also the writer for Preachers’ Magazine, Holiness Today and has experience writing books and lecturing in Pastoral and Social Theology. Brower Latz will be asking and leading the students and faculty through a set of questions revealed by God in the scripture, as stated in Trujillo’s email.  The guest speaker will also participate in timeouts, a Thursday night chapel run by students.

 The theme for Renewal Week will be announced alongside the week’s schedule.

“Renewal week is different from the rest of the semester’s chapel because there are a lot more opportunities to go to chapel and get chapel credits,” Gilbert said. “During a regular week we have four chapels and during renewal week we probably have double or triple that. It is just a great way for students to catch up on missed credits and the point is to feel spiritually renewed.” 

In honor of Renewal Week, there will be closures during chapel time throughout the week. All offices, stores and other services on campus will be closed from 9:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, allowing faculty and staff to participate in chapel this week. 

First-year human and health performance major Jessy Sosa, attended renewal week last semester and said it was a great time for her to connect to others.

“I went last semester and I really enjoyed it,” Sosa said. “I was able to connect with a lot of new people and upperclassmen which was a really nice opportunity as a freshman. Having the PLNU community come together for such a unique experience was really fulfilling. I am looking forward to resetting this week and taking a break to connect with others and God.” 

Throughout the week there will be a series of other events for students to attend and many opportunities to make up chapel credits. There will be a Creative Space event that is hosted in the ARC with crafts, music, reading and prayer. There will also be prayer and yoga on Wednesday and morning prayers Monday through Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. More events will be announced Monday along with more details on which activities count for chapel credits. 

First-year nursing major Maya Poley said this will be her first time attending Renewal Week. 

“I am looking forward to Renewal Week for a lot of different reasons,” Poley said. “I think it will be a good time for me to catch up on chapel credits and engage in my faith. It’s nice to have events that are different from typical chapels. I think hearing the guest speakers is going to give me a different perspective and hear from someone we wouldn’t typically hear from. I think it is awesome that our school reaches out to different people to be a part of this week.” 

Gilbert said she is excited about what the week has to bring PLNU students and how she will be involved throughout the week. 

“I am really looking forward to my role in Renewal Week which is getting to lead Point Loma through worship,” Gilbert said. “I am playing both on Tuesday morning in Brown Chapel and at time out. Time out is extra long during this week, it’s an extra twenty minutes. I am just excited about what God is going to do in those times.”