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About the Holy Spirit…making the life of a Jesus-follower joyously risky! This week in chapel, Rev. Wilson challenged us to consider carefully our identity in Jesus Christ. Preaching on Acts 4, Rev. Wilson reminded us of Peter's and John's Spirit-induced boldness. Having witnessed the cross, the resurrection, the ascension, and having been set on fire by the Spirit, how could they do otherwise than proclaim boldly of the power by which the broken are healed.

Once again, to pray, “Come Holy Spirit,” is risky business – the powers and patterns of this world, including those who claim to speak for the religious establishment (see Acts 4:5-7, rulers, elders, scribes, High Priest, etc.), take not kindly to the unpredictable and uncontrollable Spirit who heals, and transforms and convicts and makes new. Consider these passages that capture the flow of the book of Acts – commonly known as the Acts of the Apostles, but more aptly characterized as the Acts of the Holy Spirit! What might it look like for this same Spirit to be set loose on our University? (To be continued!)

Acts 1:1-11
Acts 2:1-13
Acts 2:29-47
Acts 4:23-37
Acts 5:1-11
Acts 6:8-15
Acts 7:48-8:1

Tom Ribar is the Waynesburg University Chaplain. He received his M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

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Waynesburg University stands on the core values of faith, service and learning. Each day, students are taught how to integrate these passions into their lives and become committed to higher purposes. For senior communication major Greg Reinhart, his understanding and application of the three core values developed during his travels to Arizona and California.

The North Royalton, Ohio, native traveled three times to the West Coast as a Waynesburg University student seeking to further two of his passions—service and learning. At the end of his freshman year, he joined the Tuba City, Ariz., mission trip to assist with a local school in a Navajo community.

“Arizona holds a very special place in my heart,” Greg said. “Having the chance to reach across the nation and help with the Navajo reservation changed my perspective on service. I learned that service changes you as a person.”

The journey to fulfill his service goals continued with the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities' (CCCU) Los Angeles Film Study Program, where Greg spent the fall semester of his junior year. His experiences in this program, offered through CCCU's Best Semester, taught him about the passion and drive needed to succeed in the film making industry.

“What I took away from the program is that you have to believe in yourself before others start to believe in you,” Greg said. “This starts with preparation, dedication and enthusiasm in my own ability to make a difference in a professional field.”

Greg's time in Los Angeles and at Waynesburg University created a balanced education and a diverse learning experience. Between classes and hands-on experiences, he received the close and personal attention that has enabled him to grow in his field. In Los Angeles, he developed contacts with students and professionals from across the nation and put his education to practice.

Following in the footsteps of communication students that came before him, Greg knew he wanted to complete a documentary. Before taking on such a large project, he knew it had to become much more than fulfilling an academic dream.

With this in mind, he decided to return to Tuba City and highlight an area unknown to many.

“I wanted people who did not go on the trip to know and understand the Navajo community that existed in northeastern Arizona,” Greg said. “More importantly, I wanted to convey that you don't have to travel outside of the country to make a difference.”

Since establishing a partnership with the Tuba City Boarding School in 2007, Kelley Hardie, assistant dean of Student Services, has led the trip for six years with Frank Pazzynski, associate professor of education.

Hardie believes Greg to be a personification of the mission of Waynesburg University.

“Greg is an excellent example of a servant leader,” Hardie said. “He pours his heart into all that he does and utilizes his blessings to their fullest potential. He has the amazing ability to link his faith with his major while serving others.”

At times, Greg was challenged by the project because its success was dependent on his self-motivation and development. Successfully combining both, he was able to complete a successful project and give the voiceless a chance to speak and be heard.

“The mission trip documentary was my biggest lesson in learning how to integrate faith, service and learning in my area of study and through my own effort,” Greg said. “Being a communication major, we are taught to centralize and focus a message for a prospective audience, and my faith taught me how to connect my studies.”

Despite the challenges, Greg's hard work resulted in an exceptional documentary, which was shown in the University's Goodwin Performing Arts Center during the spring semester.

“It was right on and accurate,” Pazzynski said. “It was artistic and informative while accurately capturing the essence of the mission trip.”

Throughout his travels, Greg learned that God is faithful on his journey, wherever it takes him. Whether he is at home or jet setting across the country, God is there guiding him. Knowing that God is using him to fulfill a need, he applies Ruth 1:16 to his life: “But Ruth replied, ‘Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.'"

It's this mentality that drives Greg to continue serving and trusting God.

Waynesburg University has given me a chance to stretch my learning to an extreme by allowing me to participate on campus, in Arizona and Los Angeles,” Greg said. “There are many miles between those three areas, and I've traveled them within a couple of years. Yet, every single mile was worth the lessons and experiences I've gained because of the leader God requires me to be.”

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Some of you know the name of Fr. Pat Reardon, Pastor of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois. He spoke at chapel several years back. In a recent pondering, Fr. Pat reflects on the prayer, offered by countless believers on a daily basis, “Come, Holy Spirit.” Fr. Pat suggests that this prayer is much riskier than our relatively domesticated view of the Holy Spirit would suggest. To pray, “Come, Holy Spirit,” is to invoke the presence of the living God – the risen Jesus Christ. Such a prayer engages the one who offers up this plea with the false gods of any age: this prayer serves as the ground of binding and loosing in truth and grace! In that (S)pirit, I offer the following readings for the coming week. Read and pray these passages at your own risk!

Genesis 1:1-2:7
Exodus 3:1-14
Judges 13:21-14:7
Isaiah 6:1-13 & 61:1-11
Mark 1:9-13
John 16:1-15
Acts 4:23-37

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Tom Ribar is the Waynesburg University Chaplain. He received his M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

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Prayer Chapel Cross

The last post included some readings from the Gospels that provided clues to reading the Gospels: summaries of the plot line, hints at the author's purpose for writing, Jesus' summary of his own teaching, etc. I want to continue in that same vein with some key passages from the Epistles – letters written by Paul, Peter, James, John and others. As with the previous post, read these passages with the following questions in mind:

  • How does this passage sum up the basic message of the Gospel?

  • What connections with the Gospel story, as told by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, do you recognize in the passage at hand?

  • How is the promise of the Gospel bound with the words of the Old Testament?

  • How does the definition of proper belief for a Christian as suggested by this passage relate to behavior and how Christians ought to live?


Romans 1:1-17
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Hebrews 1:1-2:4
James 2:8-26
1 Peter 1:3-16
2 Peter 3:8-13
1 John 2:28-3:18

Tom Ribar is the Waynesburg University Chaplain. He received his M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

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WU students walking

It's almost that time.

Today's date is Aug. 8, and that means all of you incoming Waynesburg University students report to campus in less than two and a half weeks! Everybody here at WU is anxiously awaiting your arrival, but we're sure there's plenty you still need to get done before orientation begins Aug. 24. So here's something that may help you out.

This is a list of the top 10 must haves for your college experience. A couple of weeks back, I provided you with what you'll need for your dorm room. These, on the other hand, are items you may utilize in a variety of places, whether it's down the hall, across campus or even miles away on a spontaneous road trip.

Check ‘em out…

10. iPod. These days, it's rare to walk across campus and not see students with their Beats on or earbuds in. Good for walking to class, working out at the fitness center or just jammin' in your dorm room, an iPod can keep the tunes playing 24/7.

9. Water bottle or travel mug. Whatever beverage you choose to stay hydrated or awake—be it cold or hot—having something to carry said drink in all day is key. And a tip if you're looking to make a purchase: if it clips onto your bag of choice, it's a definite bonus!

8. Shower caddy and flip flops. For at least your first year at Waynesburg, you'll be using the community bathrooms in the traditional residence halls. Thus, you want something in which to carry all your toiletries. And if you're not a fan of making the trek down the hall in your bare feet, flip flops it is.

7. Rain jacket or umbrella. As much as I'd love to tell you it's always 75 and sunny at WU, unfortunately, that's not always the case. So if you're not trying to get drenched walking to class, something to protect you from the rain is a must.

6. ID card holder and lanyard. You'll need your ID card to eat, get into the fitness center and enter your dorm room, so you'll be carrying it around just about everywhere. These two items will help you remember to always take it with you. Plus, it'll give you something to put your mailbox key on, as well as other personal keys like car keys.

5. Hoodie (and sweatpants). Let's face it, you're probably not tryin' to look extra dapper or checkin' the weather before your 8 a.m., so if you can just throw on a hoodie and sweats, you'll be good to go! And the real goal is also accomplished with this strategy: maximum comfort.

4. Backpack and/or drawstring bag(s). As a college student, you'll be heading from class, to the dining hall, back to class and then off to another activity. It's a pain to have to keep running back to your dorm, so you need something to carry everything around in. A backpack's good for when you're gone for a while, a drawstring bag works if you just have one class to go to, and yes, ladies, a purse will do just fine, as well.

3. Pop-Tarts, Easy Mac, Ramen and more! While the dining hall and Beehive will keep you well fed, it's inevitable that you'll get a case of the munchies here and there. Pick out a few of your favorite snacks, and keep them in your dorm room. Just beware of that freshman 15!

2. Cell phone and charger. This may seem like a no-brainer for some, but it'd be hard to make this type of list and not include these two items. You want to be able to keep in touch with family, text your friends, and if you have a smart phone, take care of all kinds of stuff. And don't forget your charger, especially if home is hours from Waynesburg.

1. Bible. “Faith, learning and serving” is a motto that means a lot to us here at Waynesburg, and there's a reason for the order of that trio. We want you to have the opportunity to develop your faith in a multitude of ways during your time at Waynesburg, and that makes God's Word the No. 1 item on your packing list!

Like I said earlier, time is a tickin'. It'll be move-in day before you know it, so if you're missing a few of the key items on this list, it may be time for a shopping trip! Waynesburg's bookstore may be the perfect place to look for some of these college must haves.

And we'll see you all in just a few short weeks!

Dave Floyd is an Admissions Counselor at Waynesburg University, whose travel territory includes Westmoreland County, Eastern Pennsylvania and the Northeast states. He is also a 2012 Waynesburg alumnus.

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