The Worshiping Community
A number of people have asked me who those two new, young musicians are who have been at COS lately. Forgive me for not properly introducing to you our interns from Calvin’s worship and music program, Jordan Clegg and Melinda Campbell.
Melinda hails from Saginaw and is a senior environmental geology major who really rocks. (Who can resist a geology joke?) She has a minor in music and worship. Jordan is a senior music and worship major from Grand Rapids who will be marrying his high school sweetheart, Anne, this summer. Both take voice lessons and sing in Cappella with COS member Joel Navarro.
Jordan and Melinda have taken part in the COS choir, drumming ensemble and worship committee, as well as meeting with me on a weekly basis at the Fish House. They were the primary planners and leaders of the music during the Sunday evening Lent services. You have heard their voices and Jordan’s guitar in services throughout the semester. This week and next they will lead Sunday morning services that they planned with me over the last few months. I couldn’t be more pleased with the way they’ve risen to every challenge that has come their way.
“How is this introduction to Jordan and Melinda in any way a liturgy lesson?” you wonder.
Liturgy is not something one does alone, nor is it something we do together simply for practical reasons. When we worship we become in a very real way a new entity, a new creature—the Body of Christ. The time I’ve spent with Jordan and Melinda this semester has made me think a lot about the nature of the COS community and the relationship our church body has with Calvin students. It’s clear that Calvin College has a huge impact on the make up of our church body. I would go so far as to say that COS has as much of a symbiotic relationship with the college as Woodlawn does, though Woodlawn is housed on Calvin’s campus.
But for all the impact Calvin students have on the character of our church, I wonder if their role is only that of congregational demographic shapers or if they truly are (and feel) a part of the living Body of Christ here at 3835 Burton Street. Of course, theologically speaking, anyone who shares the Lord’s table is united with us in Christ. (“We who are many are one body, for we all share the same loaf.”) Practically speaking, we have made great strides in our relationship with Calvin students through the efforts of Deanna van Dijk, the Post-High School People, and others. But could our relationship become even deeper?
I wonder if we could create even more opportunities for college students to take part in the life of the church: in home groups, in committees, and as worship leaders. I wonder if students could approach their time at COS as training for a life of worship in a local church. I wonder if there is energy, wisdom and growth that could emerge from a deepened relationship between the students and congregation. Let’s keep this in mind as we pass the peace, sing songs and share the table with our brothers and sisters in Christ.