Celebrating 10 Years

We have attended University Church of the Nazarene for many years. Last Sunday, the church celebrated its tenth anniversary even as the Church of the Nazarene celebrated its 110th. Yes, this vibrant church meeting at Jerrigan Chapel on the ANU campus was one of those started in celebration of the Church of the Nazarene’s centennial.

The church was blessed by those who gave greetings from the district and field offices, from the – past and present, and within the church body.  Prof. Leah Marangu reflected on the beginning of the church and the support for it that came from the university.  Pastor Gift, who has been the pastor since the church’s inception, gave a short history of the church. He noted that we are the only “University Church of the Nazarene” in the denomination although there are several “College” churches. Church members living and serving abroad sent video messages. The children of the church made a presentation. Dr. Randy James gave a short homily reminding the church members to keep God first (Mungu kwanza).

Every major celebration at University Church has a cake and a tree planting. Mrs Busi Bhebhe and other dignitaries planted trees in the yard near the pathway between the church and the Grace Roles library building.

The theme for October is Thanksgiving and surely we give thanks.DSCN8756

 

Not just for Advent

childLast Saturday, I had fun singing in “The Messiah.” A combined choir of 260 (including the Nairobi Music Society choir, where I sing 2nd tenor) performed Handel’s masterpiece at the Bomas Center of Kenya. It was a benefit concert for the Nairobi Hospice.

Some think it odd that we sang “The Messiah” in early October. However, it’s not just about the incarnation. There are many solos and choruses in it that speak of other episodes in Christ’s life, including his crucifixion.

Here are a few photos from the event.

 

tenors (1)
From left: Dave, Greg, Maury, Bart, Philip, and Joe. The choir sang happy birthday to Maury…his 90th! Bart is a Jesuit and Maury is a Domincan monk. We have rich theological conversations together during break times.

 

Duncan
Greg congratulates conductor Duncan Wambugu post-concert.

 

 

orchestra
The Nairobi Orchestra warms up before the morning rehearsal.

 

 

 

 

G-Clef

 

Prayer requests

  • Greg will be preaching in chapel at the Town Campus next Wednesday.
  • Ask God to guide the Senate as we deliberate on important curriculum issues in our meeting next week.

 

 

 

It’s an honour!

Today, we celebrated students who made the Dean’s List and the Honour Roll at Africa Nazarene University. (Photo above: Religion student Joy Wambui Kariuki shaking hands with VC Dr. Stanley Bhebhe.)

Dr. Bhebhe spoke to the assembly. He said, “There is no greater thing that you can do with your life than to serve your God and other people.” After more encouraging words, he concluded, “Let’s commit to a life of excellence.”

Honour’s Chapel only gets to be more fun as Greg and I recognize our students and former students being honoured. (I’m using British English for this post and my spell/grammar checker is not pleased.)

Please pray for us and our students (especially those that have both of us) as the trimester continues.

Preaching in chapel

Greg preachingI (Greg) knew that we had a lot of students this trimester, but I wasn’t prepared for the sea of faces when I stepped behind the pulpit in chapel today. There were easily more than 1,000 students crammed into the gymnasium of the Helstrom building. As usual, our worship band set a sweet tone for the service, leading us in praise to God.

My sermon text was Colossians 3:12-17, challenging students to leave behind the old, tired song of life without Christ and to embrace the new song Jesus wants to give us, a better song characterized by God’s peace, forgiveness, and a thankful heart.  You can read the full text of the sermon by clicking here.

Prayer requests

  • Keep praying for Amy, as she plows ahead in her online Ed.D. program through Trevecca Nazarene University. She’s doing very well.
  • In the School Religion and Christian Ministry, the PhD/DMin students begin their new session of classes on Monday, October 1, via our online (E-Naz) platform. Ask the Lord to be with us as we interact online, then later in February, face-to-face. There are several who are still gathering school fees, and we pray the Lord’s provision for them so they can begin on-time.

New Life at ANU

It’s spring! I (Amy) love this time of year here at Africa Nazarene University. The temperature is warming. New life is showing up everywhere. The trees are budding and the butterflies are fluttering over the flowering bushes. The birds are back.

Of course, more important than anything else, the students are back.

The beginning of the new trimester is the time for Holiness Week. This trimester the speaker is Rev. Stephen Bamutungire from Uganda. He did an excellent job preaching the word this morning in the chapel and the students were right with him.

Early morning prayer for Holiness Week, a full auditorium in Helstrom Hall, our Chaplain Rev. Cindy North, and Rev. Stephen Bamutungire.

Prayer requests:

  • for Rev. Stephen Bamutungire as he preaches this week at the LTM campus and next week at the CBD campus.
  • for the students, faculty, and staff. May everyone find new (or renewed) life at ANU in the next two weeks.

Sing a song

 

DSCN8228.JPG
We always begin with 5-10 minutes of warm-up.

I (Greg) sing second tenor in the Nairobi Music Society (NMS) choir. It’s a wonderful way to get out in the community every Tuesday evening and spend two hours doing something I love.Right now, we’re rehearsing portions of Handel’s “Messiah.” The beauty and complexity of the music provides both a challenge for my voice and music reading skills and therapy for my spirit.

 

In early October, we’ll perform “Messiah”as a benefit concert for an area hospice. After that, we begin rehearsing music for our Christmas concert in early December.

 

DSCN8225
Tea cups, tea and coffee stand ready for break time.

 

I love mixing with my fellow tenors. Three are Roman Catholic priests (two Jesuits and one Dominican friar), and we enjoy good fellowship in the Lord. Mid-way through the rehearsal, tea time is a fun chance to sip “chai” (Swahili for tea) and visit with others.

You may not sing in a choir, but you can sing. Remember the words from the late Joe Raposo:

Don’t worry that it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear.

Just sing, sing a song!

Prayer request

Next week is Holiness Week on the L.T. Marangu (main) campus at Africa Nazarene University. Pray that the Holy Spirit will visit us in a special way, that lives will be transformed by the love of our amazing and faithful God.

 

 

Dreaming at ANU

I (Amy) had a dream for a writing center at Africa Nazarene University and now, it is becoming a reality. For the last two trimesters that I was here, I would take a few dictionaries and reading materials in catch-alls to a room for a few hours and we called it the Writing Lab. Students and staff would pop in during those two hours the room was available. Then, when we were on home assignment, I was granted a dedicated space – Harmon 9.

I still need a couple of tables, chairs, and reference books, but otherwise, the room is looking good. (The picture at the top is the city skyline as seen from the window of the Writing Lab.)

Don’t you love it when dreams become reality?

This trimester, dreams have the potential to come true for a record number of students. Classes are bursting at the seams and excitement is running high. The opening chapel with a focus on prayer had students from both campuses represented and required students to bring in desks from neighboring classrooms because the seating had run out.

Dreams are often fulfilled because of prayer – ours and yours.

Please pray for:

  • The Writing Lab to be fully functional in a week or so,
  • The new students as they adjust to university life,
  • ANU doctoral students to move forward with their dissertations
  • Us as we work, play, live, study, and strategize.