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The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The Office of Spirituality and Inclusion is For Everyone

Photo courtesy of Jae Egge. Larisa Farva (left) and Jennika Borger (right).
Photo courtesy of Jae Egge. Larisa Farva (left) and Jennika Borger (right).

Every Thursday, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., you can find a variety of students gathered around a homemade dinner and engaging in conversation in the Bahnson Center of the Moravian Theological Seminary. 

The homemade food is prepared by Jennika Borger, the Chaplain of Moravian University, and Larisa Farva, the assistant director of The Office of Spirituality and Inclusion.  

Students may leave after the meal, or they can stay for the inclusive Christian worship. Everyone is welcome.

“We’ll play music, read a little bit of scripture [and] talk about it,” said Farva “[We’ll] pray for one another and just be in community.”  

These popular Thursday dinner, dessert, and discussions are only one of the many events that the Office of Spirituality and Inclusion hosts throughout the year. 

The Office holds Chat with the Chaplain every Tuesday at 12:00 p.m. at the tables right outside of the Star. 

Chat with the Chaplain is an opportunity for students to bring their lunch and eat with other students and Moravian faculty.

 “All people are welcome to stop by and eat their lunch so that they have someone to eat with, have a conversation, [and] have a laugh,” said Farva.

Both Farva and Borger attend Chat with the Chaplain every Tuesday. 

It isn’t the only time that students can converse with Borger. Most of her days are filled with meetings with students from the university. 

These meetings are initiated by the students when they feel like they need to explore their spirituality and their identity, or if they just need someone to talk to, according to Borger. 

“I listen for what the important questions [are],” said Borger. “I meet with students to explore [those] questions.” 

The meetings don’t only have to be related to spirituality. They can be related to the stress of a student’s day, relationships, or other bigger things or questions like identity.

One of the Office of Spirituality and Inclusion’s signature events is Vespers, a Moravian worship service in which Moravian choir students sing and different Moravian faculty and students read a Biblical text and/or one they have written for the occasion.

Moravian’s Vespers services take place during the holiday season in the Central Moravian Church in downtown Bethlehem. Services are held on weekends at the end of November and the beginning of December.

Borger attends every night of services, opening the evening by welcoming attendees with a call to worship.

Vespers is a time not only for Moravian students and faculty to come together but also the whole Bethlehem community, according to Borger. 

People from all around Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and different states come together for the service. 

“There is something very magical that happens [when everyone stands up and begins singing together],” said Borger. “Life is hard. And we’re going to spend just this little bit of time making beautiful music together and finding the joy that’s not always available.” 

If you are interested in volunteering to help with Vespers contact the Office of Spirituality and Inclusion or Larisa Farva.

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