We enjoyed an encouraging worship service at Good Shepherd Church in Sioux Center at 10:00. The Reverend Dr. Travis Else preached on the importance of the church body to Christian community. He pointed out several main purposes of the church. The church is created by God to be a caring community, not a competitive community with different church groups opposed to one another. The church is created to be a thinking community as Paul prays for the Colossians that they would be “[F]illed with all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Colossians 1:9b). It ought not to focus on what Dr. Else termed “unhealthy spiritual speculation” where Christians focus on minor details while missing the main purpose of the Scriptures. The church is a hoping community that places its faith in God. And lastly, the church is a community of power through Christ.
The service was composed with a liturgical style of worship and had an emphasis on prayer and Scripture reading from various parts of the Scriptures. Some of us had never been to a liturgy-based service before, so it was a wonderful opportunity to broaden our horizons with other denominations. It was good to see Christians worshiping the God I know in a different way than I am used to worshiping Him.
After a lunch of roasted pork loin, nine of us went on a walk with two of the Dordt students in the program leading us several miles around the campus and partly through Sioux Center. The weather was perfect for a walk, and a nice wind out in the Dordt prairie kept the slight nostalgic aroma of the manure from the local corn fields blowing our way.
When we returned from the walk, a couple of students settled down in the lounge downstairs to play around on their acoustic guitars while several of us read or worked on assignments. Another student joined us downstairs later at the piano and the three of them impressed us with some excellent unrehearsed music.
At 3:00 we went on a thrilling scavenger hunt in the local area for about half-an-hour. We split into teams of seven and took two vans around Sioux Center, snapping pictures at the various locations we had been assigned to find. After parking at each location, we would dash out of the vehicle, snap our picture, dash back, and drive off for the next location. For the locations on the Dordt campus we parked on campus and ran to the locations we had to find there, which gave us all a good after-lunch exercise.
After working ourselves up on the scavenger hunt some of us decided to sit down for some intense rounds of Dutch Blitz until dinner.
The day was capped off with a viewing of “Spotlight”, a 2015 movie that follows several Boston Globe reporters as they work on a case. It provided a good presentation of the excitement, stress, and reward of effective journalism.
It has been a good opening weekend for us at the World Journalism Institute.