January 19, 2014 - January 25, 2014
Praxis 2014 will begin Monday, Jan. 20 and continue through Friday, Jan. 24 with special times of prayer, chapel lectures and workshops. Praxis, which means reflection aimed toward action, is an annual weeklong event. This year’s theme is Solitude and Community. Dean of the Chapel, Michael Jordan, explains, “In Houghton, we’ve got plenty of each: lots of space to be alone, more than an acre per student; but also lots of time to be together, so much so that we sometimes feel we can’t escape each other. This year’s Praxis theme is designed to help us think about how to be joyful and whole Christians whether we’re alone or together.”
Each day will begin with corporate liturgical prayer in the Marjorie Paine Prayer Chapel (in the basement of Wesley Chapel) at 8 a.m. and will end with the same at 4:45 p.m. While these prayer times happen daily throughout the semester, Praxis week will utilize special prayer texts Dean Jordan wrote and adapted for this week.
Three chapel speakers will present Monday, Wednesday and Friday, respectively, at 11:30 a.m. in Wesley Chapel. Houghton’s own Dr. Jon Case Monday; Dr. Marvin McMickle, president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School Wednesday; and Naomi Wenger (’83), who runs a Mennonite retreat center in Michigan with her husband David, Friday. Each will be available after chapel for lunch in the Alumni Dining Room located on the upper level of the Reinhold Campus Center.
Workshops will be offered Tuesday and Thursday at 11 a.m. Tuesday’s sessions will be on solitude, featuring: Dr. Mike Walters with a session on how solitude can change our hearts; and local spiritual director Jeanie Little offering a session on how to incorporate solitude into our lives. Thursday’s sessions will look at two examples of community: the friars from Mount Irenaeus of West Clarksville, N.Y. will be sharing with us about their lives together; and Margaret Wenger and Chuck Massey will talk about Wesley Service Corps’ work in Buffalo, N.Y., which is its own unique community of workers and those they serve.
Several evening events are also planned. Tuesday evening, Coach Matt Dougherty and Dr. Tom Kettelkamp will lead an evening outdoor contemplative prayer walk. Thursday evening, a progressive dinner will be offered in the residence halls. Houghton alumni will share about what residence life was like at Houghton when they were students. Seating for Thursday’s event is limited, so students should sign up at the table on the main level of the Campus Center as soon as possible.
Dean Jordan notes, “Solitude and community can be great gifts—but they can very easily become burdens. Solitude can turn to loneliness, and community can become invasive and full of petty dramas. This week can help you to reclaim both solitude and community as good things, gifts of God for our flourishing. Join us!” The public is invited to participate in any of the events of the week except the Thursday progressive dinner, which is offered to students only. For the full schedule of events with details, please visit www.houghton.edu/praxis.