Grove City College’s Advent of Hope observance begins at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6 with a special virtual service from Harbison Chapel to bring the scattered College community together and faithfully celebrate the season.
Dr. Donald D. Opitz, chaplain and senior director of Christian Formation, said Chapel Ministries wanted to do something special to usher in the Christmas season.
“Just because we are learning remotely and our community is stretched far and wide does not mean that we cannot end the semester with a little celebration. The hope is that the service can provide a gathering point in a scattered season for the Grove City College community to come together to celebrate the Light of the World and our True Hope,” Opitz said.
Students completed the in-person component of the semester last week and most are now home, finishing up their classes and finals online. The shortened semester on campus was part of the College’s plan to deal with the persistent coronavirus pandemic but sent students home without experiencing traditional, semester-capping worship opportunities like the Christmas candlelight service.
The Advent of Hope service will feature an introduction from College President Paul J. McNulty ’80 and music from the Concert Choir, GCC Singers and the Gettys. Opitz will provide an Advent reflection and students, Chapel staff and faculty will offer readings and prayers. While the focus of the service is on the coming of the Savior, Opitz said there will be petitions offered for the specific student audience: “We know this comes before finals, so we will pray for finals.”
The service will be archived for later viewing, but Opitz said the main idea is to bring the College community together in real time. Livestreaming begins at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6 at www.gcc.edu/chapellive. “We’re hoping that scores of students, and their families, and perhaps even alumni might like to join us, he said.
The seasonal celebration will continue with a series of devotional videos that will be released between Monday, Dec. 7 and Christmas on Chapel Ministries’ social media channels.