Asbury Seminary’s Sabbath Experience Year A Success

Watch a short video about the Asbury Sabbath Experience

Asbury Theological Seminary just wrapped up its year-long Sabbath Experience. The seminary community deemed it a resounding success.

The year included a variety of facets:

    • September 2014– 24/6 books were distributed to the seminary community at the beginning of the semester. The books were the “all-school book selection title” for the academic year.
    • January 2015- The seminary promoting “Asbury Sabbath Experience” across all media platforms including emails, social media, hall signs, and signs in bathrooms. They encouraged the campus community to register for a Sabbath community group.
    • Ash Wednesday (February) 2015- The seminary launched the Asbury Sabbath Experience in Wednesday Chapel service.
    • Wednesdays during Lent- Each Wednesday Chapel service during Lent featured a different person preaching on Sabbath at Asbury’s Chapel. Many of these services also included Sabbath liturgy.
    • Ash Wednesday through Pentecost Sunday 2015- Sabbath Community Groups met for 14 weeks. These groups of students, staff, faculty, spouses, administrators, and community members all gathered weekly in members’ homes. Most of the meetings centered on a meal. Hosts were given a $20 gift card each week, which they could use to purchase the entrée. Each group attendee was responsible for bringing a side dish to share. Groups also played with their children, played board games, and took walks during the Sabbath community group meeting time. These groups were organic feeling, and they didn’t include any kind of programming. Most groups consisted of 8-15 participants, depending on if members brought children or not.

I have kept Sabbath regularly since coming here 2.5 years ago, but I had never considered practicing Sabbath keeping in the context of community. It has really helped enhance my Sabbath experience to be formed in relationship with others, and it has filled a need in me for fellowship with a colleague and friend without being expected to be a minister/mentor to the person/people I am with. That is not to say that we don’t minister to each other. That is simply to say that ministering runs both ways during this time, and I don’t feel the pressure of being the one in a role of mentor or minister. That, for me, was refreshing and renewing to spend time with someone who is on level ground and doesn’t “need” me in a way that doesn’t reciprocate. – Asbury Community Member

During the Asbury Sabbath Experience of Spring 2015, there were weekly Wednesday Sabbath sermons during the Chapel service.

Watch several of them here:

Dr. Steven Seamands- Rest for your Souls

Dr. Christine Pohl- More than Enough

Rev. Jessica LaGrone- Sabbath Rhythm

Dr. Ellsworth Kalas- The Other Six Days

Several of the Asbury community shared their Sabbath experiences:

David Bauer, Dean, School of Biblical Interpretation, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY

Marilyn Elliott, Vice President of Community Formation, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY

Karen Foldy, Administrative Assistant, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY

Jo Lew, Masters Student, Asbury Theological Seminary

Jessica LaGrone, Author and Dean of Chapel, Asbury Theological Seminary