Sunday, October 6, 2013

Home Sweet Home at Wheaton College

This weekend was homecoming at Wheaton College (the ninetieth homecoming, as I learned). I have attended at least some of the events at every homecoming weekend since I graduated, but this was the most enjoyable to date.

Homecoming Chapel

There were two main events that were special treats for me. The first, on Friday morning, was Homecoming Chapel. We had a time of singing (with the whole student body fully participating -- a beautiful sound like no other), recognition of the Alumnus of the Year for Distinguished Service to Alma Mater (Dave Teune '74, Director of Gift Planning Services), and then an address from Lisa Maxwell Ryken '88, the First Lady of Wheaton College. She shared her life story, tracing God's faithfulness to her and her family from her childhood, through college and her courtship with Phil Ryken, the growth of their family, their ministry at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, and finally back to Wheaton College. It was an inspiring story. The whole chapel service was a real encouragement. Please take some time to listen to Mrs. Ryken's message.

On Saturday, the highlight was the annual Conservatory Homecoming Concert. This year was an all-choir concert, featuring the Concert Choir, Men's Glee Club, and Women's Chorale. Their repertoire spanned the centuries and the cultures - from a Renaissance setting of Psalm 51 (in Latin) to classic spirituals and much in between, including one alumni composition. It was easily one of the best concerts I have ever heard. I was so blessed by the choirs' passionate, vibrant, excellent performance. That concert is not available online as of this writing, but will be soon on this page. [October 12 update: The videos are now available at that link. If reading this in the future, find the videos in reverse chronological order on October 5, 2013.]

As anyone who knows me will know, I am present at Wheaton College quite frequently, both working for the Artist Series and to see friends, but this weekend was a very special time to be there. In addition to those events I described above, I also encountered a number of fellow graduates, some I had expected to see and others who were a pleasant surprise, and had the chance to exchange stories. I am so grateful to be a part of the Wheaton family -- of my Wheaton family. It was good to be home!

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