Concordia University's Haven ministry is picking up where it left off last March—praising Jesus with prayer and music during contemporary chapel services on Wednesday mornings and its usual gatherings on Sunday evenings.

This Sunday will be the first week of Haven with one of the newly formed bands of the semester performing. Students have been auditioning for a spot within one of the four ensembles for the past two weeks, and the final decisions for line-ups were announced last Friday.

The Haven is CUW’s contemporary praise ministry where undergraduates meet every Sunday at 4 p.m. for refreshing encouragement in their faith. Each week one of the Haven bands performs, a faculty or staff member delivers a message, and there’s an opportunity for reflective prayer.

In preparation for the new faces that will be gracing the Chapel Courtyard this Sunday, here is a Q & A with your 2020-21 Haven leaders!

Band leaders: Sarah and Gabrielle

Band members: Becca, Ryan, Katie, Joshua, Joe

Q: What has been your most moving experience during Haven/leading worship?

A: Sometimes the instruments will cut out and we will do a chorus or bridge of just voices. It is so beautiful knowing that everyone is lifting their voice in praise together. It’s powerful to just close our eyes and listen as people belt out the lyrics.

Q: What is your favorite lyric in a praise song?

A: “Like Jesus in the garden, You don’t call where you won’t lead. I wanna love like you love, I wanna bleed like you bleed.” -I Don’t Wanna Go, Chris Renzema

Q: Why did you initially join Haven?

A: I initially joined Haven for the community. I clearly remember Pastor Doug saying, “Welcome to Haven, welcome home,” on the first night my freshman year, and that was when I knew I had to be a part of this. I wanted that contemporary Christian family, and I found that in Haven! -Gabrielle 

Q: What would you say to people who are hesitant to come to Haven for the first time?

A: Just give it a try! Everyone here is happy to see new faces!  We are praying that Haven can be a place where you can connect with Christ, feel encouraged, and find community. -Sarah

Band leaders: Garrett and Rhyanna

Band members: AJ, Hank, Ruth, Macee, Katrina

Q: Who is your favorite Christian artist?

A: Shane & Shane, because they capture what the Bible says in their music in a really direct way.

Q: What is your favorite lyric in a praise song?

A: “My heart has been in your sights long before my first breath. Running into your arms is running from life to death.” -Run to the Father, Cody Carnes

Q: What is your favorite part of Haven?

A: It is a dedicated time of prayer and praise in a comfortable setting with my friends. It is so nice to take time out of a busy Sunday to slow down and focus on God. It’s really cool to meet all the musicians and praise Jesus together. -Garrett

Q: What would you say to people who are hesitant to come to Haven for the first time?

A: I was once hesitant to come to Haven and now I am a leader! When I first experienced Haven I immediately felt like I was welcomed and felt the presence of the Holy Spirit during the night of prayer and praise. I went with a friend one night not expecting to come back, and now I wouldn’t miss it for the world! -Rhyanna

Band leaders: Zach and Grace

Band members: Leah, Aloria, Katy, Emily, Olivia

Q: What has been your most moving experience during Haven?

A: For us the most moving part of Haven would definitely be hearing everyone joining together in unity to sing praises to the Lord.

Q: What is your favorite lyric in a worship song?

A: We did a song in leader band  together titled You’re the Only One, and it says over and over, “You’re the only one that fills me up,” and we just think that is an awesome reminder to remember ultimately where our hope and strength comes from.

Q: What would you say to people who are hesitant to come to Haven for the first time?

A: I would say that even if you don’t feel like coming to Haven or you have a lot of homework, it will be 100% worth your time. The music, message, and fellowship is a perfect way to start the week. -Grace

Q: What is your favorite thing about Haven? 

A: My absolute favorite thing about Haven is the community that is centered in praising Christ. I love being a Haven leader because I am able to help create that community and just be a vessel for Christ’s love. -Zach

Band leaders: Hannah and Luke

Band members: Bennett, Mason, Lily Kate, Morgan, Lyle, Marla

Q: What is your favorite lyric in a praise song?

A: “Just ask the stone that was rolled at the tomb in the garden what happens when God says to move.” -Rattle, Elevation Worship

Q: Who is your favorite Christian artist and why?

A: I Am They because they are joyful and folky and have a unique sound from most Christian bands.

Q: Why did you initially join Haven?

A: When I first came to CUW, I became extremely overwhelmed within the first weekend. On Sunday I went to Haven. Within the first minute or so, Pastor Doug stood up in front of us and said, “Welcome to Haven, welcome home.” In that moment I knew that I needed to be a part of whatever this was. I found my home. -Luke

Q: What is your favorite thing about Haven?

A: My favorite part about Haven is being able to gather in a community with fellow believers where we can praise the God who has blessed us all with so much. It’s such a refreashing way to start off each week and a great reminder to set my focus on Jesus throughout the week. One thing that I love about being a Haven band leader is getting to see all of the gifts that God has given each band member and to see each of them use those talents to praise God. -Hannah

— Madelyne Arrigoni is a senior studying English, Mass Communications, and Photography. She plans to graduate in 2022.

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