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A group of students meets for worship every Friday at 7:30 a.m. in a grassy area in the middle of the University of Guelph campus. Sometimes huddling under a cold rain or shivering in snow showers, they’re there every week, praying and celebrating communion together.

University of Guelph students

University of Guelph students meet outside for worship and communion on Friday mornings during the school year.

“We worship outside because it’s a sacrifice,” says Jamie VanderBerg, campus pastor at the Christian Reformed Home Missions-supported campus ministry at the University of Guelph in Ontario. “There is meaning in sacrifice.”

VanderBerg has been leading the weekly 45-minute worship gathering of sleepy-eyed students for the past two years. The group normally opens with prayer and a time of praise, followed by reading a litany. VanderBerg includes litanies from different Christian traditions because the students come from a range of Christian faith backgrounds.

After the litany, there’s a chance for more prayer, followed by communion led by VanderBerg. Students then form small groups for a period of intimate prayer.

After worship, they usually go inside to have breakfast.

The Friday gathering attracts up to 35 students every week.

“We keep doing this outside because the students want to do it,” VanderBerg remarks. “Snow, rain, or sun, they really prefer it this way. Their dedication has been a wonderful blessing to the ministry.”

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