Sunday Service Continues To Offer Spiritual Wellness for Black Students
On Sunday, February 26, 2023 the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education (ODIME) in partnership and collaboration with Mount Olive Pentecostal Church hosted a new program called, “Sunday Service” to promote spiritual wellness for Black students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).
The Dean of the Business School, Rev. Dr. Debora Jackson opened the program with a meditation exposing on the season of Lent. Program participants shared in reflection, music, concluding in a sermon delivered by Mount Olive Pentecostal Church Pastor Rev. Dr. Esau Vance drawing attention to the labor of the body as well as honoring the spiritual practice of rest.
As one of the many programs offered during WPI's celebration of Black History Month, “Sunday Service” reminded students the body brings together multiple identities, one of those being black identity which deserves celebration and wellness. Studies show that African American pastors have statistically significant influence on help seeking beliefs and spiritual coping in black communities. Pastor Esau Vance, along with the Mount Olive congregation, welcomed WPI students for time to rest, refresh, and enjoy light refreshments for fellowship after the service.
We are happy that this partnership will provide students access to community members who are concerned with their spiritual wellbeing. Mount Olive Pentecostal Church is a close neighbor to WPI, and intergenerational sharing with Mount Olive existed before me, and will outlive my tenure. We are grateful for their hospitality and prayers.
-Kalvin Cummings (He/Him), Assistant Director for Religion and Spiritual Life
Learn More About Worcester Houses of Worship and Community Faith Leaders
The Collegiate Religious Center (CRC) provides a space to WPI students, faculty, staff, and community members for the purpose of religious exploration, devotions, worship, prayer, education, administration, and fellowship. Our team of Campus Chaplains serve as spiritual advisors for students, and can offer support and guidance irrespective of students' primary religious traditions. As spiritual advisors to the WPI community, Campus Chaplains counteract the inequality of varied expression(s) of religion, spirituality, and any form of meaning-making practice and support student meaning-making expression to tend with systems of oppression as well as any other stressors. This center includes several reservable spaces to suit both spiritual and non-spiritual needs, including a Multifaith Meeting Space, Islamic Prayer Room, and Multifaith Worship Space.
The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education (ODIME) promotes and oversees all student facing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) learning experiences, programs, services, trainings, and initiatives for WPI.