Evangeline Dai

February 25, 2021

-Lenten Devotions

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Transcription of Video Below:


Que todo lo que soy, alabe al señor

Con mi corazón

De tu grande amor, cantaré

Tu nombre alabaré

Y en ese día cuando ya no tenga fuerza | Y se acerque tu gloria | Mi alma cantará de tu amor sin final | Diez mil años y para siempre más If you are a Christian or have been around Christians, you may have heard this song before. It is popular, and has been translated into different languages. But do you know where the lyrics were inspired from? The first line of thing song reminds me of Psalm 103.


Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul

worship God’s holy name 

Sing like never before O my soul

I’ll worship your holy name

[Taiwanese]日頭出來  全新一工臨到擱是向你唱歌啲時準無論會怎樣  有什麼阻擋在頭前當日頭落山我猶原唱歌 Today, I am reflecting on Psalm 103:1-6, “Thanksgiving for God’s Goodness Of David.” Do you know Christians share Psalms with the Jewish tradition and Islamic tradition? Sometimes we divide people into different categories by our own understandings, and we do not see we have more in common than we thought.

我啲心 我啲靈


用全心來唱歌 我心靈


[Chinese Mandarin]慈爱丰盛 祢不轻易发怒祢名宏伟 祢心和善我愿为祢恩典 歌颂赞美直到永远一万个理由让我心向祢 In the song, we praise God. As God forgives us our iniquities, there is no more guilt and shame; we become a new person, being faithful to God, and loving others.

我的灵 我的灵


从未如此用心 我的灵


[Japanese]よわって たてなくなりおわりが せまるころまだわたしは うたうだろうえいえんに やまぬ さんびを God heals. In the COVID-19 pandemic, we pray for healing more than we ever did. When the entire world is suffering through the disease, we asked God, “where are you?”God is loving and merciful, even when we have doubts.

しゅをたたえよ たましいよ


こころ  すべて ささげ さんびします

[English] And on that dayWhen my strength is failingThe end draws near

And my time has come

Still my soul will

Sing Your praise unending

Ten thousand years

And then forevermore


God wants us to be well. God wants us to have dignity.God wants us to work for justice for all who are oppressed.

Who are the oppressed?

Are you one of them? 

Or are you the oppressor that you don’t even know?

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.

Psalm 103: 1-6


Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul

worship God’s holy name 

Sing like never before O my soul

I’ll worship your holy name

 Let us pray.

Loving and merciful God, strengthen us and renew us, so we will be able to work justice for the oppressed. Lead and guide us to repent our sins, and transform our hearts. May we give as we are able to give. May we love one another as we are eager to be loved. May we remember your bountiful providence, and give you thanks. May we praise your holy name, forever and ever. Amen.

- Evangeline Dai (She/Her/Hers)
Aka: Yu-Jen Dai 戴佑真
MDiv ’22, PLTS of Cal Lutheran
Candidate of Word and Sacrament Ministry, TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod ELCA

Univ Chapel 202021 theme (2)

Brenda Bos

February 24, 2021

Lenten Devotions

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- Rev. Brenda Bos
MDiv ’13, PLTS of Cal Lutheran
Assistant to the Bishop for Southwest California Synod

Brenda Bos is the Assistant to the Bishop for Rostered Leadership in the Southwest California Synod. A lot of words to say she cares for pastors, deacons, and congregations. She remembers the COVID shutdown started in the 3rd week of Lent and we’ve been in it ever since. What wisdom do we bring to THIS Lent?

Univ Chapel 202021 theme (2)

Caeli Koizumi

February 23, 2021

Lenten Devotions

A love letter to my fellow artists who were told you’re not good enough

If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.

Isaiah 58: 10-11

“You’re too short.” “You don’t have good feet.” “Your technique is messy.” “You have too much technique.” “You could stand to lose a few pounds.” “Are you even trying?”

Those words haunt me every day. Even though I stopped dancing three years ago, I haven’t forgotten them. Did they say that to you too?

I tell people that I stopped dancing because I burned out, my body couldn’t take it anymore. The truth is, my heart couldn’t take it. I remember the breaking pointe (ha, get it?) very clearly.

It was senior year, I was a month away from graduating with my BA in dance. In my senior Jazz class, every time we had a guest teacher we would stand in a line and receive feedback. Sometimes it was positive, most of the time it wasn’t. I remember one class, I was singled out. And I stood there, mortified and humiliated in front of all of my peers. The class ended. I trudged home, sobbing and alone. That’s the thing about the cutthroat nature of this community. You can only succeed if you’re better than the person next to you. Feeling bad or checking in on someone else isn’t an option because you’re so worried about keeping your own head up.

So, I gathered up all the tears, heartbreak, and trauma, and I quit. I graduated with my degree. But, I haven’t taken a dance class since.

Did they ever tell you that you’re not cut out for it anyway? That’s what they told me. And they’re right. I’m not. But they still don’t have the right to treat me, treat any of us, that way.

To the artists that are still out there fighting through auditions and clawing their way into open calls – I respect you and I hope that you get what you want.

To the artists whose crushed spirits brought on tears so intense they made your false eyelashes fall off – I am so sorry they did that to you, you didn’t deserve it.

To the artists that let their craft go because the pain was too much – I do not blame you and I do not think you are less because of it. I hope one day you can return to it and remember why it brought you so much joy.

To all the artists – You were never not good enough. You are good. And that’s enough.

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- Caeli Koizumi, GPSC Vice Chair and Executive Assistant for Mission and Identity

Inger Smuts

February 22, 2021

Lenten Devotions

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

Isaiah 40: 28

As a German student, I am fascinated with words and the way we can use language to seek comfort and put meaning to our experience. Like many foreign languages, German has the ability to put to words a feeling that can’t easily be expressed in English. One German word that I have leaned on this year is Weltschmerz (n). a feeling of melancholy and world-weariness.

Being weary of the world. Isn’t that something we’ve all felt? A moment in which it is too exhausting to think about the reality of the world? The fatigue we feel when doom-scrolling on social media only to see more bad news? Impatience, dissatisfaction, and a longing for something better? All of these phrases seem to easily describe this past year. Weltschmerz has proved helpful to me during a time where it seems like words are all we have. While words have strength, it can be hard for us to sit idly by and not take action. When Weltschmerz overwhelms us, it can be hard to have faith and to continue. During this Lent, I encourage you to acknowledge your own feeling of Weltschmerz, while also knowing that we have a God who will never grow weary, and a God who will carry us through this weariness to a time of light.

A prayer for your Lent: I know this world can be a little much at times, and wears you down as it clouds your mind, but even here, you are free to let go of those things, and merely be. You do not have to sort through everything. You are free to let go and trust in this space. You are free to believe: even after a thousand nights that all felt the same, mercy is still on the horizon and it will bring a new day.       - Morgan Harper Nichols

- Inger Smuts ’21, Cal Lutheran Student

Univ Chapel 202021 theme (2)


Scott Maxwell-Doherty

February 18, 2021

Lenten Devotions

A Psalm of David

In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. I trust in you. Don’t let me be put to shame. Don’t let my enemies win the battle over me. Those who put their hope in you will never be put to shame. But those who lie to other people for no reason will be put to shame. Lord, show me your ways. Teach me how to follow you. Guide me in your truth. Teach me. You are God my Savior. I put my hope in you all day long. Lord, remember your great mercy and love. You have shown them to your people for a long time. Don’t remember the sins I committed when I was young. Don’t remember how often I refused to obey you. Remember me because you love me. Lord, you are good.

Psalm 25: 1-7

Usher, escort, concierge.

In almost every aspect of my life I have always felt more competent and confident when I am ushered, escorted, or led by the presence of a concierge. Anxiety decreases. Patience increases. 

I remember as a child attending, for the first time, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  I cannot tell you what show we attended. I cannot tell you where I sat. I cannot tell you what I wore.

BUT…I can tell you that when our family entered the theater and an usher greeted us warmly and asked to see our tickets and they would be honored to escort us to our seats for the performance.

As if we were special. As if we were worthy. As if we were honored guests.

The posture and poise of the usher made me feel different. I stood up straighter. I wasn’t my awkward self. Here was someone who thought our family was special enough to lead us to our seats so that we would not wonder or wander.

In the moment I didn’t even think random thoughts like; did everyone receive this treatment…did we look like we needed assistance…did someone call ahead and ask the Dorothy Chandler Theater to treat us special…or was it because my Mom’s name was also Dorothy?

Nope. What ran through my body was this, we are being escorted to our seats, how very special was this!

I believe this to be the sentiment expressed in Psalm 25.

I believe I am being led by God, in whom I place my trust, whose voice I listen for, whose path I will follow.

I believe in an almighty God, whose presence changes the trajectory of my everyday life.

- Rev. Scott Maxwell-Doherty ’76, MDiv ’81, University Pastor

Univ Chapel 202021 theme (2)


Desta Goehner

February 17, 2021

Lenten Devotions

Be transformed!

Therefore, I urge you, siblings, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—God’s good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12: 1-2




  1. a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.
    “its landscape has undergone a radical transformation”
  2. a metamorphosis during the life cycle of an animal.


A caterpillar changing into a butterfly is an impressive process. A simple egg hatches into a caterpillar and, eventually, becomes a beautiful butterfly. The caterpillar eats and sheds its skin as it continues to grow and creates an outer casing (called a pupa) that allows the caterpillar to transform into a butterfly.

Our theme for this year’s Lenten series is: Power. Privilege. Presence.

The process of transformation is “a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance”. In transformation, others may not recognize us. Would you recognize the caterpillar when you gaze upon the butterfly?  I believe that is what this Scripture/Sacred text is telling us. We are unrecognizable with the renewing of our mind, and that’s the goal.

As part of my commitment to transformation, I ask myself the following questions on a regular basis. Maybe some of these questions can accompany you in your journey. I would love to know how you might engage with some of these questions and reflections.


Recognize power. Who carries it and where and how do they use it? Most often power is ‘power over’ instead of ‘power with’. I am working at releasing my grip on power because I see the harm it can do to myself and others. I need others to hold me accountable in this work. I can’t do it alone.

Where do I hold power?

How do I use my power?

When I use my power, is it power over others? When, how and why does this happen?

Who am I building power with?


I benefit from privilege. Most of my education has been shaped by books, movies, TV shows, politicians, celebrities, history, and more that has been written and created by people who look just like me. It feels very comfortable. Until it’s not.

When I center the voices, experiences and stories of Indigenous, Black, Latinx, Asian and multiracial people in my learning through books, podcasts, music, social media, movies, and tv shows, I learn a different narrative. This learning causes me to question what I have learned. This renews my mind.

Racism, oppression, and white Christian supremacy are at play in systems, policies, the Church, and institutions. I am trying to recognize how white Christian supremacy lives in my body, mind, spirit, and Church. I am trying to release these ‘patterns of the world’ (systems of oppression) that hold me and others down so that I may ‘discern what is the will of God’. This is hard work. We will mess up. We will continue to get it wrong. And we have to keep at this work because our faith calls us to it.

What privileges do we receive?

Which are unearned assets?

Which privileges did we earn?

Where and when do we access those privileges?

Who might be harmed when we access our privileges?


Presence matters. I learned this in my Spiritual Direction training and through organizing and anti-racism training. How I show up makes a difference. With the deep work of self reflection – action – self reflection, I am able to show up more authentically.

How do others experience me?

What kind of space do I take up?

What kind of presence do I want to have?

How do I carry the presence of God with me?

Where and when do I feel connected to God? Where and when do I feel disconnected to God?


Power. Privilege. Presence. Committing to sustained work around all three of these matters. Transformation is an ongoing process.

Immediately after a butterfly emerges from its pupa, it still needs time to grow. To strengthen its wings. Eventually, that butterfly grows strong and gracefully takes flight.

After I do the work of shedding the patterns of this world, I emerge and strengthen my wings to fly. Pretty quickly, I find another layer that I need to shed and my transformation process begins again. I won’t ever be finished with this process. I am committed to it for the rest of my life.

What might your transformation look like this lent?

What is your pupa? What do you need to eat, sit with, and shed?

Who will greet you when you are ready to emerge with your new self?

Who will celebrate your transformed self?

Who and what may you need to release in your transformation?

Who will wish you stayed a caterpillar?

Who doesn’t want to see your transformation into a beautiful butterfly? Why?

What are we (and others) missing out on when we don’t fully transform into what we could be?

butterfly Wherever you find yourself in this journey of transformation, letting go of the patterns of this world, and the renewing of your mind, may you lean into it, not wait too long to emerge and find others who will support your growth as your wings strengthen and you take flight. Your beautiful wings await you. We can do hard things. You are not alone.

God, Give us good courage to take a long and loving look at ourselves to recognize the ways you call us into transformation. May we recognize how we conform to the patterns of this world. Help us break free from those chains of oppression. May we release what is causing us and others harm, even when we may not know it. May we recognize ourselves as your beloved children. Give us strength to trust the process and lean into our ‘pupa’. Thank you that you are there accompanying us and that we don’t have to transform on our own. 

May it be so. Amen.

*You are welcome to share this on social media. If you do, please use #CLUconnect. 

- Desta (Ronning ’96) Goehner, Director of Congregational Relations

Univ Chapel 202021 theme (2)