On Wednesday, Belmont marked the beginning of the 40-day season of Lent, a time of preparation for Holy Week and Easter, with an Ash Wednesday service in Neely Hall. Co-officiating at the service was the Most Reverend David R. Choby,
Bishop of Nashville. Bishop Choby was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as the first native Nashvillian to head the diocese. He attended Father Ryan High School and Aquinas College before doing graduate studies at The Catholic University of America and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Belmont’s Spiritual Emphasis Week/Emerge speaker, Dr. Sherry Mortenson, also participated in the service. Mortenson is pastor of Spiritual Formation at Whittier Area Community Church, a 4,000 member Baptist congregation in California.
Also leading the service was Rev. Dr. Todd Lake, vice president for spiritual development at Belmont. He noted, “As a Christian university, we are strengthened by marking the seasons of the Christian calendar. In just the past few years we have initiated a campus-wide Advent Devotional, national PBS broadcast of ‘Christmas at Belmont’ and an Ash Wednesday service. It is thanks to our sisters and brothers in the liturgical churches that we add these practices to our rich Baptist heritage at Belmont.”
Several hundred Belmont students participated in the Ash Wednesday service, which was covered as a major feature in The Tennessean titled “Evangelicals rediscover Ash Wednesday rituals.” Click here to read the story and view a video of the event.