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Student Takes to the Duke Chapel Pulpit
Editor's Note: This is one in a series of Duke Today Podcasts about life at Duke University broadcast during men's basketball games this season.
Durham, NC - Delivering a sermon in Duke University Chapel would be an honor for any preacher. After all, it has the largest congregation of any university church in the United States.
For a Duke undergraduate, preaching in the chapel is even more special.
Katie Douglas, a senior from Statesville, was recently named as Duke's Student Preacher for 2011. On Sunday, March 27, she'll deliver her sermon to the chapel congregation, which will include family, friends and members of her home church.
The selection process began early in spring semester. Douglas was chosen by a committee from Duke Chapel and Pathways Student Ministry, a program that provides fellowship and support for students exploring spiritual vocation.
"My campus minister, Jenny Copeland, recommended that I think about doing it," Douglas said. "Since I'm a senior, it's my last opportunity. I thought it would be a wonderful way to engage the scriptures and try to synthesize something that reflects how I view my faith."
The Old Testament text for her sermon comes from the Book of Exodus, in which Moses leads his people through the desert.
"When I read this text, I get this beautiful imagery of nature, the desert, the rocks and water," she says. "It's theology written in a way that a non-theologian like me can understand."
These passages especially resonate with Douglas because of her academic background. She'll graduate in May with a double major in environmental sciences and earth and ocean science.
Her New Testament text is from the Gospel of John, the account of Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well. For Douglas, it's about finding Christ in unexpected places, talking to unexpected people.
The community is invited to join the Chapel congregation for Student Preacher Sunday, March 27, at 11 a.m. in Duke Chapel. The service will be carried live on the Duke Chapel web site and locally on WDNC radio, AM 620.
"I'll probably be a nervous wreck as the time gets closer," Douglas says. "Right now, I'm just very excited."
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