Duke Chapel Student Preacher to Focus on Jesus’ Tears in April 2 Sermon

Katie Becker, the 2017 Duke Chapel student preacher.
Katie Becker, the 2017 Duke Chapel student preacher.

This year’s Duke University Chapel student preacher will be Katie Becker, a senior and psychology major from Bellevue, Washington. Becker will preach Sunday, April 2, on a passage from the Gospel of John that describes Jesus weeping with others at the death of Lazarus.

Becker’s sermon will be part of Duke Chapel’s weekly 11 a.m. worship service. The service is open to the public. It will also be broadcast live on the chapel’s website, WDNC Radio 620 AM, and channel 12 on the Duke Hospital TV system.

“Even though the sermon is focused on tears, crying, and the importance of lament, I think there’s also a lot of good news to share from this text,” said Becker, a PathWays Chapel Scholar and the moderator for Presbyterian Campus Ministry at Duke. “I’m trying to draw a connection between tears, love and new life.”

Becker’s sermon was selected by a committee led by the chapel’s director of worship and community ministry, the Rev. Bruce Puckett.

“Katie's sermon powerfully connects with both mind and heart, as she invites her listeners to know and experience the God who meets us in our joy and tears,” Puckett said.

Becker said part of the inspiration for her sermon goes back to her freshman year when she heard her friend Hannah Ward deliver that year’s student preacher sermon. That year she also took an ethics class with the chapel’s director of student ministry, Adam Hollowell, which she said shaped her understanding of faith and service -- themes that will appear in her sermon.

Currently a member of the singing group Duke Chorale and the selective living group Ubuntu, Becker plans to eventually attend law school and hopes to practice as an immigration attorney.