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Attending Chapel, weekdays from 10:00 am until 11:00 am, is key to being an active part of the University of Valley Forge community. Each morning we gather in the Flower Chapel for worship, prayer and meditation on God's word. Chapel services are diverse and intended to help students experience spiritual growth and development. Feel free to explore this page to watch recent broadcasts and encourage family and friends to watch the daily webcasts as well. 

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55th Flag - Egypt
On April 14, 2015, the University of Valley Forge (UVF) celebrated its 55th flag addition. The flag was presented during the weekly missions chapel in honor of Ashley Blocker ’02. Blocker graduated from UVF with a major in early childhood education and is now a kindergarten teacher at an international school in Egypt.
 
Over the past few years, UVF has added a number of flags to its grand collection.  President Don Meyer, Ph.D., is always thrilled to receive a new flag. On this particular occasion, he enthusiastically read a letter Blocker had sent to the UVF body concerning her work in Egypt. She addressed the entire campus in her letter, so it was fitting to read the letter publicly.
 
After attending a mission trip with her home church in 2005, Blocker felt the Lord calling her to missions. She took the summer to pray and seek counsel from her mom about where the Lord might call her. She attended UVF with the knowledge that she would eventually go overseas, but she still had no idea where God would send her. For Blocker, it was hard to persevere with her studies without knowing all the answers, but she trusted that the plan would be revealed in time. Blocker encouraged students who may be in the same situation to go on a mission trip to see what God was doing around the world and learn how He might use them. She also spoke to those whose callings had already been revealed to them saying, “Spend this time to not only learn about your field, but also about the great God you will continue to serve.” Her wise words spoke volumes about what God had taught her. “You’ll have times of struggle,” says Blocker, “You’ll have times of fear. The foundation you build now will be what sustains you.”
 
In 2006, Blocker went on a mission trip with her cousin to Egypt. It was on this two- month trip that she sincerely heard the Lord tell her, “Here,” though she still did not know how God’s plans would unfold. In 2011, Blocker ventured to the school in Egypt where her cousin was teaching. Soon after, in 2012, Blocker applied for a position at the school and was offered the job. She has now been serving for nearly three years in Egypt and was surprised to hear that UVF did not yet have a chapel flag for Egypt. Blocker shared her heart for the nation of Egypt saying that it is “an area that so desperately needs the light of Jesus to shine.” She has had an opportunity to teach and work with a number of individuals from various nations, including Korea, Australia, Mexico, Nigeria, Brazil and England. About 70 percent of the students Blocker teaches are children of missionaries. “I am happy that the Egyptian flag will be hanging in the Flower Chapel,” says Blocker. “It is a constant reminder to pray for the nation of Egypt and the hearts being reached.”
 
Before formally presenting the flag, President Meyer inclusively addressed the students in an uplifting way. “This is a reminder for all of us that these flags represent not just church vocational ministry majors, but any of our majors that we have who are serving the kingdom of God in whatever role around the world.” The Executive Committee of the Missions Committee presented the flag on stage as Michaela Bawl, student president of the Missions Committee closed the ceremony with a powerful prayer for Blocker’s ministry in Egypt.

UVF Celebrates 55th Flag Addition April 29, 2015
Bless Dress 2015
Students at the University of Valley Forge (UVF) are always looking for ways to align themselves with the university mission to prepare individuals for a life of service and leadership in the church and in the world. One way students do this is through creating and leading events that raise awareness and support various projects to end social injustice. This semester, a number of students took a stand against human trafficking and poverty by participating in two annual student-led events.
 
The week of March 23–27 kicked off with a weeklong event known as Confidence Week. Many students, faculty and staff participated by choosing not to wear makeup or hair styling products for one week. The purpose was to encourage a sense of confidence, security and authentic beauty among UVF students. Many participating individuals purchased Confidence Week t-shirts to show their support. The proceeds from the shirts were donated to Project Rescue, an initiative to rescue women from the human trafficking industry.
 
On the evening of March 28, nearly 100 students came to Flower Chapel to participate in Bless With a Dress. This event, headed up by early childhood education major, junior Shawna Johnson, turned out to be a huge success. “It is great to know that we are making a difference by creating awareness for such a huge problem in the world,” says Johnson. “Many times we think we can’t do anything to help, but that night, we were able to create awareness, pray and ask God to shed light in those dark places.” The goal of the event was ultimately to raise awarenss about the global pandemic of human trafficking and raise funds to benefit Project Rescue.
 
Upon entry, students were charged an admittance fee of $5 and received a large brown bag to fill with clothes that had been donated from various UVF students in the months leading up to the event. A number of students were also featured as models in the annual Bless With a Dress fashion show. The show was presented in three segments held at different intervals throughout the evening. Businesses such as Panera Bread and Starbucks also supported the event by donating food for participants to enjoy while watching the fashion show and presentations.
 
In previous years, UVF’s various student-led ministries have made exquisite and sobering presentations about human trafficking that truly captured the hearts of the audience. This year, opening the night with a song of inspiration was UVF’s a capella group, Noteworthy. This was the first time that the group participated in the event. Another group, Dry Bones, performed a lyrical dance and AO1, UVF’s drama team, presented a human video. Both student ministries effectively communicated the heartbreaking realities of human trafficking through their talents in creative movement. Precious Gems, a student-led ministry with a mission to reach out to women who work at adult clubs in the surrounding community, raised awareness about what God is doing with its ministry. The night concluded with a time of prayer for those enslaved in human trafficking around the world. The Bless With a Dress event raised nearly $500 for Project Rescue.
 
A few weeks later, UVF students raised awareness for another social injustice. Night of Awareness, an annual event led by students in UVF’s Homeless Ministry, took place on April 16. This event lends a helping hand to the homeless, organizes prayer for opportunities and restoration. UVF students partnered with Good Samaritan Shelter, a Phoenixville ministry that provides shelter and food to homeless men, to make care packages filled with personal care items like soap, toothbrushes and socks. The group also inserted “Carenotes” with a message to encourage and spread the word about Good Samaritan Shelter to the individuals who would receive the packages. 

Men who had previously been homeless and found help through Good Samaritan Shelter shared testimonies throughout the night, helping listeners to understand how to reach out to those in need on the streets. The evening closed with a candlelight vigil and intercessory prayer for any spiritual or physical needs the homeless in surrounding communities might have. After the event, participants were encouraged to sleep outside in cardboard boxes in order to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless. 
 
"The goal of sharing the Gospel is to act as Jesus would", said pastoral ministries major and sophomore Zach Thorp. Thorp assisted Zac Way, a junior majoring in pastoral counseling, in organizing Night of Awareness.

Events Raise Awareness of Social Injustice April 29, 2015
Captiv8
On March 26, the University of Valley Forge (UVF) hosted its annual film festival, Captiv8, for the third consecutive year. Captiv8 proposes a complicated challenge: to create a quality short film in just 48 hours. Hundreds filled Krempels Theater to view the films produced, directed and edited by students in this limited amount of time. To ensure that each team had only 48 hours to work on its film, the teams were given three requirements to incorporate into the film two days before the deadline for submission. This year's requirements called for each film to contain a slingshot, a character as a teacher and the line, "Your life will never be the same."

The experience is known to be grueling and demanding. With only two days to work, the teams utilize every available minute to script, shoot and edit the film. The students walk into the festival with developed films and a sense of accomplishment. In the short 48-hour period, they work as members of a production team and experienc a true professional setting where each member of the film project uses his or her skills. Long hours and almost no sleep may appear to be a high price, but to many students the hard work is well worth it, especially when it yields a quality product and a valuable learning experience.  

For the first time, the films presented during the festival represented the work of only UVF students, whereas during the past two years other institutions participated. Additionally, the first faculty/staff short film was submitted. Furthermore, two new award categories, Most Captivating Newcomer and Most Captivating Performance, were added to this year's film festival. Four student films and one faculty/staff film were presented during the award ceremony.

The following films won under these "Most Captivating" categories:
Screenplay - Nico Giampietro/"Geyser"
Editing - Zach Harvey/"Before Tomorrow"
Cinematography - Ethan Holmes/"Before Tomorrow"
Sound Design - Roger Erdvig/"Before Tomorrow"
Production Design - Erin O'Shea and Samantha Gendi/"Before Tomorrow"
Director - Tim Jackson/"Before Tomorrow"
Performance - Bryn Harvey/"Before Tomorrow"
Newcomer - "Humor Me"
Short Film - "Before Tomorrow"

The film "Before Tomorrow," was the evening's biggest winner, taking home seven awards. Sophomore Nick DePasquale, who was part of the film's crew, explained the premise saying, "'Before Tomorrow' follows Rachel Bennett, a mother who breaks away from the normalcy of her life while her son remains on life support in the hospital. It centers around the inner conflict of Rachel's mind, as she struggles to find solace in a restless place, as well as the outward struggle of finding a way back into the real world."

The film festival more than demonstrated the abilities and talents behind the student body at the university. DePasquale added, "Personally, I can say without a doubt that being surrounded by people who each have their own niche, their own talents, their own ability has enabled me to see an entirely new perspective on even the most arbitrary of tasks on a film set."

Captiv8 Film Festival 2015 April 29, 2015
And Then There Were None
Curtain Call, the University of Valley Forge (UVF) student drama organization, once again captivated its audience with an outstanding performance. Due to the intensity of the show and its engagement with the audience, this play was unlike any other play in Curtain Call’s history of playbills. The two-act play, "And Then There Were None," is an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s mystery novel. All of the actors successfully fulfilled their roles as strangers connected by a special invitation to dinner. As each character mysteriously died off, the suspense grew to a tangible degree throughout the auditorium. Indeed, the actors charmed their audience by exhibiting a strong devotion to their characters’ roles. The surprise ending left each spectator in awe of the actor's ability to draw out their suspicions and build anticipation.
 
Randy Stegner '15 directed the play along with assistant director Theresa Sanchez '15 and advising the show was UVF faculty member, Dick Gruber, Ph.D. Loren Metallo '15, who participated in her last of seven Curtain Call productions, three of which she directed. “It has always been said that this stage is an altar,” says Metallo, “It’s a place for God to stretch us and move us, and oh how true that is.”  Metallo fulfilled her role as Vera Claythorne, enchanting the audience with a dramatic performance in a closing scene with newcomer, sophomore Danielle Debley who played the role of Wargrave, a surprising and thrilling character. The two actresses had a great experience with theater at an early age and could not resist from pursuing their passion for acting when they heard about UVF’s prized Curtain Call.
 
Agreeing with Metallo’s statement, Christopher McNaney '15 — who like Sanchez, has been involved with the school’s productions since their freshman year — says, “Because of my experience with Curtain Call, I can continue to act wherever the future takes me, and I can make that stage an altar as well.” Having much to say about their great experiences with Curtain Call, the actors proclaim they will carry all they have learned as members of Curtain Call with them after they graduate.
 
The opening night of "And Then There Were None" was particularly special for McNaney as he proposed that evening to his now fiancée,  junior Samantha Burchell. After the performance, Burchell was escorted to the stage as the crowd, filled with friends and loved ones of the couple, erupted from their seats with joyous applause when she said yes! 
 
Curtain Call is a university-approved student organization that was created in 2003 by a group of students who each recognized the institution’s need for theater arts. Twelve years later, like-minded students shine on stage as they minister to the Phoenixville community with spectacular shows. The organization continues to fulfill its purpose to “impact the campus and community for God’s glory through both secular and Christian theater.”  

And Then There Were NoneDirector: Randy StegnerAssistant Director: Theresa Sanchez

Posted by University of Valley Forge on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Curtain Call Delivers a Memorable Performance April 29, 2015