IMG_2658

Don Opitz speaks to first-year students and parents during Messiah’s Welcome Week candlelight service.

Photo by The Pulse

By Olivia La Bianca
Student Writer

This summer, Messiah College welcomed Donald Opitz to the Ministries Team as the new campus pastor.

Opitz is no stranger to campus life. He spent twenty years at Geneva College as a professor in sociology and higher education, and was employed as a Residence Hall Director while he finished seminary work at Gordon. He also worked for the Coalition of Christian Outreach, engaging in campus ministry through pastoring and training others.

“From my early years in campus ministry, I’ve had a love of college students and ministry work and the Lord Jesus, and feeling at the same time a calling to the academy end of the church,” Opitz said. “I always thought that I would enjoy being a college chaplain.”

Opitz smiled when asked about how he came to hear about Messiah College’s open chaplaincy position.

“I’d gotten to know a lot about Messiah College,” he said. “I started a grad program in higher education, which was taught by guest Messiah faculty, and Dean Curry had me coming out to speak with Honors students each September for the last seven or eight years. I already had familiarity with Messiah College campus and culture, and had interaction with a number of faculty and staff, and just loved the place.

“About a year ago, my wife Christine said that we should make this the year that I kept my head up and my eyes open, looking for new possibilities. That same year, chaplaincy positions in Gordon, Wentworth, and Messiah opened up.” He said the choice was difficult, but as he applied to Messiah, every step of the way seemed more right.

The transition has also been good. While leaving Geneva after such a long tenure was hard, Opitz said he has been overwhelmed by Messiah’s hospitality. “People have been overwhelmingly beyond kind and helpful, out of their way generous and gracious. It’s a beautiful place that seems so full of hospitality and grace. I have been sleepless with gratitude.”

When asked about the fact that people are wondering how well he will fill Eldon Fry’s shoes, Opitz said he is not even going to try.

“There is no way I could fill those shoes, and I wouldn’t want to dishonor his many years of work here by even trying,” Opitz said. “He is a different person than I am, with different gifts, and he has left a deep mark. I want to celebrate what Eldon has been to the campus with everyone else. It’s a beautiful thing. There are things I can learn from what Eldon did, and I’ll have to figure out what it means for me to activate my own gifts and visions in this place.”

What do those gifts and visions entail for the campus? Opitz said he loves strategy work, but he does not want to come off too strong.

“I was not brought in specifically to change things,” he said. “I’m taking my time. I’m not going to lead with any kind of big vision or reform agenda. I certainly am not coming in thinking I know what’s best for a place like this. I’m soaking it in, trying to learn what this place is really like, what do the people here think its strengths, graces, and needs are.”

However, Opitz is excited about a few projects that personally inspire him. One is the Chapel Task Force, which will be dedicated to conversations about how to improve and alter chapels.

“We’ll be trying to tap all different sources of input and perspectives,” he said. We know that we’ve got a challenge with a growing student body with the limited size of the venues we have. How do we best fit in everything we need to do? How are the various kinds of alternative chapels working? What are the outcomes that really come from that kind of community time together in worship and learning?”

Opitz says another part of the challenge is “caring for the distraught and the overwhelmed, the addicted, those who have been oppressed by different things.”

“I know there is going to be some justice advocacy and pastoral care issues. I know that my heart will be broken by the pain that many people experience while they are here at Messiah. That’s part of this role too – being willing to stand for the people who are suffering and to somehow share that suffering.”

Don offered a closing message to the student body in line with a special goal in mind.

“You know where my office is – right here under the steeple – and the door is always open. My job allows me this: to be here for you, always a listening ear. Welcome any time.”

 

Some Fun Trivia About Don

· He is a semi-retired basketball player. He also likes to golf, but is not very good.
· After being adopted by three Messiah grads a few years ago, he is now an avid trout fisherman and is enjoying access to the Breeches.
· He considers himself a late-to-the-game environmentalist and loves trees and having some “alone time with nature”.
· He loves movies, especially the classics like Lawrence of Arabia. Recently, though, he’s enjoyed Boyhood and Guardians of the Galaxy.

25 Responses to “Heads up, eyes open: Don Opitz arrives as new campus pastor” Subscribe

  1. does mi40 work October 1, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to yopur
    webpage? My blog is in the exact same area of interest
    as yours and my users would truly benefit from some of the information you present
    here. Please let me know if this okay with you.
    Thanks a lot!

  2. predominantly October 8, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

    chromium use

  3. hdtv antenna vancouver canada October 9, 2014 at 11:57 pm #

    Whether it is within your house or outside, you might be
    assured of your clear reception, especially with HDTV signals.
    Note: This antenna is expected to work nicely with UHF frequencies, and also you can’t expect it capture the weakest
    VHF channels for sure. High gain hdtv antenna If you wish to
    enjoy a top quality picture and sound when watching TV, then you should have a quality digital antenna and several
    accessories. Note: This antenna is expected to are very effective with UHF frequencies,
    and you also can’t expect it to hook the weakest VHF channels for sure.

    If you might be thinking of buying a brand new antenna don’t miss out
    to test out the reviews on which antenna should perform well.
    Outdoor hdtv antenna long range There was
    a time when a mobile handset employed to come with the antenna to hook
    the reception signal. Hdtv antenna channels available in my area Wi – Max receiver and antenna help same direction as Wi – Fi
    network. No antenna works for those situations and
    zilch makes having the wrong antenna worse when compared to a 15% restocking fee, or otherwise not being capable of return it at all.
    Diy ota hdtv antenna Be certain that the Hdtv inputs match
    the outputs in the Hdtv tuner-receiver you’re choosing.

    V antenna installers in Melbourne and feel more unperturbed using
    a peaceful frame of mind that all your qualms will be well handled by someone who
    is expert in doing the job. There are lots of cheap HDTVs, speakers, DVD
    players, Blu-ray players along with other devices that
    offer excellent picture and sound quality.
    Hdtv indoor antenna reviews consumer reports There will vary factors that will determine what Hdtv
    is the best for you. You’ll find extraordinary value in the
    VIZIO VO370M 37″ LCD HDTV, that also supports full HD, and which typically costs around $500. With the best antenna the signal can be good as well as the reception equally as good. Hdtv antenna canada reviews Outdoor antennas can also include rotor or directional antennas which may improve for the reception.

  4. nobody October 12, 2014 at 7:08 am #

    Drippy faucets and leaky toilets are a major method to obtain wasted water.
    This Whirlpool WFW97HEXL Washer comes with a total washing capacity of 5.

    Get up inside morning and cook your ex girlfriend some breakfast in bed– or perhaps have a
    cup of coffee about the deck while enjoying the mountain morning within a warm blanket.
    This Whirlpool Cabrio Washer utilizes around 70% less water and almost 70% less energy than a traditional top load automatic
    washer.

  5. Icio.us October 22, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    The Oki B2200 Printer is really a LED printer –
    not really a laser printer, however it does the exact same things
    for you personally that a tiny mono laser printer would do.

    The slim and lightweight design, the gorgeous Super AMOLED
    plus screen, as well as the amazing specs such because
    dual core processor and 8 megapixel camera easily make Galaxy S
    2 be noticeable. Led light bar brackets
    It had seemed very out of the way, yet I recalled it being very crowded, for the detriment of my having the
    ability to fully enjoy my own time there.

    The tests revealed some good info, though not as much as
    Kylie wanted. There is often a yearly poll of wood coasters posted
    for the Internet, as well as the perpetual bottom coaster is
    one out of California called Grizzly.

  6. ledgrowlight.nachod.org October 24, 2014 at 12:06 am #

    This allows one to control the setting, lighting and rehearse more complex and larger equipment.

    The facilities also grow the grass to roughly a foot tall, a principle that prevents certain birds from landing within the area.
    X2 super power led grow lights Sometimes without the right lighting algae inside grow more
    in turn affecting the amount of fractional co2 and
    other nutrients.

    Each girl was assigned one item to bring towards the next meeting when our kit could be assembled.
    Meanwhile LED plant grow lights hardly need any maintenance costs throughout their long lifetime that could reach
    over 35,000 hours.

  7. here October 24, 2014 at 12:10 am #

    Awesome things here. I’m very glad to look your article.
    Thanks so much and I am having a look forward to
    touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  8. protein powder paleo diet November 19, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    As you are able to see, there a variety of benefits to finding the best possible protein to suit your personal physique and lifestyle.
    Pure whey protein isolate concentrate: It is often a
    lower-quality protein but it can be cheaper. Protein powder
    diet programs While whey protein isolate is an excellent choice
    for protein, there are different grades that
    may dramatically affect the quality of these protein supplements.

    The benefit from filtering for whey protein isolate isolates is that they can yield a much
    higher amount of protein. Simply, it takes
    time for you to figure out which supplements
    work best for you and allow one to achieve probably the most
    positive results possible.

  9. top amd processor for gaming May 14, 2015 at 10:08 pm #

    Western digital hard drives also well suitable with AMD Athlon processors and your computer run smoothly.
    * Warranty: Do not geet one unless itt is a guaranty for thee elements and labor.
    too for a laptop of this size and price but more
    of the price later. , Windows 2000, as well as Linux
    and other PC operating systems. Produce your own specification suited
    tto your wants then go looking somewhat.

  10. Kaiden February 9, 2016 at 4:45 pm #

    Your answer lifts the inntcligeele of the debate.

  11. Artfol February 15, 2016 at 6:41 am #

    Great article! I thoroughly agree with the writer. But I think there is a lot more to talk about. I’d like to discuss it with all of you. Come and visit my website. You will find lots of juicy stuff there. See ya!

  12. Barcocktail February 17, 2016 at 8:56 am #

    I’m incredibly happy that I found this article. I am interested in the above topic, so that’s really nice to know that I’m not the only one. If anyone is keen on discussing it further, I invite you to visit my website so we can compare notes. You will surely find a lot of cool stuff there.

  13. Park Pamięci February 25, 2016 at 3:31 am #

    What an awesome website! There’s a lot to learn from here. I love when people produce with such a passion. Maybe we can discuss it further? Visit my blog!

  14. Twój Dentysta February 25, 2016 at 4:15 am #

    So glad to happen uppon this article! Thank you for sharing. It is always great to widen your horizons.

  15. Samar February 25, 2016 at 5:01 am #

    I have never thought about this that way! But I thorougly agree with you. Excellent job! Way to go.

  16. Drywa March 8, 2016 at 9:04 am #

    Awesome!!

  17. Projekt Lato March 8, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    This sounds amazing!

  18. Happy Smile April 21, 2016 at 3:06 am #

    Great text! Thank you for sharing! I’ve been looking for something like that for several months.

  19. Florist Pasadena tx October 2, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

    Then corsages/bouts, and centerpieces.

  20. Rogers@best air fryer December 27, 2016 at 11:52 am #

    Awesome article.Thank you for sharing!

  21. yahdi siradj January 9, 2017 at 2:42 am #

    writing that you provide truly inspire and motipasi and incredible information to us. Thanks for his science colleagues

  22. Mike February 2, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

    Hats of! What next?

  23. Polmet May 23, 2017 at 3:23 am #

    I’ve been looking for something like that for several months.

  24. Poltraf May 23, 2017 at 3:24 am #

    Great text! Thank you for sharing!

  25. John May 26, 2017 at 4:42 am #

    Thanks for sharing a useful article.

Leave a Reply

Student Stress During Finals Week

Alyssa Burd Student Writer Finals week is rapidly approaching and almost every student at Messiah College is beginning to experience […]

Jon Bellion’s Performance At Wednesday’s B-Sides

Rose Talbot Student Writer Last Wednesday, Jon Bellion played in a B-Sides Concert. Bellion is a singer-songwriter and record producer […]

Local Breeches rope swing comes down after ongoing problems

Joel Hoover Editor-in-Chief David Yoder had always been fond of seeing people have a good time playing in the Yellow […]

Week at a Glance: April 27-May 3

Joel Hoover Editor-in-Chief Alternate Chapels A Peace Speech Contest featuring student speeches and a Q&A time facilitated by George Pickens, will be […]

Earthkeepers holding cleaning event for Earth Day

Joel Hoover Editor-in-Chief The Earthkeepers club will be holding a special cleaning event in celebration of today’s Earth Day. The […]

Fashion Column: Dress Fest

Bree Whitelock Opinions Editor Nothing shouts that warm weather is finally here more than pockets of girls spread throughout campus […]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers