LeClare Litchfield tells AU Campus to ‘Get Fit’ for the New Semester
As the summer readily comes to a close, Andrews University has reassumed an accelerated pace. Students have received their various syllabi, donning faces of great excitement or utter chagrin. But even through the overwhelming bustle of the new year, most students still make time for an age-old Andrew’s tradition. Whether for the credit or striving to affirm their faith, freshmen to the graduate students file into the pews of Pioneer Memorial Church biannually to experience the Week of Spiritual Emphasis.
From Monday, Sept.12 to Friday, Sept. 16, Andrews University has welcomed LeClare Litchfield, the featured pastor for this semester’s Week of Spiritual Emphasis. A Takoma Academy and Southern Adventist University graduate, Litchfield hails from Tennessee, Maine, London, England and many other locations. His love for working with young people led him to become one of the key individuals of the Collegedale Adventist Youth in Action Movement (CAYA), an organization dedicated to providing spiritual food for the youth of today. According to the official CAYA website, Pastor Litch—as he’s more commonly referred—enjoys working with young people because they are “some of the most spiritual people on the planet.”
Litchfield’s affinity to young people brought him to be a youth pastor. In an article for the Spectrum online journal, William Johns—a pastor for Beltsville SDA church, in Beltsville, Maryland—credits the start of his spiritual journey to Litchfield “giving me an entirely new picture of God that was gracious and loving.” He continues to credit him with “planting in my soul the seeds of genuine spiritual health”.
Litchfield not only promotes spiritual health but also encourages young people to be physically fit as well. Litchfield speaks to the campus this week, under the umbrella of ‘Get Fit’. Coupled with daily bodybuilding challenges, Litchfield leads us through various disciplines of spiritual fitness, using the life of Christ and other biblical characters as examples. This week’s spiritual theme is based off of 1 Timothy 4:8, which mentions the need for physical fitness followed by a stronger affirmation for spiritual fitness.
As the week progresses, students can look forward to taking away several important points from his messages. Gabrielle Johnson (sophomore, nursing) already looks forward to this week’s conversations, hoping to “grow closer to God” and sharpen her spiritual fitness by “increasing prayer time.” Johnson believes the start of the semester is the perfect time to emphasize the importance of physical fitness and the need for spiritual growth.
Chaplain June Price of Campus Ministries said, “God’s spirit will soften, shape, and strengthen hearts, that will grow in spiritual strength to be useful and pleasing to our king.”