Free Chipotle

Ella Beth Sessions, Staff Writer

To  students’ surprise and delight, noon on May 23 saw Martin Square brimmed with burritos, chips, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa – for students, for fun and for free! As an end-of-the-year celebration of community, University Ministries brought Chipotle to Seattle Pacific University.

Lisa Ishihara, a university chaplain at SPU, helped organize this event for student wellness.

“At the end of the year, we want to have a time that we can just come together and be in community,” Ishihara said. “The point really is to be reminded that we’re not alone and to provide an opportunity for people to connect.”

Neena Marcus, a first year double major in nursing and Honors, is a Student Ministry Coordinator Assistant for UMin and attended both the lunch and preceding chapel service.

“I like that they have different options,” Marcus said. “Chipotle is just a great idea, everyone loves guacamole, chips, and burritos. 10 out of 10,” Marcus said. “It’s in the square, it’s sunny, it’s great.”

Drew Fleming, a first year computer engineering and Honors major, described his reaction as “speechless”. 

“SPU is good at throwing events, that’s one thing I’ll nod my head at. I love that it’s free,” Fleming said. “I walked up and my jaw dropped. There were so many options and it was so delicious. Good little surprises left and right.”

These events put on by UMin are often accompanied by forms of worship, including student-led Group and Tuesday morning chapel services. 

“Chapel this morning was in Upper Gwinn,” Marcus said. “We had a little bit of student-led worship, Chaplain Lisa chatted a little bit about Romans, then we prayed. And then Dr. Mvududu, the Dean of the School of Education, led Zumba.”

The focus of this morning’s chapel service was Romans 12, as delivered by Chaplain Lisa.

“What I love about the book of Romans is the first 11 chapters are really talking about what God has done for us and when you get to chapter 12, there’s this word ‘therefore’. The idea is because of all this that God has done to show us love, we want to offer ourselves in worship to God,” Ishihara said. “The next part of that passage talks about how we all are different, but need each other.”

The chapel service, made up of scripture and Zumba, was followed directly by bins and bags of Chipotle laid out in Martin Square. 

“I think it’s important to delight together in community,” Ishihara said. “It’s the connection, it’s the conversations that happen around the table that subconsciously remind everyone that no matter what they’re going through, whatever uncertainties there are, you’re not alone.”

Different organizations within UMin were represented in the square, including an italian soda stand to raise money for the John Perkin Center’s pilgrimage. 

“This is all University Ministries represented in different ways. We put together some of our budgets to be able to do it. Food can be the on-ramp, but it’s really the conversations and the connections that I think are meaningful that actually minister to our souls,” Ishihara said.

Students, staff and faculty left Martin Square full of food and community, ready to battle any stress and uncertainty present on campus in these last few weeks of the academic year.

“Whether you’re a person of the Christian faith or a person on a different journey, I think that human connection is a way to grow and to be cared for,” Ishihara said.