Uplifting service connects Transylvania community each Wednesday morning

Taylor Mahlinger led a recent Wake Up Wednesday in song from home.

During this time of self-isolation because of the coronavirus, Transylvania University senior Taylor Mahlinger is sharing her musical gifts with the school community during Wake Up Wednesday, a service organized by the school’s Office of Spirituality and Religious Life. Now virtual instead of in Old Morrison Chapel (where it had been), it’s a chance to read Scripture, sing and pray together. While Wake Up Wednesday is in the Christian tradition, all are welcome to join.

A native of Owensboro, Kentucky, Mahlinger is editor-in-chief of The Rambler school newspaper, and she plays guitar and takes voice lessons at Transy. We asked her about the celebration, which starts at 8:30 a.m. each week.

How do you benefit from Wake Up Wednesday?

It offers a time to slow down midway through the week and gather as a community for prayer, Scripture reading and music. It’s a really nice way to start the day and brings a sense of calm amid my often busy schedule as a student.

Why is it important the services continue during the self-isolation period? 

It keeps the Transy community connected and starts everyone’s day off on a hopeful note with uplifting music and prayer. It’s easy to let yourself become weighed down during this trying time, so I think having Wake Up Wednesday every week helps people feel like they’re still part of a routine. We’re all going through this self-isolation period together, whether students, staff or faculty, and it’s nice to stay connected and let the Transy community know they aren’t alone. 

Are you participating in the planning or presenting of Wake Up Wednesdays? 

I’m responsible for planning the music portion. Each week, I choose a song that corresponds with the Scripture readings and practice it enough times throughout the week so that I feel comfortable leading everyone.

What does it mean to you to be able to take part? 

It means a great deal to take part in something as uplifting and meaningful as Wake Up Wednesday, and being able to lead everyone in a song each week feels like a great way to give back to the Transy community. It has also helped me better get to know other students, staff and faculty who attend each week, including our interim president, Dr. Williams, and his wife, Lucy.

What does the fellowship do for you, particularly now? 

My life has been turned upside down like everyone else’s, so it’s really nice to feel like I’m still a part of Transy’s community, even if it is through my laptop. I’m so fortunate that technology allows us to stay in touch and provides us with the opportunity to continue having Wake Up Wednesdays. 

Join here each Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. For more information, contact Emily Miller, director of spirituality and religious life.

Miller organized the weekly service.