Duke University senior Maryann Verghese, selected as this year's student preacher, will deliver the sermon during Duke Chapel's worship service at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 1.
Verghese, of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., plans to preach on the Gospel reading for the day, Mark 8:31-38, in which Jesus speaks of his own impending death and the role of suffering among his followers.
"I'm talking about 'taking up your cross,'" said Verghese, a psychology major and Chapel PathWays Scholar who is active in Duke's Presbyterian Campus Ministry. "It's a line we use a lot in Christian language and when we use words all the time, sometimes they lose their meaning and we forget how serious that is."
"Maryann has written a very thoughtful sermon on the vulnerability of God and how God's vulnerability can reshape our imagination in our relationships, vocations and identity," said the Rev. Meghan Benson, the chapel's director of worship. "I'm eager to hear her preach it, and I think her message is deeply relevant at a place such as Duke, where achievement and success can often influence our identities."
Verghese, a member of the Alpha Phi Omega co-ed community service fraternity who also participates in club water polo, is applying to seminaries.
Sunday's service will be webcast live and a recording will be available after the event. Watch it at nando.com/zs.