Despite rumors that the weekly Chapel schedule will be changing, only two minor changes are happening this year, said Mark Lewis.
First, the dates for departmental Chapels have been altered.
“Over the past several years, we have done three departmental Chapels every semester,” said Lewis, assistant dean for spiritual life and Chapel programs.
For the 2013-2014 school year, only one departmental Chapel date will be set by the Chapel offices.
Lewis said individual departments are allowed to select two dates for additional Chapels, making them more like sporadic small-group meetings.
The Chapel theme, which has been the topic of Monday assemblies for almost a decade, is also being altered.
“The Monday theme days could be restrictive if we had a guest speaker coming in,” Lewis said. “I would try to meld their story with the semester theme whenever possible, but that can be a bit tenuous.”
To prevent such issues, Mondays will no longer host the textual theme. Instead, the semester theme of Psalms will be an optional session in Cullen Auditorium, Lewis said.
Certain events are here to stay, such as the Tuesday Chapel schedule.
“Tuesday Campus Conversations are like the big version of a small-group,” said Dr. Jan Meyer, executive director of the Center for Christian Service and Leadership.
As in previous years, the first week of Chapel will focus on the upcoming year and proper procedures concerning Chapel, with Lewis’ “Chapel 101” on Wednesday and departmental Chapels on Thursday.
The second week is the annual Mission Keepers’ week, focusing on ACU alumni who continue to live out the university’s mission in Abilene. Among the speakers are Anthony Williams, Brandon Scott Thomas and Danny Sims, the executive director of Global Samaritan Resources.
Speakers from the “I Am Second” organization will speak in Chapel during the third week of school, followed by the annual Summit Chapels over the fourth.
Standard Chapel routines begin on the fifth week of school, with a small bonus included: a documentary film entitled “Hellbound” will be shown on the evening of Sept. 24.
“We really are trying to be sensitive to what students are dealing with in their own spiritual formation,” Meyer said. “What we’re trying to clarify and explain to our campus community is why we do Chapel… we always have to think about why we’re having Chapel.”
Meyer said she firmly believes that communicating with students is important to keep Chapel relevant and meaningful.
“Chapel is probably the greatest blessing that ACU offers to students, faculty and staff,” she said. “I hope everyone will go with a heart that’s open and ready.”