A couple of former students have begun a new small group Chapel during which students are encouraged to listen, engage in discussions and perform spoken-word poetry.
Darren and Gloria Hagood, who graduated in fall 2014 with degrees in biblical text, said they started the Chapel option to be new, unique and different from other opportunities available on campus.
“We both really enjoy poetry, specifically spoken-word poetry,” Gloria said. “And so we thought, ‘What if we do a spoken-word Chapel where we have people perform spoken word and then discuss them and give our thoughts in a group setting?'”
The small group Chapel is designed to provoke people to experience a deeper, different way of thinking and living, Gloria said.
Although spoken-word Chapels have taken place in the past, this will be a more consistent format focused on creating a spiritual experience that’s grounded in something outside what a typical preacher would say, the couple says.
In the past, spoken-word poetry has critiqued certain aspects of culture in a way that has built more on rhetoric instead of something a normal sermon is built on, Darren said.
“It’s basically trying to bring poetry into a ministry setting,” Darren said. “Instead of a sermon or worship service, in the sense, it can be a different type of communication that provokes thinking and thoughts about God and toward God and Christian living.”
Their goals are to spark discussion and inspire students to write and perform their own spoken-word poetry.
The purpose of these Chapels, however, is to bring different people together to help create something outside the box. The poetry sparks conversation, can be taken apart and can move people to live a different life even after it’s over.
“It’s not as much about intellectual depth or historical training or anything like that, but it leans more toward: How do you craft something to move people, and how do you do it for God?” Darren said.
Spoken-word Chapel will begin Feb. 10 in Room 250 of the Biblical Studies Building.