By Lori Bredemeyer, Managing Editor
The Chapel program is undergoing some tweaking this year, and a new coordinator recently has begun working.
Shane Hughes, the new coordinator of Chapel programs who is taking Brad Carter’s place, started work two weeks ago. He said so far everything has gone smoothly.
“I think that working with Chapel is like the soul of ACU, and it’s a place where we all get to come together,” he said. “It’s fun to be a part of that.”
Hughes recently graduated from ACU with a Master of Divinity, and Dr. Wayne Barnard, dean of Campus Life, said the department was lucky to find him.
“Shane surfaced as a person who brings great skill,” Barnard said. “He has been trained theologically … and he has a great relationship with our Bible faculty and with ministers in town. We’re very blessed.”
Barnard said a team of people on campus work to organize and develop Chapel, but Hughes is the person to coordinate everything.
Barnard said in addition to hiring Hughes, tentative plans have been made for new breakout groups in different venues and a variety of topics for evening forums.
Barnard said he is in the final days of making a decision about what kind of Chapel to have on Thursdays, which might not include a gathering in Moody.
“This may be the first year that we’ve actually had a day where there’s not been a Chapel in Moody Coliseum,” he said. “But I think what this represents, both last year and this fall, is a willingness to try something new.”
Instead of meeting in Moody, Barnard said breakout sessions could be conducted in Chapel on the Hill and Hart Auditorium, where the services would be more intimate than Moody but still preserve students’ anonymity.
He said the team also will continue to focus on diversifying Chapel, as it did last year.
“Chapel is a community experience,” Barnard said. “… Even within that (Church of Christ) tradition, there’s room for us to be diverse with respect to who we invite to speak and with respect to style of worship, language and culture. We are an educational institution, and we are a very diverse institution.”
Hughes said he hopes Chapel can have an effect on each student and that the main goal is that God be glorified.
“I expect that we’re going to hear some really powerful and important things,” he said, “and that’s my hope and my prayer, that at the end of the day when it’s all said and done, that Chapel changes people and lets them see God better than maybe they saw him before.”