By Mitch Holt, Opinion Editor
Chapel directors say they are optimistic about Chapel for the fall semester, which will include several changes and new themes.
This semester’s Chapel will take on a more contemplative and reflective worship style, so students can come, slow down and find God in a quieter atmosphere, said Shane Hughes, director of Chapel programs.
“The theme this semester is ‘Truth Set Free: Looking at Jesus through the Eyes of John,'” Hu-g-h-es said. “John is about i–den-tity, and it seems like every time Jesus opens his mouth to speak, he reveals not only who he is but who God is, too.”
Instead of class Chapel, this semester will bring a new series called “Reel to Real.”
“[This series] is a look at how the Gospel and culture interact,” Hughes said. “Sometimes, the stories we hear and see in the world are congruent with the message of the cross but other times they clash.”
Another new Chapel addition will be on Thursdays in the Chapel on the Hill. Jeremiah Gibson, senior music and Bible interdisciplinary major, will be leading a time of worship called “Come as You Are.”
“Worship is a big thing here on campus,” Gibson said. “I look forward to this Chapel experience to worship and get away from the normal distractions of everyday Chapel. We’d like to create an atmosphere in which people can come and be quiet and present before God.”
Hughes said many different people present ideas and make decisions about Chapel.
“The biggest voice is the students,” Hughes said. “From casual conversations with me over a cup of coffee to the Chapel survey we conduct at the end of the semester, students have the best perception of how Chapel should be.”
People on campus care deeply for students and help with Chapel, Hughes said.
Hughes said people ranging from Dr. Money, president of the university, Dr. Mark Love, director of Ministry Events and Wayne Barnard, dean of Campus Life to the people who set up chairs every day make Chapel a daily possibility.
“Chapel is a unique opportunity for the ACU community to connect through worship,” said Barnard. “This semester’s theme is an honest look at the identity of Jesus, and the Gospel’s call that we imitate Him.”
Barnard said that he expects that Chapel this semester will contribute greatly to students’ journeys as Christians and will encourage them to be formed more into Christ’s image.