By Mitch Holt, Opinion Editor
Chapel planners seek a more focused attitude in the student body with the introduction of contemplative, reflective and eclectic worship styles in the Gospel of John theme “Truth Set Free” and encourage students to show respect by not talking and by staying until each Chapel assembly is complete, said Shane Hughes, director of Chapel programs.
“Contemplative worship and Christian meditation are deep streams in our 2,000-year history as the body of Christ,” Hughes said. “We as a community would be missing something if we didn’t spend some time learning to tap into the experiences our spiritual predecessors have explored for centuries.”
Toward the end of these quieter Chapels, students have been leaving early and swiping their cards before Chapel is officially complete, disregarding the speaker or the students around them.
Chapel planners said they are focusing more on making sure that Chapel speakers meet the required time limitations-the 11:30 a.m. ending time is being honored for the most part, because they know students have places to go and busy schedules.
“Students that can stay “Students that can stay for an extra two or three minutes every once in a while show a mutual respect for the speaker,” Hughes said.
Hughes said it is important to note that the vast majority of students are not the “early leavers”-they stay and listen to each presentation with respect.
“Chapel, for the most part, is a place in which mutual respect is being demonstrated daily,” he said.
Chris Field, senior Christian ministry major from College Station, said Chapel isn’t a time where you’re necessarily going to learn new things every day, but that it’s important to be respectful.
“[Chapel] is an opportunity to come together as a community and just be reminded of why we came to ACU and what our purpose in this world is,” Field said. “Our purpose is bigger than class, intramurals or any degree we might get. We should be reminded that there is a God who loved us and sent his son.”
Field said everyone isn’t going to have a desire to be at Chapel, but some want to be there.
“If you don’t want to listen, that’s fine,” he said. “Just realize that it’s not about you. Some people need that time, so don’t talk on your phone or to the person next to you-just be respectful.”