The Office of Spiritual Formation canceled small group Chapels on Mondays in an attempt to cultivate community among the university.
Cyrus Eaton, dean of spiritual formation and chaplain, said the decision was made to give students, faculty and staff a time to meet as a family.
“We’re working toward adding value to everything we do by having one hour per week where we really focus on growing in our depth of understanding of who we are becoming and how we hope to transform our students through Chapel,” Eaton said.
Eaton said he wants to support small groups but preserve the communal identity of “why we gather.” Because Tuesdays and Thursdays are typically considered small-group days and Friday is praise day, Monday was the best option to bring the campus together.
Because the construction in Cullen was postponed until summer, Immersed Chapel will still be in the auditorium.
In addition to the changes in Monday Chapel, small-groups are required to sign in on paper only. Eaton said the Quest app, which was introduced during the fall semester of 2018, was not serving the function for which it was intended.
“It wasn’t adding credibility or accuracy or accountability,” Eaton said. “In fact, it was taking away from all of those things and there was this season when no one was on Chapel probation because of the lack of functionality, so we went back to the Stone Age.”
Eaton said the office is entertaining conversations from people who push an app-based sign-in product, but it will not be used until it has been thoroughly tested.
One of Eaton’s goals for the semester is to make Chapel more personal. By recording each Moody Chapel through ACUTV, Eaton said it creates a level of community and intimacy.
“The goal of small groups is that people find a place of belonging, and our goal in the overall Chapel program is that it helps us find our place in the story that God is writing,” Eaton said.