Shelter-in place orders, social distancing, and self-quarantining have all taken us, as an ACU community, away from each other and hence, away from the comfort we find in our normal fellowship.
Now, What is asked of all of us, in prevention of the disease’s spread, is more than anyone could have anticipated only a few months ago. Luckily, in the midst of our difficulties, the Office of Chapel and Spiritual Formation, through communication with the remaining students still on or near campus, the great assistance of the university’s video team, and of course, the unlimited advances in technology, absent only 10 years ago, allow our school to continue its mission with virtual chapel services.
Through all of this, the campus has been brought back together in worship and unifying love for our God, who, after all, gives meaning to the “C” in our school’s name.
It’s fair to say that we were all skeptical of the success of a virtual chapel but the results have been as surprising as they have been relieving.
Our school work can now feel like a foreign language with all of the changes and adaptations of online instruction. Additionally, the remainder of the school year is now to be spent without the people that many of us consider being a second family and undoubtedly make our school the wonder that it is.
Despite these challenges, the ability to worship across the country, and even the world, through something as simple as a video live stream, has given all of us the chance to be an active member of this family once again.
The persistence of the Office of Spiritual Formation has created 30-minute segments on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday that are very different in some ways but are crucially the same in so many more.
Seeing the familiar faces of the worship team and the beard of Dean of Spiritual Formation and Campus Chaplain, Cyrus Eaton, have brought back some of the things we miss the most about our campus and have proven that the most important things cannot be taken away in the same way as other, more temporary needs and objects.
Even more so, the virtual services seem to reach even further than they may have previously when the campus was still active. The accessibility that we again owe to our fortunate technological privileges allow even more to join who wouldn’t otherwise be sitting in Moody Coliseum at 11 AM. Now, our families and extended family members, alumni, and anyone else interested is able to welcome into their day a brief opportunity to center themselves towards the one we put our faith in.
For those who haven’t yet participated in virtual chapel, I greatly recommend you find the time to be a part of it. Every part of the short service offers a little bit of relief from stress and sadness with the reminder that we are all going through the same thing; yet, we have the ability to do so together.
These virtual chapel services are available through the ACU Youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/ACU