Chapel has always been a part of one of many ongoing traditions at ACU, giving the opportunity for students to collaborate for worship, as well as earn credits towards their degree. However, this year, things are significantly different due to the ongoing pandemic.
One of the changes that has occurred is the move from chapel being held daily to only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This provides flexibility in understanding the changes, as well as the continuance of gathering as a community for personal and communal spiritual formation at ACU.
The same measures campus-wide still hold true for chapel, such as masks, social distancing and cleaning up spaces after use.
Location(s) for chapel have been switched to other areas.
“Students are still able to engage in small group chapels, department chapels and request to host in-person and virtual spiritual formation events throughout the week,” said Cyrus Eaton, dean of spiritual formation.
Community Groups have been added this semester as a means to connect with students, faculty and staff. This semester’s theme is “Life With Jesus: Reimagining Discipleship In An Age of Uncertainty”.
Five to nine people are allowed, as they can reflect on a three-to-five-minute video, participate in shared spiritual disciplines and create time in their schedules to care for one another during these times.
“We have more than 300 students involved in community groups, and there is still opportunity for students to sign up if they wish to be involved,” Eaton said.
Students who are a part of a remote learning cohort will be connected to the spiritual formation in similar ways, but obviously virtual.
As these changes are still in its infancy, Eaton acknowledged that they are still learning some technical challenges as the program adjusts.
“I’m very proud of my team and my community,” Eaton said. “Our team has done a fantastic job at making something excellent out of nothing.”