Bria Isaacson, Contributing Writer
With each new semester, Asbury University gets a new selection of chapels. But a few of this semester’s chapels won’t fit the 50 minute, singing-and-message routine that students are used to.
This semester, Campus Ministries is introducing the breakout chapel and the two-hour film chapel. The breakout chapel, according to assistant director for Campus Ministries Jeannie Banter, will be a chapel in which each class has their own chapel in a different location around campus. This will allow for each class to address specific needs and class identity. Each class cabinet will meet with a member of Campus Ministries in order to plan the chapels.
Sophomore class president Madison Farrar said that the sophomore class cabinet hopes to center their chapel on the idea of identity.
“We’re in a good spot right now,” said Farrar. “We have transitioned into college and we don’t yet need to think about what’s after college. We can delve into college and our class identity and identity in Jesus and in each other.”
Farrar and the cabinet intend to find a chapel speaker who can emphasize these ideas. In addition, they hope to include an all-Vindicated worship band.
Many students, including freshman Keith Jessee, are looking forward to the breakout chapel, which will be held on April 4.
“It’ll be nice to break off and do each class chapel, because each class has its own problems and situations,” said Jessee. “I would like to see our class do a chapel on instant gratification and entitlement, because I see it a problem in our class.”
Another brand-new chapel this semester is the two-hour film chapel, which will be held on April 20. In order to make this chapel possible, the chapel on April 18 has been canceled, and students will go to their 11:00 a.m. classes for two hours. This will ensure that neither the classes nor chapel loses any time. The film for this chapel is Many Beautiful Things, which shows the story of Lilias Trotter, who gave up her dreams of being a famous artist in order to follow God’s calling. Banter says the film is one way to keep students engaged in chapel, as well as in culture.
“We’re always looking for different ways to engage and to promote our values and Christian beliefs,” said Banter. “Asburians had lots of influence in this movie, and it’ll be a great way to engage God in a new way.”
Many students are eager to see what this chapel brings to the table.
Senior Olivia Miniard said, “I like chapel. It’s a good time to get out of classes and breathe and focus on God. But a lot of people dread it…. Maybe more people will enjoy chapel because of this change.”
Still some students are wary of this chapel change.
Freshman Colt Rasmussen said, “I could sit in my room and watch a movie. I want to get something out of chapel that only Asbury’s chapel can give me, like the worship arts chapel made up of students.”
In addition to these two new chapels, Asbury will have two chapels in April focused on art and theology. According to Vice President of Spiritual Life Mindi Wafford, this series is a response to a need on campus.
“Artistic expression has been awakening on campus,” said Wafford. “This talks about the creative side of theology that we don’t normally talk about.”
The speakers and special events in chapel are planned from discussions by the Cornerstone Committee and Associate Dean of Campus Ministries and Campus Chaplain Greg Haseloff, The committee often uses suggestions from faculty and students, such as Wafford, to design new chapel series and find new speakers.
In fact, the idea for the breakout chapel came from conversations with class cabinets and sponsors, according to Banter.
“We try to meet students where they are and try new things while keeping spiritually centered,” said Banter.
New suggestions for chapels can easily be made online under the Cornerstone Project page.