Chapel: Why Chapel?

A student raises her hands in praise during chapel worship service. | Photo by Sol Bee Park

Students of Union gathered in the G.M. Savage Memorial chapel on Wednesday morning for worship and to listen to President Samuel “Dub” Oliver speak in a panel alongside Dan Lancaster and Todd Brady from the Office of University Ministries.

As the students begin to file in, their cards were swiped, helping them fulfill their chapel requirement. Some students will initially pop out their laptops and folders, trying to get as much work done before their next class, but even they have to stand to join in praise and worship.

“In Christ Alone” and “Amazing Love” started giving off the positive vibes typical to chapel. The music concluded with a few students lifting their hands to “What a powerful name it is, the name of Jesus.” Prior to the song, senior Intercultural Studies major Anderson Underwood gave insight to his friend’s imprisonment in Turkey. Prayers were lifted for his friend and the impact he has had and is having while in prison.

As worship concluded,  four chairs were seen onstage for President Samuel “Dub” Oliver, Assistant Vice President for University Ministries Dan Lancaster, Vice President of University Ministries Todd Brady, and sophomore, Shea McCollough. McCollough asked all three their views on why chapel was an important part of Union.

“It’s a chance for us to come together and worship, to have our worldview shaped, and to embody the community we frequently talk about,” Oliver said.

Oliver articulated that it would not make sense for Union to be an institution set on being Christ-centered and not have some form of spiritual service to show for it.

Brady and Lancaster contributed to the idea of their vision for the weekly meetings, the challenges faced while planning it, and what would they want each student to take with them after each chapel service.

The vision for chapel is “thought of in the light of the university’s mission…being both a learning and worshiping community we see all things in the light of Christ,” Brady said.

As Lancaster mentioned, they try to emphasize discipleship, leadership, and service through discussing the concerns of the university and how students can make an impact.