Chapel’s Location isn’t the Only Thing Changing

A new pattern is emerging in worship.

Cries of “Take it all” ring from the farthest corners of the gym, Taylor Hughes strums his acoustic guitar to the rhythm of what should be Westminster’s proudest moment of the week.  But some people sabotage that with their disrespect.  Instead of praising, they choose to joke with friends, work on homework, or text.  This attitude has been a pattern for many years but this year the outlook seems more promising.  More hands raised, more lips moving in praise, and a general respect and gratitude for the service has been the pattern for the first three chapels of the year.  Will this continue throughout this year and bleed into the next?  Only time will tell, but many people believe that the participation outlook is encouraging.

The chapel band has already noted an increase in involvement and respect from the student body.  “It’s hard to tell from just the first chapel, but I think we’ve really seen a lot more participation from the student body.” said Matt Sugg, senior

Last year, Jim Marsh, Head of the School, chose to intervene and challenge the masses to engage in worship; however, such problems have not surfaced thus fare this year.

“It makes me feel a lot more comfortable to see people engaged, because it reminds me that I’m not just performing, I’m leading in worship.” said Lizzie Nester, senior.

Year after year a group of seniors flock to the few first rows and worship freely.

“Senior year, it may be a dumb reason, but there was nobody above me anymore. Nobody I was scared of. So I just went for it.” said Daniel Moore, senior

While there are people out there who continue to disrespect chapel, and question its purpose, many have been touched by experiences they’ve had.

“Last year, I was listening to the song In Christ Alone, and I broke down in tears. Because I realized what God was doing for me.” said Drew Menzel, senior.

The new location of the chapel contributes to the over all experience, light, space, and air conditioning lift the spirits of the student body making them more excited to praise.  Seniors are no longer the only ones openly singing and raising their hands.  More lower classmen are breaking out of their shell and throwing off the chains of self-consciousness.

“I’m really encouraged when I see younger classmen that are worshipping because it makes me feel really hopeful about the future of Westminster.” said Peter Johnson, junior.

The job of making Westminster a more righteous place doesn’t stop at chapel.  The Chapel Band continues working to change Westminster outside of school and in the hallways.

“Our worship has to extend to our lives off the stage, we have to reach out to people not a chapel band members but as lovers of Christ who care about people.” said Hughes

Other students have also stepped up to the plate, and brought faith into all aspects of their life. Drew Waeckerle and Zach Schopp took the initiative to create their own discussion group on Christian living for Westminster students. Junior Summer Seminar students meet every Thursday morning to have a bible study, as do a group of sophomore boys.  Christian leaders are growing in numbers, but the effect this will have on WCA is yet to be determined.

It’s impossible to tell how the rest of the year will go, based on the first few but many leaders agree that the outlook is bright.  With more and more younger students stepping up, and the majority of students paying attention, the general consensus is that Westminster can look forward to a year of remarkable chapels.