Not pictured: Matthew Schaefer, Oct. 5 speaker.
By Jessica Nunes
On Aug. 28, Northwest University students received an email from pastor Christian Dawson regarding changes to the traditional NU chapel format, which were further explained on the Northwest Devo website. The implementation of these modifications resulted from regulations and safety precautions regarding COVID-19. These changes entail no live worship, limited in-chapel attendance (50-seat capacity), live streamed services on the Northwest Devo app, fewer spiritual life credit requirements (25 instead of 35) and maintaining physical distance while wearing a mask.
The main changes to the chapel schedule are as follows:
- Monday: in-person only.
- Wednesday: in-person and live stream options available.
- Friday: live stream only.
One of the more exciting changes to chapel this year is happening on Mondays, with the implementation of a Student Speaker Series. These individually selected student speakers will preach the Word of God from 1 and 2 Peter thoughout the course of the speaker series. Because Monday chapels are available solely in an in-person format, students are expected to reserve spots through the My Attendance portal on eagle.northwestu.edu or through the Northwest Devo app.
Danny Lopez, a junior, expressed that it was a “very humbling experience” because he not only got to spread the Word of God to his peers, but also his message that “our living hope is that Jesus will return.”
When asked what he hoped people would get out of the experience, junior Joseph Gomez De La Mora replied, “To walk away understanding that what makes us Christian isn’t necessarily what we do, but who we are.”
Additionally, in talking with senior Isabella (Bella) Najarro, she too hopes that “people take a step back and evaluate themselves in a gracious way. I hope people feel empowered.”
Junior Arianna Thomas described this opportunity with the idea that she wanted to “get enriched in knowledge.” Thomas explained that the love, dedication and effort the Campus Ministries staff has put into the students is something remarkable.
The challenges with COVID-19 are undeniable,, but the goal of these Monday chapels is to experience fellow peers and students in an effort to grow both personally and spiritually in these difficult times.