On Tuesday, Sept. 2, The Center for Campus Ministry was filled with students ready to start their year at Maryville College. This fall’s Chapel series was kicked off appropriately with a meditation led by Campus Minister Rev. Anne Mckee. The series this fall semester will be under the theme “Who do you say that I am?”
Mckee explained during the first chapel service of the semester that this question comes from the Gospel of Matthew. In this gospel, Jesus asks his disciples what they have heard from others about him and then asks them who they think that he is. This theme was decided by the Worship Planning Committee, a group of students and advisors that work together to plan and execute chapel on Tuesdays. “The Worship Planning Committee was interested in doing a theme more focused on Jesus and not necessarily just Christianity,” said Carter Habeeb, a sophomore member of the committee.
Chapel services throughout the semester will cover different aspects of the character of Jesus and what they means to different people of various beliefs. Throughout the semester, students should expect to hear different points of view on Jesus as a teacher, healer, etc. from various speakers including Dr. Crystal Colter, Professor Jan Taylor, Dean Vandy Kemp and even a Presbyterian Peacemaker from the United States-Mexico border. “It really is a parade of stars,” said Mckee.
More than just a church service, chapel acts as a mini Sabbath in the midst of each of our busy weeks at MC. “It’s a good time for students to reflect because it’s a good point of the week where you might need that extra kick to get through the week,” said Habeeb. For Habeeb, chapel is a time to be surrounded by other students going through similar things under the pressure of similar work loads.
While Presbyterian traditions are embedded in the service, the CCM has its own traditions that are altered each semester according to the community of students that attends. Because everyone who plans and leads chapel recognizes and supports the different backgrounds of those who attend, each service is designed to welcome everyone and be flexible to all beliefs and suggestions. This provides both a strong spiritual experience weekly as well as a place that can be a home away from home to all students.
“My goal is for students to continue growing spiritually on whatever path is right for them,” said Mckee. Chapel is available every week on Tuesdays at 1:15 for any student wanting to explore their spirituality in a welcoming and embracing community.