MA chapels

Posted: December 24, 2010

Chapel interns use creative minds

By Meara Cummings

Talon staff writer

‘Each and every card has a unique message, one to be remembered and cherished. One to be thought back upon and used as a guideline for life.’

This is just one of the thoughts that popped into chapel interns, juniors Gabbi Steinstra and Carly Spanjers, and senior Bjorn Anderson’s heads when brainstorming for new ideas for chapel. The specific idea of the cards turned into a very memorable chapel. Cards hanging from clotheslines strung up on the stage each had a different verse from the book of Proverbs. Every student was invited up onto the stage to pick out their own Proverb card. It’s ideas like these that spark curiosity about what goes into the planning and organization of chapel every Thursday.

“We have meetings once a week, Tuesdays before school,” said Spanjers. “Usually we’re just brainstorming and talking about experiences we’ve had at our churches and sharing ideas for things we think would be good to do in upcoming chapels.”

One meeting a week to plan out the current chapel as well as future chapels may not seem like not enough time to get everything done, but these interns pull it off with style.

When creating new chapels, these interns have it made because of their almost complete control over the chapel production, schedule, and timing.

“They really have as much freedom as they want,” said the interns’ advisor Jeffrey Crafton. “Everything that happens in chapel this year is going to be chosen by the interns and myself.”

“We have required chapels like Homecoming, Thanksgiving, Christmas chapel with music, Ash Wednesday, and Easter, but other than those we have a pretty free range to do what we want to do,” said Stienstra.

This freedom to be creative really showed in the Proverbs chapel. Our interns have been hard at work coming up with fun, new ideas for chapels.

“I like being able to have some influence on Minnehaha and what goes on,” said Anderson. “It’s always interesting trying to make chapels more exciting because I know for some people they’re not the most fun thing to have to sit through.”

“We try to make chapel a fun thing to do, not a snooze-fest,” said Stienstra. “We want to get people involved and interested in what’s going on around them.”

The process of coming up with an idea for chapel is challenging. The pressure of engaging the entire school and helping them on their spiritual journey is hard enough, but then there’s the actual planning of the program, putting it together, and making it happen every week.

“Ideally, we want people to be having fun worshipping God in new and exciting ways and not having to worry about things like ‘Oh well the person next to me isn’t singing, so I better not sing either’ because that just ruins the experience,” said Spanjers. “Chapel is a time to be with your fellow classmates and worship God, so we try to get everyone participating in the program.”

“The Proverbs chapel was a new and different thing that I hadn’t seen before. I thought it was pretty sweet that everyone could be involved,” said senior Emma Dolphin.

“Student testimonies are always interesting to hear,” said senior Zach Nipper. “I think the people that get up there in front of everybody to tell their story are really brave and I respect that.”

The mix between worship songs, student testimonies, and speakers that the interns have organized this year is a hit with the student body. They try to generate a good atmosphere for worship, and a meaningful message to reach each and every student. That’s a pretty tough thing to do but their hard work seems to be paying off.

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