ABOVE: The Rev. Rodney Worsham preaches to many students and faculty on Wednesday about embracing our predicament and being on the same team spiritually, physically and mentally as a student body. (Lex Gouyton/Staff photographer)

By Lex Gouyton
Staff reporter

When approaching the year 2020, it is safe to say that no one was prepared for the pandemic to hit and cause the uproar it has.

It has changed many of the aspects that went into the routine and normalcy of our days. One of the aspects and organizations that has been effected at Southwestern College is chapel. The pandemic created some room for change in the dynamic with chapel, but according to chapel administrator Erin Hall, religion and philosophy senior, it has brought about good things.

“The pandemic has affected many aspects of chapel, but we have persisted in our worship and glorification of God as well as our caring for students. Last semester, the pandemic interrupted a new season of growth and excitement surrounding chapel, which was disheartening. Our hope to gather again has been fulfilled and we continue to hope that we might remain together throughout this year. We have been making plans and changing plans due to the flow of the pandemic throughout the summer. Currently, we are pleasantly surprised by the unique opportunities for hospitality and campus outreach that have presented themselves following our change to gathering outside,” said Hall.

Precautions for safety and health have thoroughly been taken into account by the team behind chapel.

Upon being interviewed, Molly Just, campus minister and director of discipleship, stated, “All the technical pieces that usually takes us 55 minutes to prep for, no longer works; we had to be outside. We kind of have a flow of how chapel goes and now, we have moved outside to the grove of trees by the welcome center. It was also the only place on campus that was flat and shaded which is why we decided to do it there. We also knew another crazy thing for us would be having to move all of the sound equipment every week. Martin, who is a creative genius, came up with the idea to do the trailer which is why there is a trailer out there. It helps us to have our equipment covered.”

The pandemic has effected many individuals in the community and on campus in not only a physical and emotional way, but also spiritually.

When asked about how the pandemic has affected him spiritually Jonah Robson, biochemistry junior, said, “My spiritual life has definitely been shaped and affected by COVID. During the months in quarantine, I was really able to spend a lot of diving deeper into scripture, which was super beneficial for my faith life. COVID slowed my life down a lot and allowed me to really appreciate the relationships that I have and build deeper community with those I was living with. And even though this has become the new ‘normal’, some days life can seem really great and other days it is easy for me to question God as to why all of this is happening. If anything beneficial has come out of these last few months, it is that I have a greater dependence on the Lord than ever before.”

It is safe to say that this year has changed a lot for many individuals, but one thing that remains the same is the team behind chapels love and compassion surrounding their faith and the faith of others. Their mission remains to serve God and to help others on the path towards him. The pandemic may have uprooted a lot of things, but these Builders are ready for any challenge.