Chapel attendance rising


Jenna Black

Students gather inside the Osborn Chapel on Sept. 28. There are no classes scheduled during chapel’s weekly time on Thursdays which guarantees that students have the opportunity to attend.

Every Thursday at 11 a.m. Baker’s classes, labs and lectures come to a halt as the doors of the Osborne Chapel open wide and Rev. Kevin Hopkins greets those outside. This is a sacred time, an hour to come together as a campus and worship next to our peers. A moment of peace and serenity amongst the stress and workload of college classes and activities.

This semester especially, both faculty and students alike have noticed an increase in attendance of chapel, filling the pews from the front altar back to the chapel doors.

Hopkins said the increase of participation could be due to the large freshman class, but also the solid group of  chapel-goers from last semester.

Kim Heckathorne, assistant to the minister of the university, said there is a strong core group that is back this year who have invited and brought new people with them each week.

“It’s fire, and fire spreads,” Heckathorne said.

Hopkins said another component is the music played by Baker students.

“The way worship team has jelled,” has really added to the overall experience. However, he also said “the food is always an attraction.”

Sophomore Rebecca Wendt, who is also the chapel worship coordinator, said her favorite part of chapel is hearing the voices of the students come together in one unified song.

Hopkins said he thinks it’s just part of the fabric of Baker that at 11 a.m. on Thursdays there is Chapel.

Hopkins hopes the message of chapel will spill out into the campus, dorms, small groups and student organizations.

“The spirit of chapel doesn’t end at chapel,” Hopkins said. “It follows the students into their week.”

Hopkins thinks the most enriching aspect of chapel is the time of peace and stress-free moments in the midst of a busy week. It is a time to find your center and take a break from the many demands of college life.

“It’s a time for a spiritual pick-up and fellowship with folks who are going through similar issues,” Hopkins said.

Wendt also said chapel is a great time to release all the stress from the week and remind those in attendance what really matters.

Heckathorne added that students should always come for the free, donated lunches.

“It’s a continuance of fellowship into lunch,” Heckathorne said.

People can spend time with those who they may otherwise not be able to see during the week.

“We are one big fellowship and faith family,” Heckathorne said.