April 03, 2020
Written by Bobby Hooten
On the inaugural day of President Scott McDowell’s tenure on campus, the new president addressed the LCU community through an online stream of chapel. On April 8, LCU will continue streaming weekly chapel services through Facebook and the website as an effort to continue engaging its now-remote community.
When asked about the most powerful experiences at LCU, many alumni recall how impactful daily chapel was to their personal formation. With most students absent from campus due to the recent responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, school officials sought ways to continue providing those encouraging opportunities from a distance.
“Chapel is a part of the DNA of LCU,” shared Josh Stephens, LCU Dean of Students. “It is a time of encouragement and community. Our hope is that this new format allows for our students, faculty, and staff to feel connected during this time of isolation.”
Kecia Jackson, Assistant Dean of Students, believes that chapel can be especially impactful during the current changes facing the campus.
“Chapel is something that gives a unique rhythm to our community,” she said. “It is a part of who we are, and even though we can’t be together, we want to still provide spiritual programming where students can ask questions, hear a new perspective, and understand they are not alone in their journey.”
The scheduled speakers for these sessions feature Dr. Jeff Cary on April 6, Dr. Jessica Rogers on April 15, Dr. David Fraze on April 22, and President Scott McDowell on April 29. In addition to the main presenters, each livestream will feature announcements from students, faculty, and staff about upcoming events and the continuing efforts to keep the community connected, even remotely.
“Our hope is that this allows the LCU community to have a little piece of LCU with them at home,” explained Stephens. “I am excited to see students record announcements and send them in, to hear from LCU professors and staff members from home and various places on campus, and to bring back a special part of what was lost this semester. Sure, it will be different, but I think it will be a blessing to everyone who participates with us.”
“This is something that reminds us of who we are,” added Vice President of Student Affairs, Randal Dement. “The fellowship of walking to and from chapel is as important as the program itself. My hope is that our appreciation for gathering together will increase because of this time apart. Streaming chapel will provide an temporary connection to the familiar—and an increased anticipation of the future when we can be together again.”