Tag Archive | "chapel"

Carlye Arden: speaking Truth

Anyone who attended the Gungor concert, Surge or chapel last week knows who Carlye Arden (so) is. But students may be confused on what she was actually doing.

Spoken word, according to Arden, is “performance poetry.” The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s website says spoken word is “poetry written on a page but performed for an audience” and involves rhythm, wordplay, rhymes, slang and more.

Arden began writing spoken word during her senior year of high school, when she was questioning life and asking God lots of questions.


Spittin’ rhymes – Arden first performed spoken word the summer going into her freshman year. This year she has performed several times at IWU. // Courtesy Photo

“I remember I would think so hard about things, and I didn’t know how to release, and so I would just write … whatever came out of my brain,” Arden said.

When she wrote her first piece, she did not know it was considered spoken word until she read it out loud to her friend, who encouraged her to perform it in front of people. The first time she performed was the summer before her freshman year of college at the Bible camp where she worked.

“[My friend, Daniel,] pushed me to read in front of a crowd, and from reading that one piece … I started writing more spoken word pieces,” said Arden. “It wasn’t until this year that I called myself a spoken word artist.”

Arden said she is unsure how people found out about her talent, but this school year she has been able to perform at multiple venues. Every time she performs, she writes a new piece and never wants to repeat one.

After the chapel with speaker Karolina Goncharenko (sr), Arden received lots of positive feedback. Many students complimented her during her McConn shift after the chapel.

“I have had an overwhelming amount of encouragement,” Arden said. “People were constantly coming up to me. … I was overwhelmed. … I left that shift thinking, ‘I am so tired!’”

Sometimes when she is sitting and doing her homework, she will feel God pointing out someone to her and telling her to write a poem for them. She said she listens to what God “prompts” her to write about the person and shares it with them afterward. There will be times when she is walking back to her dorm, and she thinks, “Yeah, I am feeling a spoken word piece tonight.”

“I love the writing process,” she said. “It is a time where I can be super honest with the Lord and write whatever I am thinking and He teaches me. If I am wrestling with something … He will bring the answer.”

Though Arden comes off as confident on stage, she says she can get pretty nervous, especially when she has to sing.

“With [spoken word], I am pretty insecure about it. Every time I perform, I have to step out of my comfort zone,” said Arden. “The chapel for Karolina, I almost threw up beforehand because I had to sing in the piece that I wrote and singing is one of my biggest insecurities. … But it’s fine, I am working through it; the Lord is working on my heart and every time I perform I become more comfortable with it. But at the same time I know I am no Alicia Keys.”

Arden also would like to dispel the rumor people have spread about her having a record deal. She is working on creating an EP and hopes it can sound like the songs she performed for the Gungor concert. At that performance, she played with Alex Lynch (sr), Kelsey Gilles (s0) and Jenn Weidman (sr). They sang, rapped, played instruments and performed spoken word.

Arden plans to drop out of school and pursue her music full-time as she also wants to become a female rapper. This past summer, she was offered a couple of opportunities to perform but had to decline due to school.

“[I want] to be able to get on stage without anything to prove, without having to be promiscuous … and speak truth,” Arden said. “Being an artist who is a Christian but not a Christian artist is something that is super appealing to me.”

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Editorial: What are the ethics behind swiping and leaving chapel?

The new chapel swipe system has been a topic of conversation since the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year, begging the question: is it okay for students to swipe and leave?

This question has been argued from both sides. Indiana Wesleyan University has had chapel as a requirement since its founding, more recently with the option to use up to six chapel skips a semester.

This is the first year the integrity of students has been in question in regards to chapel.


Students face a decision every time they swipe into chapel.

Chapel, which is held at 10:05 a.m., allows students to swipe their ID for chapel credit from 9:45 to 10:15. Over three different chapel days, I stood between two doors and counted how many people swiped their ID and left between 9:50 and 10:05. Over the three observed days, an average of approximately 187 people swiped and left each day. Keep in mind, this number only includes a percentage of the students that left chapel because only two doors were involved in the observation.

So how does The Office of the Dean of the Chapel feel about the number of students choosing not to stay for the chapel services?

“We decided to go with the one-swipe [system] because we wanted to show that we trusted our students,” Dean of Chapel Jim Lo says. “We went to the administration and then on to the cabinet and I presented that I believe that most of our students really are trustworthy individuals, so we wanted to give them more freedom.”

The major point Lo is trying to make is that the one-swipe system was not put in place because it was easier, faster or cheaper. While all of these things might be true, the one-swipe system was put in place to grant the students more responsibility, trust and freedom. I think that, as a student body, we are so focused on the thrill of getting away with something, that we have chosen to throw away the newfound trust and responsibility we have been entrusted with by the university.

The argument on one side is that swiping and leaving is a lie. You are not correctly representing Christ because you are allowing someone to believe something that is not true.

“We are a Christ-centered university, therefore we should strive to be more like Christ.” Timothy Loney (fr) said. “By intentionally deciding to not be at chapel, and yet swiping into chapel, you are not living up to the call of this university and more importantly, the call of Christ.”

The counter argument is, “What if I have homework? Or a big test? Can’t I praise God through excellence in my school work?” This is a valid argument, but we must remember to be respectful of the speakers who have given up their time to come share God’s word, as well as the students who want to hear it.

“This is an integrity issue, I have spoken to guest speakers, the thing that distracts many of them is when they see the students getting up and walking out,” Lo said. “It’s been very painful for them to see that because a message is already being given.”

While swiping and leaving can be viewed as an integrity issue, we must remember that we are still one body in Christ, even though attending chapel is now a personal decision, that does not give us the right to judge those who chose not to attend.

“Those who choose to stay for chapel shouldn’t look down on those who choose not to go. Just because we have chosen not to go does not mean that we are less of a Christian than they are,” Hannah Guerin (so) says. “Those who look down on others for doing what only they think is wrong might be the ones who need to be at chapel the most.”

While the actual percentage of students leaving chapel services is relatively low, it is important to keep the issue of integrity at the forefront of our minds. Skipping chapel might give us a “thrill”, but while we are missing out on chapel, we just might be missing out on God.

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The inside scoop on chapel worship

Meg Sanders (jr), Taylor Showley (jr) and their band lead worship in the Chapel Auditorium.

Meg Sanders (jr), Taylor Showley (jr) and their band lead worship in the Chapel Auditorium.

Before each designated chapel, worship leaders Taylor Showley (jr) and Meg Sanders (jr) meet to pray about which songs they want to sing at the service. After shooting around ideas, they leave, pray on their own and convene before making a decision.

“Our motto is that we seek God first, and he takes care of the rest,” Showley said.

Worship teams at Indiana Wesleyan University have garnered both praise and criticism for the songs they perform in the Chapel Auditorium, especially the new songs. But regardless of certain comments, the worship teams have one goal in mind: to honor God.

“We’re praying about everything … but also taking into consideration and praying about what our student body wants,” worship chaplain Rachel Rubadiri (jr) said. “We’re just here to be with Jesus.”

The chapel worship team consists of five bands on rotation. Each band has at least one worship leader who proposes which songs they will perform.

Rubadiri, Assistant Professor of Church Music Dr. Michael Dennis and Chapel Coordinator Jennifer Martin review the list of songs submitted by worship leaders.

The team assesses each song based on a rubric from Dr. Constance Cherry’s book “Selecting Songs for Worship.” The rubric’s three categories include theology, lyrics and music. They either approve the list or make some suggestions.

The topic of introducing new songs in chapel has come up several times in weekly meetings, Rubadiri said. So far, the group is beginning to “lean more towards getting back to the basics.”

“A new song can be great, but it can be hard sometimes,” Rubadiri said. “[People] really enjoy when we do traditional songs as well, and that’s something that we’ve really looked at.”

When the worship team introduces several new songs on one day, it can be “alienating” to students who are unfamiliar with them, according to Ariel Blocher-Smith (jr).

“It’s good to have some more familiar ones to draw people in and … make them feel welcome, especially if we would have students visiting,” Blocher-Smith said.

Showley said introducing the audience to new songs is “really a challenge for us as worship leaders to do.”

Whenever the worship band introduces a new song, Rubadiri said, the intent is to repeat it enough so that the audience becomes familiar with it.

Another challenge worship leaders face is that everyone on campus comes from a different background, Showley said. Sometimes, everyone on the worship team will know a song and perform it, only for the audience to not receive it well.

Showley said the worship leaders are constantly in communication about how and when to introduce new songs.

“We’re students,” Showley said. “We’re learning too.”

Showley said she and Sanders have some new songs they think will be received well. They are waiting for the right time to introduce them.

“We want to create an atmosphere and a space where people can meet with God. That is our number one goal,” Showley said. “If it’s where God’s place is and it’s what he wants to do in that chapel service, then we’ve done our job.”

This semester’s worship chapels fall on Oct. 15 and Nov. 24. On these days, the worship bands will play for the entirety of the service.

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Chapel change prompts tightened campus security

Indiana Wesleyan University’s switch to a unified chapel service affected more than just class schedules and the sense of spiritual oneness at the school; it affected how the university’s Campus Police Department does its job.

When Director of Campus Police Mario Rangel heard of IWU’s plan to combine the chapel services, he knew there had to be a change.

Photo by Becka Roth

Photo by Becka Roth

“It was common sense that we upped the security a little bit, when you have that many people congregated in one area,” Rangel said.

Last school year, there was only one Campus Police officer in each of the two services. Rangel said he now has two officers patrolling the service. There are also two student officers, both criminal justice majors, who assist the main officers. Two more officers watch over the area outside the Chapel Auditorium and the Barnes Student Center during the students’ exit from the service, which Rangel calls the “cattle drive.”

The chapel change also prompted Campus Police to tighten security at other campus functions. Now, Rangel said he has an officer at “all the events” on campus. These officers are prepared to react to a variety of crimes.

“When you look at how things have turned since Columbine and Virginia Tech [school shootings], it’s not just the active shooters anymore,” said Rangel. “I think if you’re planning for just one thing, you’re making a big mistake.”

Another potential change for Campus Police is the implementation of a program called IWU Safe Ride. In this program, student ticket writers will drive around in a van labeled “IWU Safe Ride” and pick up students at nighttime when they don’t feel comfortable walking back to their residence hall or wherever they are headed.

“Whether it’s eight, nine, 10 o’clock at night, students can call this criminal justice major, who has gone through background checks, and is out there writing tickets and patrolling the lots,” said Rangel.

The program is still in the works but could start next semester, Rangel said.

Rangel also stressed the importance of students taking responsibility for their own safety. He offered three tips for students to follow in order to stay safe.
The first tip is simple: just lock up your things.

“We’ve had about three or four cars at IWU with items stolen from them since the beginning of the semester,” Rangel said. “People are walking by and checking the door handles, and if your handle is the one that’s open, that makes it easier for the criminal.”

Rangel also said it’s never a good idea to walk or jog alone, even in the daytime. But if you do choose to go out by yourself, he said to be sure to notify someone else where you are going and approximately when you will get back.

The last suggestion Rangel had was to download the Circle of 6 application for smartphone or tablet. The app allows the user to select six people as emergency contacts and contact them quickly for a variety of circumstances.

“If you concentrate on those things, you’ve done me a huge favor,” Rangel said.

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