Tag Archive | "Dean of Chapel"

IWU sets high goal to support ministry


This year, Indiana Wesleyan University set a goal to fill 1,000 boxes with gifts to send to children around the world as they partner IMG_0329 with the Samaritan’s Purse ministry of Operation Christmas Child.

According to Dr. Jim Lo, dean of the chapel, the university decided to start receiving the boxes earlier in the semester than they have for past years. Lo hopes this will help the university reach the goal by giving more time for collection.

Students can pick up one of the small boxes from their dorm lobbies or the chapel foyer and fill it with small gifts and notes to send to underprivileged children overseas for Christmas.

According to Sue Wampner, administrative assistant to the dean of the chapel, participants can now pay the shipping fee of seven dollars online. This, she shared, also gives the donor the ability to track the package to see specifically where their gift is being sent.

Samaritan’s Purse, the creators of Operation Christmas Child, suggest including items such as toys, hygiene items, school supplies and personal notes in the boxes.

Once filled, students can bring boxes to points on campus, and those will be delivered to the chapel every few days, according to Lo.

“When the boxes come in, we want them to be displayed in the foyer area here so that students [and faculty and staff] can see the accumulation,” Lo said.

The deadline for box drop-offs is Nov. 23, according to the chapel’s community service coordinator Amy Cherry.

Kelly Clossin, the Operation Christmas Child church relations specialist for Grant County, will supervise the pickup of the filled boxes.

Once collected, she said, representatives from Grant County’s relay center will take the boxes to the center where they will be packaged into cartons. They will then go to a collection center to be loaded and shipped to the processing center in Boone, N.C.

Clossin works with approximately 50 churches in the support of Operation Christmas Child, as well as several Grant County Schools, including IWU and Taylor University.

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Wampner hopes students will see supporting Operation Christmas Child as more than just an opportunity to give a gift, but as a chance to connect with God’s heart and touch the lives of children around the world.

“There is a culture that we don’t see. There are needs that we don’t see,” Wampner said. “It’s such an opportunity to just connect our hearts with God’s.”

Lo hopes students will see participating in Operation Christmas Child as “a small way of saying the world does not revolve around me.”

“I think there’s something about giving that helps us to get the focus off of ourselves and really onto a world that’s very very needy,” Lo said.

Clossin, too, is excited about the impact that this ministry brings.

“It’s a tangible way to reach children with God’s love,” Clossin said. “Every child who gets a box gets the Gospel message.”

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Chapel change to increase community


It all started with students.

Dr. Jim “Umfundisi” Lo sat in his office, musing over the long process that culminated Thursday: Beginning fall 2014, Indiana Wesleyan University’s chapel will transition from its current two-service format to a single community gathering.

IWU’s dean of the chapel carefully calculated just how long it had been since several students individually came to him with the same request. Dr. Lo said they asked if there was any way the university could switch to one chapel, giving the student body a chance to worship together.

“Even though we say chapel is for community building, when you have two separate chapels, there are so many [people] you don’t see there,” Lo said of the soon-to-be-defunct model. “And the reality is that when you have two separate chapels, the energy level isn’t there either.”_MG_0878 copy

The decision IWU’s Residential Education Cabinet finalized Thursday was a long time coming. Its roots began in 2010 when several members of this year’s senior class came up with the idea to combine the two services every Monday, Wednesday and Friday into one, according to Lo.

This idea appealed to Lo, partially based on the community chapel IWU occasionally experienced.

“When we’ve had chapel services or even convocations that have been together, [students] have experienced the energy that comes when you have a place that is full,” said Lo.

Because of these ideas, the Chapel-Auditorium will host one single 55-minute chapel period on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

“We’re pretty thrilled about it,” Lo said. “I’m excited about everyone worshipping together.”

The new chapel, clocking in 10 minutes longer than the current schedule, will benefit IWU even beyond increasing community, according to Lo. Some of the other advantages Lo noted included extended praise and worship, having the freedom to be “more creative” in services with small groups and trying different styles of worship.

Lo also said one chapel service also means the potential for better student involvement in music and an increased number of IWU faculty speakers, as participants won’t have to miss class.

Lo said the DOC’s office consulted many parts of the IWU community in the decision-making process. However, some details such as exactly when the new service will start and how students will scan in are still up in the air.

“The logistics. … are still things that we’re working out. In doing this, in some ways it shifts the whole schedule. It’s not just chapel we’re talking about, we’re talking about academic classes and that’s where part of the hesitation came.”

Check back with The Sojourn to see how next year’s switch will affect classes and food service.

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Chapel credit granted to Y-games volunteers


The YMCA partnered with the World Impact Office to give students a chance to engage in community outreach as well as gain extra chapel credit.

The YMCA Y Games are the third and final installment of outreach events that count toward chapel credit for students at Indiana Wesleyan University. The previous two were “Go Give Generously to Gilead” and a food drive for St. Martin Community Center.

Abbey Green (sr), student body outreach coordinator, said that IWU has worked with the YMCA before, but this will be the first year of the Y Games. And, she added, this semester was the first time that chapel credit was given for events like this.

Emily Bowman of the Outreach Office (alumna ‘10) was “the one who wrote up the event for credit,” said Green.

Currently, students who need to make up for skipping chapel services can attend on-campus worship events called Breathe and Still or listen to and take notes on recorded chapel services.

Last semester, the dean of the chapel was in conversation with the Student Government Association about the possibility of mandating a one-credit class for students who went over their allotted six chapel skips per semester.

Rebecca Kineman (jr) prefers the outreach opportunities to the class but thinks it could be given more incentive for the chapel credit.

“I think the outreach is much better than the one-credit idea. As far as the one-credit goes, we sit in class all day, and in a sense chapel is supposed to be something where we take what we’re hearing to heart then go do it. But there should be bigger incentive for the outreach because if it’s going to replace chapel, it should be more equivalent in the hours,” said Kineman.

The Y Games will be held at the YMCA on April 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The plans for the games are designed around children in kindergarten through sixth grade and include relays, swimming, tug-of-war and an awards banquet to finish the day. Green said workers are preparing for 100-200 kids and hoping for about 75 volunteers.

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Loving when it’s difficult: Love Revolution 2012


Love Revolution is an annual weeklong theme for chapel that includes featured speakers and a variety of activities throughout the week. This year’s events will take place Feb. 6-10 with the theme “Shattered by a Love of Distinction.”

Kyra Pappas (alumna ‘10), assistant director of Intercultural Student Services, said Love Revolution is a week dedicated to recognizing and learning to love the differences among all people.

“It’s a distinctive love that God calls us to. It’s so different from the love that the world calls us to. It’s a love beyond boundaries, a love beyond borders, a love beyond differences, a love beyond similarities,” said Pappas. “God made all of us different, and we are supposed to embrace that.”

The event is a collaboration between the ISS office and the Dean of Chapel Office, with the DOC making more of the decisions regarding speakers and ISS more involved in planning events outside chapel.

“We were thinking about how we could shake up people’s concept of what love really is and give them a new perspective on love because that’s what revolution really means,” said Don Lawrence, director of ISS, who will speak on Monday, Feb. 6. “So we’re trying to get students to understand that difference is not a bad thing. It’s something that drew Jesus to us.”

The speakers for Wednesday and Friday will talk about this love of difference. For Friday’s chapel, author Steve Moore will talk about how to impact one’s community with love.  Coming on Wednesday is Christian author and activist Shane Claiborne, who has written the UNV-180 required books for incoming students in 2008 and 2010.

“We always bring in people who are pushing those boundaries, whether it’s physical boundaries to love people, like Michelle Perry two years ago, or cultural, like Eric Samuel Timm last year. I don’t think you make a difference without doing that,” said Abby Ill (sr), the student director of Love Revolution.

While Love Revolution in the past has set up its own events, this year the focus was on working with existing student organizations. Tuesday night, Feb. 7, the student-led worship night Exalt will focus on love as a theme in both the songs and the speaker. On Thursday, the ISS will be hosting a salsa dance night.

“We wanted to allow students to have different ways to worship God, so it’s not just like, ‘You have to come to chapel and worship in this way,’” said Ill. “We’re offering chapel, talkback sessions, the salsa night, Exalt, and we’re also partnering with the Prayer Furnace.”

“We really want these sessions to be very, very challenging,” said Pappas, “and then we want to provide opportunities throughout the week as a way to engage and put into action what they’re hearing. As a response – but not like an altar call – as an actual call to action. I really feel like Love Revolution is flowing straight out of Summit: ‘Here’s where we were challenged, now we’re going to take it a step further.’”

Talkback sessions will be provided for the chapel speakers both Wednesday and Friday. Steve Moore’s meeting time and place are yet to be determined. Shane Claiborne will have his session Wednesday in the Globe Theatre at 1:15.

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