Editors Note: To increase opportunities for spiritual development, more than 11 different chapels are offered at Oklahoma Christian University. Assistant Features Editor Cynthia Knox organized this series to provide insight and encourage attendance of alternative chapels available to students. These stories were executed by students in a sophomore-level journalism class. We would like to thank the sponsors for their willingness to share their chapel with the Talon. If you attend this chapel, please comment and share your experience with the Oklahoma Christian community.
By: Brandon Coons
Oklahoma Christian University students and faculty gather once a week for Beam Chapel, which is open to all majors, to discuss the theme of pilgrimage and the beatitudes from the Bible as the main verses.
The faculty sponsor of this chapel is J.J. Compton. According to Compton, this chapel started spring 2013 and the librarians were the ones who created the chapel.
“We started with eight people and now we have over 100 attending most days,” Compton said.
Chris Rosser, one of the librarians at the Beam Library, found the scripture to support the theme, and Compton worked with him on designing the poster.
“We try to carry the theme throughout the semester,” Compton said. “The beatitudes are our verses that we’re using this semester from the Bible.”
There is a prayer to start off each chapel time, led by different students or faculty each week. Then Rosser introduces the speaker, and at the end, Rosser wraps up the chapel with a prayer.
Graduate student Hunter Edwards started attending Beam Chapel in fall 2013 and said he prefers to worship in a more intimate group setting than that of the atmosphere of Big Chapel.
“Beam Chapel helps me engage the world and faith at the same time,” Edwards said. “Also, it helps you see messages in media of all sorts that can speak to faith, so that you can engage others who might not be there with you, but who have shared experiences.”
According to Edwards, Beam Chapel is different than daily chapel in its own way.
“Beam Chapel has a theme so it unifies the presentations for a whole semester,” Edwards said. “Also, Beam Chapel regularly focuses on ways of loving neighbors regularly, which is relevant to everyone.”
Edwards said he recommends attending Beam Chapel to Oklahoma Christian students and faculty members.
“I think it challenges you to see God in every place that you go, and to join in what God is doing wherever you find God,” Edwards said.
Sophomore Faith Huddleston said she began attending this chapel fall of 2016 with her fiancé, Ryan. She said the talks are unique and specific each semester.
“The emotionally charged and loud environments of larger groups often discourage and drain me, as they seem inauthentic,” Huddleston said. “It is really encouraging to me to see genuine thought and discussion of Christian topics in unconventional and personal ways. I think it can teach students that they can relate their own experiences and interests to larger topics and specifically to the church.”
Huddleston said Beam Chapel allows for “exploration of Biblical themes through lenses of culture, interests and extra-Biblical concepts.”
“This chapel is different in that, instead of presenting things that every student will be comfortable with and accustomed to, it challenges and questions common beliefs in the Christian community,” Huddleston said.
Beam Chapel occurs every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. on the third floor of the Beam Library.