When students at Eastern Christian think of chapel, they think of the worship team playing two songs, a speaker preaching for about 10-15 minutes, perhaps prayer at the end, and then dismissal. However, do you know how much planning goes into each chapel?
“There are a lot of aspects that a lot of people don’t see,” Ms. Arenada, leader of the Bible and Worship Team, replies.
About three to four years ago, Ms. Araneda took over the role of Bible and Worship Team leader from teacher Mrs. Sankey. When asked about her role within Bible and Worship Team she replied, “First, my role is all about teaching the students how to write an email to a speaker and inviting them, what kind of info do you give to the speaker, teaching them how to organize all of that on a document that we have, how to think ahead, how to communicate with certain people ... there’s a lot of me teaching them how to do that stuff and being kind of a mentor towards them making it a Bible class because it is a Bible class.”
The class consists of three students, Hazel Wang, Faith Rivas, and Anaiya Jones, who all have different roles and responsibilities to carry out to prepare the chapel. They meet on B days during 4th block and plan for the upcoming chapels.
Hazel Wang, a senior at Eastern Christian, has the responsibility of communicating with the worship teams and asking for the lyrics and songs in order. From that point, Hazel enters the lyrics into a program called ProPresenter and is able to edit slideshows to put lyrics together on the screen in the chapel. When asked to comment on her experience in the group, Hazel replied, “Worship is how we express our love for God's name; it's all of God's work that we do for him. … Preparing a chapel is a unique experience.”
Anaiya Jones, a junior, is in charge of the speakers while Faith, a junior, is in charge of student involvement such as inviting students to pray or give their testimonies. Ms Araneda adds, “I encourage the girls to invite unique individuals, hear stories we’ve never heard, who have talents that we don’t know about … We all divided up the responsibilities. It works well because we naturally fell into those roles. It emphasizes all of their strengths. It’s enjoyable, even though it's a lot. It’s one of the least stressful things for me because it's so enjoyable.”
However, it’s not just about inviting speakers, making slideshows, and inviting students, there’s more responsibility on top of that when the day of chapel arrives: communication with the tech team, communicating to the teachers about who’s in the auditorium, coming early to set up for chapel, making sure the testimonials are submitted, and sometimes even coaching students who are nervous about speaking.
“And that’s a regular chapel,” Ms. Arenada adds. “It’s a whole process but we get good at it really quickly because we have to be.”
When asked about how chapel impacts her, Daniela Bernal said, “It’s the one part of my school day that I can openly worship God with the community.”
When asked about the goals of the Bible and Worship Team, Ms. Arenada responds, “Something that we often pray for is that God would use us in whatever way he wants to so that He can do whatever He wants to in our school. I think that's always our focus and it directs us.”
The Bible and Worship Team is not just about preparing for chapel, but it’s also about spiritual growth. When asked about what she has learned from the group, Hazel responds, “I've learned a lot not only about how to worship him, but also about why we need to.”
Ms. Arenada also adds, “I think that I’ve really been able to use my personal gifts. I think that all the organization that's something that is one of my strengths.”
If some students are interested in the Bible and Worship Team, Ms. Arenada says, “I would pray about it because it is a calling. It is something that you just don't do to get out of class or something but you're really impacting the spiritual life of the school so it's a really important goal that you shouldn’t take lightly. Pray about it and make sure that’s where God is leading you to go.”
When asking how God has impacted her faith through the Bible and Worship Team, Hazel responds, “It makes no difference how you worship God; what matters is that you sincerely shape your heart to adore God.”