Mya Sedwick, Campus Carrier staff writer
Annie Deitz, Campus Carrier deputy news editor
This semester, the usual Sunday night service at the College Chapel has moved from Sundays to every other Wednesday night. This “new” service is called Evensong, which derives from a traditional Anglican service.
Traditionally, chapel services are almost completely student led. Student leaders sing, read scripture and pray. Each week, one student will share about their own life, the first of these students being senior Chris Arnold. After the student leaders are finished with their part, the chaplain or assistant chaplain will do a homily, which is a shortened sermon. The service finishes with communion.
Assistant Chaplain Erin Moniz believes that with this combination of elements, the Chaplain’s Office is able to provide a more holistic service experience. As Moniz explained, service is held later in the evening, at 8 p.m., to accommodate Berry students’ busy schedule and provide them an opportunity to relax for an hour.
The shift in the service time not only allows more students the opportunity to attend, but makes room for small groups to meet on Sundays in the Chaplain’s house. The small group is currently doing a series on “What Christianity is All About.”
While changes are constantly being made to benefit the incoming students and their needs, some things hardly ever change, such as the women’s group that has been meeting for a little over fifteen years. “Women’s Prayer and Share” which meets on the top floor of Krannert, has been led by Pamela Bissonnette, wife of Associate Professor of Psychology Victor Bissonnette and Alice Bristow, associate professor of theatre, since 2013.
“This group is probably most successful and longest running discipleship group from our office,” Moniz said.
The group is also greatly diverse, yet they are able to develop a strong female bond. Former members even attended a reunion held by Bissonnette last year.
A counterpart to “Women’s Prayer and Share” is a men’s group that meets every other Thursday at 8 p.m. This group is led by student leaders and Moniz’s husband Mike. The men do small group discipleship, lead discussions and have retreats. On Tuesday nights, there is a Bible study at Moniz’s house. Currently the group is focusing on a study in Christianity and social justice.
This is Moniz’s third year doing this study because she has found that students are eager to learn how their faith and various social beliefs can coincide.
By doing Evensong every other Wednesday and having various other Bible studies throughout the week, there multiple opportunities for students to find their place in faith life on campus at a time that fits in their schedule.