USF Chapel services are giving faculty and students a boost to make it through the week. Campus ministries say their mission is to focus on loving Christ and serving Him and others.
Every Tuesday at 10 am praise and worship begin to saturate the atmosphere of Z-hall. 300 students, faculty and staff fill the seats toward the beginning of the semester, but attendance slowly declines as the year moves on.
Dennis Thum, USF’s campus pastor says that life at USF was simpler when he first started, 26 years ago.
“Chapel has changed a lot over the year because the student body has changed a lot. Now, people are so much busier and there are so many demands all the time, it’s a little more complicated to get there,” Thum says.
Every week at chapel there is contemporary worship, a time of prayer, and a message from Thum or a guest speaker.
Thum also says that since church has become a big production, people aren’t as satisfied thus they are forgetting who they are.
“Spiritually, the most important thing we can do at chapel is just slow down and, ‘be still and know that I am God,” Psalm 46 says, to quiet our hearts,” Thum says.
USF graduate Ethan Batschelet came back to USF to talk about what God has done in his life as a missionary in Honduras. Batschelet agrees that when he was a student here, chapel was a time to reflect.
“It’s a time to just not to worry about class. It’s time not to worry about whatever you got coming after or before. It’s nice to come and feel like you’re being spoken into and learning a lot,” Batschelet says.
Sophomore Molly Briney likes to attend chapel weekly. Briney says when she misses chapel, it has an affect on her week as a student and a Resident Assistant.
“It is a time to step away from the busyness. And it’s not related to academics, it’s not related to the busyness of [being an] RA or any of that. It’s just a little time frame to focus on Christ,” Briney says.
Next week’s chapel will be, “Faith Sees Best in the Dark”. Campus Ministries welcomes anyone to chapel regardless of their denomination or faith.
Story by Ellie Herman