To echo the verse Bob Wittet incorporated into his chapel in early September, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live in unity,” (Ps. 133:1)—how good is it when the Gordon students are united under one roof to worship God? Each semester we have a quota of Christian Life and Worship credits, also known as CL&W credits. Gordon students are required to earn a total of thirty credits between chapel services and convocations. There is some rebuttal as to whether students should have this requirement of thirty credits per semester. Shouldn’t we just choose to go when we want? Why does there have to be a requirement? I want to answer those questions with Gordon’s mission statement:
“Gordon College strives to graduate men and women distinguished by intellectual maturity and Christian character, committed to lives of service and prepared for leadership worldwide.”
Based on this statement, not only does Gordon strive to disciple students intellectually but also to spiritually develop Christian character. When you put down your deposit to attend college at Gordon, you signed up to be a part of a college which fosters growth not only intellectually but also spiritually. Gordon gives us as students opportunities to experience growth in a chapel setting every other day! That being said, Gordon requires its students to attend classes, so why wouldn’t they require it for Christian life, worship and convocation? How amazing is that? Our college cares so much about our spiritual lives that they give us the privilege and opportunity to praise God as one body! So, I think it is vital for students to approach topics like chapel with a heart that is grateful and with an open mind continually being thankful for the specific times throughout the week to come together as Christ followers to praise the Lord!
Required credits are not to burden students, but to free them. There is great freedom that is found in worshiping Christ with our peers. As students in a secular society, every other day we have an opportunity to stop everything we’re doing and enter in the presence of the Lord during times of chapel. There are just over 45 CL&W credit opportunities this fall semester—that means you can miss about 15 chapels and still make the requirement. From the matriculation convocation until mid-October, if you attend each chapel and convocation, you’ll receive the full credit needed for the semester. That means you can go to about two a week and still the requirement for CL&W credits. Not to mention, seminars and lectures like “Dear Neighbor” offer these CL&W credits as well.
As stated, one of my favorite things about chapel is the unity we get to experience together. Chapel is a time where we stand as Gordon College, one body, to praise our eternal savior, Jesus Christ. Some days it’s hard to attend. Even when your heart might not be in it, you should go to chapel to be surround by believers and the word of the Lord. There are also times when we are so weak and do not know what to say to the Lord, because we are hurting, tired, or depressed. In those times, we have those around us to “raise a hallelujah” for us, and that is the beauty of a body of believers. Unity does not just encompass students but faculty as well. I think not only should students have a quota to meet for chapels, but administration and professors should also. I can only imagine chapels where more than just students showed up. If the Gordon administration requires credit from us as students, shouldn’t the administration pave the way in exemplifying worship and attentiveness in chapel? I would argue that the whole campus of Gordon should be united as one body–not just students.
We have an awesome opportunity to further invest ourselves in Chapel. We get to praise the Lord’s name under one roof for His kingdom alone. Yes, chapel should be required but despite that, shouldn’t we worship together because we want to? Shouldn’t Gordon meet out of love and compassion for one another? Shouldn’t we gather to “raise a hallelujah” for our struggling neighbor? It is a privilege to praise the Lord’s name on high and be blessed by receiving CL&W credit.