Inkwell’s thoughts on chapel this year


photo courtesy of Yuhang Wang

Lessons and Carols of 2018, one of the few events in which the Chapel is used for a religious celebration.

Abby Givens, Editor-in-Chief

The role chapel has played in the Annie Wright community has evolved to take a variety of forms as the school moves further away from its Episcopalian roots. With a new chaplain this year, comes a new mission for the community space. As students and teachers talk about the changes, Inkwell thought it appropriate to articulate its thoughts on chapel this year. 

Monday chapel has moved from starting at around 10:00 am to starting at 2:45 pm, placing it at the very end of the day. Mondays are notoriously tiring, due to the number of classes, the earlier start time, and the nature of being the first day of the week; therefore, very few students are visibly engaged. 

Additionally, a group of 200 is not necessarily conducive to tackling some of the most difficult questions that we all face, ones that religions answer. When the chaplain poses such a question, or even a question with a definitive answer, the student body more often than not responds with silence. 

People may be reluctant to participate because they cannot recall the information that she is asking about or they feel such topics are too personal to be addressed in such a large forum. Regardless of the reason, a continuous lack of engagement indicates that a new approach is necessary.

The Inkwell team looks forward to having experts or practitioners of a variety of world religions come in and speak with the Upper School about their beliefs and how their religion is actually practiced. This will hopefully transform chapel from feeling like a seventh class to an engaging and thought provoking exploration of the way other people understand their experience of the world.