Chapel is a time where the whole school, seventh through twelfth, comes together to worship and learn about God. Our goal for chapel is to bring spiritual unity throughout our school. This is a unique privilege offered to us and we want to make sure we take full advantage of this blessing. Our school has a chapel class that plans every little detail to make sure chapel is as close to perfect as it can be.
Chapel class is made up of juniors and seniors from Blackhawk with the leadership of Mrs. Hooley and Mr. Holloway. The class met about once a month in the summer and took a full day retreat at the beginning of August. During that retreat, plans were made for music, activities, and changes to chapel this year. The chapel class definitely works hard every single day, but for them, Wednesday is the most hectic day of the week: managing the music, technology, speakers, and all of the other behind the scenes things that are necessary to make chapel happen.
During Chapel class every day, students plan ahead for the chapel the next week and sometimes farther. They organize the whole chapel to the smallest details; from what songs to play to when the speaker comes up so that it all flows nicely.
Every chapel presents a new challenge for students in the class, but one week is more hectic, exciting and challenging than any other: That week is called Awake week. Awake week is intended to encourage and empower students at Blackhawk, metaphorically “wake students up” for the new school year. It is a week filled with worship, teaching, prayer and reflection.
This year’s speaker was Jason Hilgamin. He works for the Freedom House International and is stationed in the Dominican Republic. Jason focused on this year’s theme “Heneni” which is derived from Isaiah 6. Hineni means “Here I am”, and in Isaiah 6 Elisha says to God, “Here I am Lord, send me.” The purpose of this theme is not to have everyone travel across the world to serve, but rather to point out that there are many ways to serve locally. To explain this attitude of worship and service to the Lord, Jason spoke about Heneni and Isaiah 6 in four sermons.
On Monday, Jason talked about how service has nothing to do with need but all to do with God, trying to exaggerate the fact that we serve for God and service is a gift from God to us not a gift from us to Him. If we want to be passionate and occupied with something, we should be occupied with God.
On Tuesday, chapel started out with people reading different versions of verses from Isaiah 6. Then Jason talked about how faith is held up by facts and truth and he emphasized the act of service and how God doesn’t need you to do His work but He chooses you anyway. When we think about it, salvation is not something to look back on but to live out, which ties in with service. We are not significant from what we offer but who we partner with. If we truly want to have a heart that says, “Here I am,” we need to have a relationship with God.
On Wednesday, the emphasis was on our relationship with God and people. Jason read through the parable of the Good Samaritan and went into more detail about the question, “Who is my neighbor,” and how Jesus responded with, “Everyone.” If we get to know God, we will see change in your life.
On Thursday, Jason’s last day with us, he talked about Abraham and how he lived by faith. He read Hebrews 11; pointing out that we are not worthy enough to stand in God’s presence, and if we live a life of faith the world will not be worthy of us. We need to see God for who He is and live by faith because God is worth it.
With lots of behind the scenes planning and hard work, Awake week’s chapels were inspirational and helped get us excited for a new year. We look forward to learning even more about how we can have an attitude of serving and how we can continue to say, “Here I am, Lord. Send me.”
Article submitted by Sidney Jentgen