When we gather in chapel at Life Pacific (University), something powerful happens, especially at the outset of our school year when we meet as a community of believers during Convocation Chapel.
By: Jim J. Adams, Ed.D., LPC President
Lest you think I have lost all sense of syntax and grammatical discipline, allow me the opportunity to explain the title of this article.
Our first chapel service during Welcome Week could be called, “This Ain’t Summer Camp No More!” Now, there is no bigger champion of Foursquare youth camps than me. God accomplishes amazing things in the lives of young people and adults at camp and I spent a good portion of my life directing youth camps.-
The camp experience can never be replaced. However, Life Pacific students discover soon after they arrive on our campus that God is about to accomplish something in them they have never experienced before. Transformation is on their horizon and much of that transformation will occur during chapel.
"Life Pacific students discover soon after they arrive on our campus that God is about to accomplish something in them they have never experienced before. Transformation is on their horizon and much of that transformation will occur during chapel. We consider McPherson Chapel to be the largest classroom on campus and what happens there deeply affects each one of us."
We consider McPherson Chapel to be the largest classroom on campus and what happens there deeply affects each one of us. The gravitas of our community worship is life changing and serious business. Former LPC President Dr. Dan Stewart, a professor with a 30-year plus history here, refers to chapel as the “most dangerous room on campus,” because of God’s tendency to interfere with a person’s plans as they lay their lives bare before Him in worship.
Leading off each fall, new and returning students, staff and faculty gather during Welcome Week for Convocation Chapel, a worship event that sets the proper tone for the entire school year and for each weekly chapel to follow. Convocation Chapel is an assembly of the entire LPC community, calling us to a recognition of the seriousness of our task and the depth of God’s involvement in our lives and our work.
As I prepared to speak at this year’s convocation, the Lord impressed me to emphasize anew the central place of our relationship with Jesus Christ. My passion is to see our Life Pacific community drawn into deeper places of spiritual surrender and to fully commit to God’s plan for each life as He reveals His direction, often during times of worship in chapel.
Convocation is a higher education tradition and nearly every institution honors some form of the practice. Accordingly, our Convocation Chapel includes a formal processional of faculty in full regalia entering McPherson Chapel to an impressive classical march. Beyond the pomp and circumstance, however, the tradition at Life Pacific communicates that we are an academic community with a focus on expanding the mind and our understanding of the world God has called us to serve.
During our Convocation Chapel, we introduce students to our executive leadership team and the faculty. We invite our associate chaplains to the platform so the entire community knows these dedicated men and women - local ministers who give of their time and gifting to mentor and coach our students.
As an added bonus to Welcome Week, our associate chaplains met with Foursquare Chaplains International (FCI) representatives Steve Sewell and Al White for FCI training tailored uniquely to institutional chaplains. The value of chaplaincy on our campus cannot be overstated, especially for first-year college students or those who are new to our San Dimas campus.
Throughout the year, chapel speakers will represent the diversity of our Life Pacific community honoring a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives that resonate with our students. Themes are carefully crafted and curated with 50% of chapel topics focused on spiritual formation. Every chapel service draws attention to thinking broadly about ministry within The Foursquare Church and the larger body of Christ.
Yes, chapel throughout the year is pivotal for our Life Pacific community, and Convocation Chapel reminds us each fall of the importance of our academic and spiritual fundamentals. Something powerful happens each time our entire community gathers in worship, especially at the outset of our school year as we establish anew the Lordship of Jesus Christ and His purposes in our lives.