Every Tuesday at 11 a.m. during the school semester Chapel is held and speakers are chosen from the university and from outside the university to read passages from the Bible. The final decision is always made by Rev. James Tinnemeyer who speaks twice each semester. Along with Tinnemeyer, Assistant Chaplain Joshua Sumpter also provides help to Tinnemeyer on speakers.
Often, speakers are from the school whether it be faculty, students or President Douglas Lee. This frame allows the selection of speakers to be well organized and orderly.
“So that framework, we have a built-in structure and then of course myself and Rev. Tinnemeyer have a couple of opportunities as well as campus ministry staff,” Sumpter said. “We want to look in house but it’s nice but if we can have some guest as well.”
Often guest speakers come two at a time the guests from last semester have included Derek Davenport from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, William Younger, Dr. Karen Younger, a pastor at Union Presbyterian Church of Robinson and earlier this semester Marilyn West, the chairman of Board of Trustees. The next guest speaker will include Paulo Nzambi, Head of Imani Christian Academy and that will be on Charter day.
Chapel becomes closer to scripture rather than personal stories. The goal for those is for people not to be the same after Chapel and leave with a new description of sermons.
“We call it meditations for the short sermons,” said Sumpter, “versus just sharing ‘Hey this is my life, a teachable moment.’ That does engage the heart of the people that attended but, it does a sort of flimsy message, like each week we float along and share random stories. We want it to be rooted in scripture.”
Tuesday, Feb. 13, Dr. Karen Younger was the speaker for Chapel and according to Sumptner, she brought a different perspective as a history professor. There was so much great feedback that a tweet was sent out in support of the professor and speaker.
“She brings together different parts of her background and I think the feedback from Tuesday somebody tweeted out that Dr. Younger is the greatest of all time,” Sumpter said. “She just really did an incredible job.”
The actual tweet said “Dr. Younger blew our minds this morning with elegant inspiration and call to action. It’s not your fault. But it is your time. We were made for so much more than this. #callingovercareer #emptyoverfull @FaithAtWU” and was by senior ministry major Kristen Friday.
Even though the tweet was not exact to Sumpter’s message the acknowledgment of a great speech and the ability to reach students through Christ with the speaker is important.
“Little bit of who they are with God’s message for people that attend the challenged right that they’re encouraged another moved so that they will be like Christ our life to Christ,” said Sumpter.
At the end, the focus should remain in the scriptures and who Jesus was and is to this day.
“They’re going to point to the Scriptures. Here’s what the Bible says about who Jesus is and this is who Jesus calls us to be,” said Sumpter. “Speakers do a nice job of doing that pointing to the scriptures to be the voice that talks by the speakers the vehicle I have for the message.”