There are a wide variety of on-campus jobs at Grove City College. Coming in as a freshman, I knew that I wanted to work part-time while in school. There were so many options to choose from. I could work in the cafeteria‘s bakery or dishroom, work a desk shift, be a lifeguard, work at the library, and the list goes on and on. One position that had a particular interest to me was working on the chapel staff.
Chapel staff is a group of three men and three women who assist Dr. Keehlwetter, the Dean of the Chapel, in running chapel services. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, chapel staff will eat breakfast with the guest speaker. Then, we will pray or read scripture during the service. At the end of chapel, some of the chapel staff are stationed at the doors to make sure no latecomers try to sneak in and get a chapel credit. There are Sunday night services, called Vespers, that we hand out programs, pray, read scripture, and also scan student’s ID cards at the end so they receive a chapel credit. During the week, there are special chapel events that we can sign up to work. The schedule is rotated so that we do not have to attend every chapel service. There are over 50 chapel services every semester!
The most memorable experience for me on chapel staff is the Christmas Candlelight Service. The chapel is decorated and filled with Christmas cheer. There is a large Christmas tree at the front and garland strewn throughout the chapel. During the service, the lights are turned out, and everyone is given a candle. Last year, on chapel staff, I helped to light the choir’s candles. Once the lights are turned off and the candles are glowing, we sing some Christmas carols. It is amazing to see the hundreds of people, students and community members, holding their candles and singing.
My favorite part of being on chapel staff is the opportunity to be involved in chapel services. I have always enjoyed attending chapel, and being able to participate has been a great experience. I also enjoy talking with the guest speakers and hearing about their stories and what they have accomplished. We have had a variety of guest speakers, from pastors to missionaries and professors. I like that there are different speakers for every chapel, the variety makes me look forward to the message.
There are many positives to being on chapel staff and very few negatives for me. For some who are not a morning person, meeting for breakfast with the chapel speaker at 8:30 may be an issue. Also, if someone does not actually enjoy going to chapel, than this is not the right job. Public speaking skills are necessary because often times, I am speaking in front of the majority of the 2,500 students. Working Sunday nights can be difficult if I choose to go home, I have to be back at the chapel by 5:45, so I have to leave my house early to be back in time. There are also evening chapels throughout the semester that could interfere with other campus activities. The schedule is flexible though, and we can get other chapel staff to cover for us, if needed.
Chapel staff is a great campus job. It has been a great learning experience for me to go behind the scenes and see how chapel is run like clockwork. I also get paid to be involved in something that I enjoy. Even if you are not interested in working on chapel staff, I would encourage students to attend more chapels, even if they do not need the chapel credits. It is a great time to focus on what really matters and to take a break from focusing on schoolwork.