In the last couple of weeks, I have shared two blog posts on SMUS Chapel. The first, which you can read here, was about the history and background of Chapel at SMUS. The second blog touched on the ins and outs of SMUS Chapel – why we do what we do as a community.
Today, in the last of the series, I answer a few questions about getting more out of Chapel.
Getting More out of Chapel
How can parents contribute to Chapel?
Simple. Ask your children about it. Help them explore the ideas that are raised. Don’t worry if they stare blankly at you from time to time – not every message will land. The program’s value lies in the long run rather than any single message. If your children are at the Junior School, feel free to join us for Chapel on Monday mornings and look for letters from Tessa Lloyd that explain the virtue of the month and what questions you might explore around the dinner table.
Who decides what gets discussed in Chapel?
Our Junior School follows the Virtues Project, which means that each month we focus on a particular quality of character. Supporting work undertaken in classrooms, Chapel provides a whole school platform to highlight the virtue, which often works its way into writing assignments and further discussions. At the Middle School, Chapel themes are developed in conversation with the directors and staff, who identify what’s going on within the student community. This has lead to anywhere from explorations of humour to reflections on the significance of belonging. When it comes to the Senior School, student voices are centre stage. Whether it’s general guidance from the Chapel Team or whole event leadership from Councils and Clubs, most of the gatherings are student led.
How can students become more involved in Chapel?
The intriguing thing about Chapel is that its value to us as individuals largely relies on us as individuals. If we go looking for benefit, we’ll probably find it has much to offer. If we go expecting little, we’ll probably receive exactly that. With this in mind, the first level of involvement is simply the decision to get the most out of each gathering. When a topic strikes our interest, we can carry on the conversation in the hallways, in class, and around the dinner table. We can also decide to take our place at the front, leading a presentation or sharing our musical talents. Feedback is always welcome, particularly when a gathering stands out in good ways or bad. Finally, at the Senior School, join the Chapel Team – the group that shaped Chapel into what it is today. More importantly, it’s the group that influences what Chapel will become.
As always, if you have any other questions about Chapel not answered in any of these blogs, please email me and I’ll be glad to connect with you.