By Evangelina Opoku-Nyarko ’21
Gordon College celebrated its first ever Easter chapel on 29th March 2018.
The event introduced a faculty-student choir consisting of about 40 students and staff members—including the three of the college’s vice presidents. The choir also featured an 8 year old soloist, Nate Jukanovich. Of his participation in the event, Jukanovich said, “I love singing and my mom and dad just made me, and I liked it”.
According to Bil Mooney-McCoy, the director of worship, this intergenerational choir represented unity. “There’s something seen in multiple generations singing together,” said Mooney-McCoy.
Mooney-McCoy was very instrumental, alongside the other chapel staff, in putting the event together. He said that the aim of the event was to provide “a sense of the wonder and awe of the story”.
The theme for this chapel was “victory”, suggested by chaplain, Tom Haugen, for the word’s significance as the last word of A. J. Gordon, the founder of Gordon college. Of the theme, Mooney-McCoy’s said, “isn’t that what it’s about?”. He mentioned that the word in itself was a reflection of what we celebrated during Easter– Christ’s resurrection and victory over sin.
This chapel service was conducted differently from the normal chapel routine. Aside the unique choir it introduced, it was mostly music with a brief introductory message from Haugen. There was also a reading and response session that engaged the congregation, music by Mooney-McCoy and Sophie Wood (’20), a performance by the dance ministry, songs by a men’s band and a women’s band, and artwork by some students and a professor showing stages of the death and resurrection of Christ, was displayed on screen.
The chapel ended with a chorus led by Mooney-McCoy with the choir and bands singing along.
Khiara Rivera (’21) remarked after the event that “A great presence was felt and I experienced something I’ve never experienced before. I saw a glimpse of heaven”.
Since this was a first time event, Mooney-McCoy confessed to being quite skeptical as to how it may turn out in terms of participation but he got surprised at the willingness of both faculty and staff to be involved.
Though this event may not occur every year, Mooney–McCoy hopes that it happens at least every four years for every student to experience it once. That way, he said, “ It also has a specialness”.