Changing weather, changing worship

by Nara Shin | News Writer

With sunny fall days giving way to colder temperatures, campus ministry is pivoting its plans for Tuesday and Thursday Chapel as well as Tuesday night Hosanna.

Starting Tuesday, October 27, Chapel will be held in the Fieldhouse for the remainder of the semester. These in-person events will be physically distanced and require all to wear masks. The 11 a.m. services on Tuesdays and Thursdays will continue to be livestreamed for those who are unable to attend.

Unlike the outdoor services, however, there will be no congregational singing during worship. The band will still sing and invite attendants to contemplate the lyrics instead of singing out loud.

Since Hosanna is a singing service, it will be solely livestreamed through YouTube and Instagram, with no in-person gathering.

Prior to this change, Chapel has been held outside in the loop since the beginning of the semester, with community members spread out to worship together.

“We want to give students opportunities to worship in different ways so they can encounter and engage with God here,” said Forrest Buckner, Dean of Campus Life and campus pastor at Whitworth.

This is tricky though because of all the steps involved with following COVID-19 guidelines. The campus ministries team and students are responsible for extra precautions to the safety guidelines when they prepare the worship.

Senior Sarah Sugano is one of the worship team’s leaders for Chapel.

“We can only sing for [rehearsals] 30 minutes at a time before we have to leave the room to let the air change over,” Sugano said. “[But], I’ve loved the creativity that has come with new boundaries and the way we have been pushed to think differently about the chapel.”

Despite all difficulties, the campus ministry staff and many students say they have appreciated the ability to worship together outside and soon inside.

Warren Campus Ministry Coordinator Nicole Juarez Zelaya said she regularly attends Chapel but has also been grateful for the livestream option.

“Livestream makes us grateful for technology so that we can still be connected and remember we can still worship together,” she said. “I feel really grateful that the Campus Ministries staff worked hard to allow us to be outside in-person and to do safely.”

For more questions for the Whitworth’s campus worship service, visit, email or check out the page on Instagram @whitworthcampusministries.