Church on Campus: What are the Options?
Services this year will look a little different than those in the past.
In the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic, many are struggling to find a sense of normalcy amongst the chaos in the world. For some students, that normalcy revolves around going to dinner with a small group of friends or simply being back at school this fall, but for others, attending or watching a religious service provides a similar comfort. However, the question remains—how will services at Furman be impacted?
According to Reverend Tiffany Gibson Cox, Assistant University Chaplain at Daniel Chapel, services this year will look a little different than those in the past. “Services will not be held in Daniel Chapel for the time being,” said Rev. Tiffany Gibson Cox. Instead, she is encouraging students to follow virtual services put on by student organizations including Catholic Campus Ministry and Reformed University Fellowship, off-campus churches and communities that hold livestreams each week or even Daniel Chapel’s own virtual service series called Encounter: Meditations. Encounter: Meditations “will be multifaith in nature,” she explained, “incorporate[ing] music, art, spiritual practice, readings and words from the chaplains.” These will be easily accessible and posted on the Office of Spiritual Life’s social media and Furman’s website every couple of weeks. The first service, “Welcome,” is already available to watch.
Those who wish to visit the chapel may do so as long as they maintain social distancing guidelines and wipe down where they touch. Students will have full access to the main chapel, meditation chapel and chapel sanctuary throughout the week during times that are not already occupied by Furman groups and academic classes. Students should check with the Office of Spiritual Life before coming to Daniel Chapel to ensure their planned visit falls outside of these occupied times.
In the coming months, Daniel Chapel is hoping to hold a special lament service for the lives lost to COVID-19 in the Furman community as well as “the immense amount of grief that can come just from the loss of social connection, communal norms and rituals, and economic hardship as a result of this pandemic” according to Rev. Tiffany Gibson Cox.
This is a difficult time for everyone, so “the chaplains are happy to help students” with finding services or needing someone to talk to, said Rev. Tiffany Gibson Cox.