McCleary Chapel’s Monday services celebrates Black History Month

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Hoping to support Black students on-campus University of Indianapolis students and exploring different ways of engaging them in the worship life, Monday Chapel Services was founded in 2018, according to associate chaplain Arionne Williams. The services are devoted to celebrate Black history, Williams said.

“We sat down with some Black students, faculty and staff and had focus group conversations,” Williams said. “That’s why we kind of came up with the idea of having our own [chapel].”

The chapel holds a brief, weekly segment to highlight African heritage, according to Williams. During these segments, they honor historical African-American figures and organizations. 

“It’s important to celebrate and honor the students and the heritage that they represent,” Williams said. “And lift that up into as part of our worship, be thankful to God for what Black folks have done to sort of make our country and world better.” 

The service dedicated to Martin Luther King was scheduled for Feb. 15 but was delayed to March 1 due to inclement weather, according to Williams. Not only will the event commemorate King’s legacy but will have the theme of Black leadership and honor Black organizations on campus such as Project Regalia and Black Student Association. It is important to honor student leaders, Williams said, and to celebrate their contributions to the campus community. 

“You really have to give people their flowers while they can smell them,” Williams said. “Sometimes we take advantage of the things that people contribute and say ‘thank you’ and keep it moving. But now we need to stop and look at one another and say ‘listen, what you’re doing is amazing and I’m grateful to you.’” 

Junior elementary major Jayla Gregory said she has been co-college chaplain for two years. In that time, the service has followed the same routine, she said.

“You can walk away from the sermon that was preached and be like ‘Wow, Monday Chapel, I heard a great speaker today.’ I think chapel touched the situations I was going through,” Gregory said.

Williams said McCleary Chapel’s Facebook and YouTube accounts livestream the services at 4:30 p.m. People also have the option of attending in-person, which is located on 4002 Otterbein Ave.

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