Check Out Chapel

Yixiu L., Reporter

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Chapel is an very important activity for Pilgrim School. It happens on every other Wednesday in the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. The church has existed here for a long time, Pilgrim School is an extension of the church. Chapel is a whole-school activity designed to connect adults and students to their spiritual life.

“Spiritual life was very important when I was young,” The arranger of chapel, Ms. Julianne James said, “I think it is also very important for young people. It can shape how they are going to be as adults.”

During chapel, we sing songs together with Ms. James. These songs comes from a lot of different sources. “Most of the songs that we sing in chapel are from ‘Singing the Living Tradition’ by the Unitarian Universalist Association Boston. The association takes songs from multiple religions, getting in touch with multiple religious beliefs.” Ms. James described.

Before chapel, Ms. James arranges everything. For example, she arranges what the meditations about, what are we going to be talking about, and what songs to sing. The Headmaster of Pilgrim School, Mr. Paul Barsky, usually shares a topic with her in order to let her talk about it during chapel. And Ms. James will share things that she thinks it is helpful in her life with us.

During chapel, Ms. James also leads meditations, some of which are from her own yoga practices.  “I practice mindfulness…A lot are from the readings I do,” Ms. James said.

Chapel has changed from prior years. Before, we tried to connect religion with students and faculty members’ lives, but now we just want to give them a quiet environment. We want people feel like it is a moment to rest because there are too many things going on during the school days.

Chapel is also a distinct activity of Pilgrim School because the students of the whole school get an opportunity to be together, which doesn’t happens a lot. When we are all together, it gives students a sense of who they are and the chance to feel the value of community.

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