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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Spanish club starts bilingual chapel

Friday, September 21, 2007  
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By Jacey Jacobs

Students of Oklahoma Christian University now have the opportunity to attend a different kind of chapel. Under the direction of Tina Ware, chair of the department of language and literature , the Spanish club, leads Spanish chapel every Tuesday on the second floor of the library.

“It’s conducted in both Spanish and English. We sing songs, and have a devotional in Spanish and then translate back into English,” Ware said. “We are hoping to have some involvement from the native Spanish speakers on campus. We would like for them to come and tell us about their countries or culture to make us more aware of Spanish speaking cultures.”

Juniors, Jared Beverly and Ashleigh Hess are the student leaders of the Spanish club and are responsible for making Spanish chapel a weekly event. Beverly leads singing and the devotionals.

“Jared does a good job in using cognate words,” Ware said. “The students in my Spanish classes will actually understand more than they think because he uses words that are similar in Spanish and English.”

Beverly joined the Spanish club the beginning of his freshman year and was named the new president by the second semester.

“We started having devotionals on Monday nights, and last year we noticed that we didn’t get a lot of attendance,” Beverly said.  “We moved it to chapel and had a whole lot more attendance. Last semester we had one Spanish chapel a month, but this semester we will have it every Tuesday.”

The addition of regular Spanish chapel brings many exciting emotions.

“Last semester Jared and I and Dr. Ware were talking about the need to get something started with the Spanish Club that is more affluent on our campus,” Hess said. For us, Spanish isn’t just about learning it and graduating with a degree, but about developing it more for your own personal use.”

Hess believes it is important to have a place not only to learn Spanish, but also to learn about the culture and bring native and learning speakers together. 

“The purpose is to have a more intimate chapel and something for those who are interested in the Spanish-speaking culture,” Ware said. “Also, it is for students who are Spanish students so they can get to have chapel in their native language.”

Ware, Hess and Beverly have a passion for the Spanish-speaking culture, and want to reach out to the Spanish-speaking community on campus to develop a ministry for them.

They also want to create an opportunity for the people who are learning Spanish to interact with people who already know the language in order to give them an outlet besides their Spanish classes.

“It’s all about connecting with those who already speak Spanish,” Beverly said. “Also, America is becoming more and more a Spanish-speaking country and we are going to need to know the terminology and the vocabulary to minister and evangelize to non-Christians.”

Beverly says students can come to Spanish chapel even if they do not know the language. By coming they will learn simple words that are important in ministering to those who speak Spanish. This special chapel also prepares the people who are learning Spanish to evangelize to Spanish-speaking non-Christians.

“Anyone outside of Spanish club can participate. It’s not just about education and finishing your degree, it’s about exploring and discovering,” Hess said. “It’s important for those outside (of the Spanish major) to know that, too. This semester Oklahoma Christian is focusing on every tribe, and this is the same thing, only we are focusing on this side of the world.”

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