Chapel

Hearing and Responding to God

Chapel is a time set apart from the hectic nature of daily school life that allows faculty and students to come together for a time of biblical teaching, religious contemplation, and corporate worship. Pastors, community leaders, faculty members, and fellow students are invited to address the community. The student chapel bands also lead the group in singing contemporary worship songs and traditional hymns.

Chapel Recaps

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!

It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
We are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!

Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.” - Psalm 100

Bible Department Chair Ingrid Hill shared why Chapel is important to Boston Trinity Academy and why we gather together every week to celebrate it.

Mrs. Hill began her message with the history of Chapel at BTA. Corporate worship has been a part of the school culture since BTA’s founding in 2002, and BTA has had a myriad of chaplains and speakers in its history. There have also been various types of Chapel, from the Trinity Institute Chapel, which integrates the Bible with social justice, to Junior Chapels, Middle School Chapels, and, of course, the Baccalaureate Chapel, during which we honor our Seniors. Chapel at BTA even endured challenging events like the Coronavirus pandemic. Mrs. Hill recounted a time when former Headmaster Frank Guerra held Zoom Chapel in 2020, and dozens of people jumped into the Zoom chat to express their gratitude at being able to come together amidst a pandemic.  

Mrs. Hill expounded that, no matter the occasion or the speaker, there has always been Chapel at BTA, and it has always been at the heart of the week on Wednesday. 

She went on to ask again, “So Why Chapel?” She answered her question by stating,  “At a very basic fundamental level, the answer is ‘Love.’ We have a chapel to love God and love one another.” In line with the first and second commandments, love is rooted and intertwined with the identity of Chapel at BTA.

She then explained how the physical building of BTA also reflects this truth. In 1928, the sisters of St. Joseph came from Poland to rescue orphans of the city of Boston and raise them in the ways of the Lord. The orphanage was housed in a small building where the Bradley Athletic Center is currently being built. In 1957, they tore that small building down and built our current campus to continue their work. 

Mrs. Hill asked, “When they were building our school, where did they build the chapel? It’s in the center. The chapel is at the heart of this building and at the heart of what we do.”

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By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be built with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. - 1 Corinthians 3:10-11

Taking place in an overflowing and boisterous auditorium, Monday’s Convocation Address was given by the esteemed Reverend Eugene F. Rivers III. Reverend Rivers who was introduced by Mr. Robert H. Bradley, Chairman of the Boston Trinity Academy Board of Trustees and personal friend of the Reverend. Reverend Rivers was a gang member in Philadelphia, and after being mentored by a local reverend he left the gang and went on to study at Harvard in 1976 where he got involved with religiously affiliated activist groups aimed at African-American liberation, urban redevelopment, and gang violence. He went on to become a renowned pastor, started numerous faith based-organizations and compassion projects, served as an advisor to George H.W Bush, and has aided both the democratic and republican parties as a faith-based advisor over his career.

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Scripture Reading: Romans 8:18-27

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

Chapel began with Director of Music, Kirstin Peltz leading the student body and faculty in a hymn of Dona Nobis Pacem. Shortly after Headmaster Tim Belk kicked off the first chapel of the new school year with an inquisition and small sermon about what chapel is at Boston Trinity Academy. Mr. Belk challenged the students not to think of chapel as a mere orientation this year or a piece of a typical mundane formula, but as “a time for radical disruption of our worldviews.” 

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Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. – Romans 12:1-10

There was an excitement and sound of chatter when the Boston Trinity Academy students and staff gathered together in the Auditorium for the Awards Chapel. Headmaster Frank Guerra welcomed everyone, saying that our latin motto "Via, Veritas, Vita" reflects our desire to be a school that represents and follows Jesus and His will for our lives because Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. It also commits to our three-pronged approach embedded into our educational philosophy which is the integration of faith, learning and service. It was a beautiful ceremony to commemorate and honor the BTA scholars who have excelled this year.

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One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” – Matthew 12:28-31

What does it mean to love your neighbor? Students from four of the project groups of the Trinity Institute for Leadership and Social Justice shared their thoughts in last week’s Chapel about practical ways to love one’s neighbors.

Arielle Emery began by speaking about an issue important to Boston voters: affordable housing. Arielle is part of the BTA Green project group, which has become involved with neighbors close to the school who are trying to clean up the green space around them. These residents are also concerned about the repercussions of a proposal for a housing project which, if built, would destroy 14 acres of forest. “These woods are worth preserving,” Arielle said. “The residents shouldn’t have to choose between affordable housing and green space. Listen to others’ requests and do your best to help them on their terms.”

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