Azusa Pacific University’s newest chapel, Kaleo has been around for less than 10 years, yet it attracts students who will stand in the long line outside UTCC every Wednesday night.
Sabrina Carlos, a junior applied health major, said, “Yes, having to wait in line an hour before Kaleo starts just to get a decent seat is a pain. I enjoy Kaleo though, and at the end of the night, I don't think about how long I had to wait, but reflect on the message we just learned.”
Kaleo was established as the “9:11” chapel in 2001 by APU’s previous campus pastor, Chris Brown. He wanted to offer students a special chapel service at an out-of-ordinary time—9:11 p.m. However, when the significant events of 9/11 occurred, there was some confusion with the name.
In spring 2007, a message was sent out to the APU community about a name change. The message stated that it was time for a new identity and a new start. The name, Kaleo, is a Greek word that defines moments of being “invited” and “called out” by God’s initiative toward us.
“We wanted students to come to Kaleo feeling invited and called by Jesus,” said Campus Pastor Woody Morwood. The word Kaleo is found in the New Testament and describes the opportunity we have to recognize our God who is actively seeking our attention.
Morwood believes Kaleo is popular due to the fact that it is an evening chapel when most students are awake and fully attentive. Additionally, Kaleo offers consistent preaching from campus pastors.
Morwood has been preaching at Kaleo since 2004 and says, “It is my favorite thing I do, and it is one the thing I won’t give up.”
Senior liberal studies major Laura Mazza says, “I love Kaleo because (the message) seems to flow week to week. Woody reminds us what we talked about previously, keeping us more accountable.”
Another unique aspect of Kaleo is the original artwork displayed on stage. Morwood greatly advocates visual preaching and feels that visually stimulating art works well for this generation, giving more opportunities to display God’s Word and truth.
A Kaleo SALT team made up of students helps Morwood brainstorm for the Wednesday ahead. “Every Monday night, we meet and come up with ideas. It’s great because it’s like a small version of the APU community,” said Morwood.
APU graduate student Jason LeShana, a Kaleo SALT team member, said, “The Monday meetings are an amazing opportunity for our group to dream and plan for ways we can preach the message audibly, visually, and even kinesthetically.”
The meaning of Kaleo encompasses what it means to be part of the APU community. It means being a part of a relationship with God and with each other as we hear God’s Word every Wednesday night.