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Vision of New Spiritual and Community Life Program Manager

Aug. 21, 2020

Emmanuel College seeks to be a learning community where “students become more deeply rooted in their own religious or spiritual traditions while engaging the beliefs and practices of people of other traditions.” Spiritual life programming at the College for the year ahead seeks to do just that: there will be spaces for practising according to and informed by each of our traditions, as well as community spaces for shared expressions of spiritual life. And, as is the case with much of our lives these days, these opportunities will be offered virtually. As a part of the extended Emmanuel community, you are welcome to join us for any and all of these gatherings.

This year, spiritual life at Emmanuel will be coordinated and facilitated by the Spiritual Life Team, formerly the Worship Team. This change in title reflects a shifted group makeup; this year, we have student leaders participating on this team from across the religious/spiritual traditions. As the new Spiritual and Community Life Program Manager, I will be working alongside this team to plan, coordinate and sometimes animate spiritual life opportunities at the College.

Please join us for facilitated rituals and practices from:

  • Various Buddhist lineages on Mondays from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m.;
  • Christian Chapel on Tuesdays from 1:30 to 1:45 p.m.;
  • Wednesday Chapel (a predominately Christian worship space, and sometimes space for inter-religious/spiritual gathering) from 1:30 to 3 p.m.; and
  • Contemplative Community Practices (an experimental space for contemplative practices from across our religious/spiritual traditions) on Thursdays from 1:30 to 2 p.m.

In addition to these regular weekly gatherings, there will be periodic spiritual discussion groups for Muslim students, as well as inter-religious retreats each semester for all students. And our Welcome Back Service is on September 16 at 1:30 p.m. via Zoom: please join us as we begin a new academic year by blessing some of the sacred spaces at Emmanuel and covenanting for a new year of being a learning community. Please visit our Spiritual Life Gatherings online form and indicate which services and gatherings you are interested in participating in, and you will receive weekly or monthly e-mails with secure Zoom links embedded. Sam can be reached at

Our need for connecting spiritually in times of social crisis such as this is strong. I trust that we will continue to gather as Emmanuel (while not at Emmanuel) in ways that are nourishing, meaningful and inspiring.

In peace,

Sam Cavanagh

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