ORSL Newsletter | March 2017
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A Message from the Dean  

Just a month after her tweet:
"I was raised Catholic, became Episcopalian & found out later my family was Jewish. I stand ready to register as Muslim in #solidarity,"
Secretary Madeleine Albright gathered with the Wellesley College Multifaith Student Council to discuss the impact of the recent Executive Orders on Immigration. Together with members from Al-Muslimat, Wellesley African Students Association, Wellesley Arab Women Association, and Wellesley Association for South Asian Cultures, Multifaith Council students shared their experiences following the orders with Secretary Albright. Through an engaging question and answer period, the diverse students explored ways they might create positive political and social change in an uncertain time. Following the conversations, students agreed to come back together to discuss Secretary Albright’s book, The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs, as they contemplate how to make a difference on campus and in the wider world.

Chaplains and members of Multifaith Council with Secretary Albright
This gathering is just one of the many ways in which the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life fosters meaningful conversations about life’s most pressing questions. While this past week our Protestant Chaplain, Rev. Sarah Robbins-Cole, and Interim Catholic Chaplain, Christine Mitchell, observed Ash Wednesday, inviting students to commit to a life-giving Lenten practice, our Jewish and Muslim chaplains, Rabbi Audrey Berkman and Amira Quraishi, celebrated Avi Shabbat together. This annual event brings together the Jewish and Muslim communities on campus to observe Jumu’ah prayer and Kabbalat Shabbat services while building relationships and fostering interfaith understanding.

We in the Office of Religious and Spiritual life understand how essential it is to nurture the connections between one’s faith and the wider world. This month we begin our weekly reflection sessions for students traveling with Hindu Chaplain, Shrestha Singh and myself on the Alternative Spring Break trip, Confronting the Unacceptable: An Interfaith Engagement with the Civil Rights Movement. Read along with us in the Trilogy March by Congressman John Lewis. We will read one volume each week this month. If you would like reflection questions sent to you, please email our office here.

In challenging times like these, we are called to deepen our own spiritual practices as a means of promoting health and wellness…body, mind, and soul. Last month, Unitarian Universalist Chaplain, Rev. Joanna Lubkin, took students on an overnight retreat to do just that. Through reflection, ritual, and shared conversations students were able to step away from the busy-ness of campus life to cultivate their own well-being. Now more than ever it is important for students to learn concrete skills for living a balanced life. This month, John Bailes, our Buddhist Chaplain begins a 6 week wellness course designed to teach students how to cultivate mindfulness in their daily lives.

As spring begins to blossom slowly all around, we invite you to join us in the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life as we nurture our own seedlings of health and wellness, faith and spirituality, hope and resilience. May this season bring new life in the midst of uncertainty.
This Month's Snapshots
South Asian American Voices on Mental Health

Mathangi Ganesh '19 submitted a video about South Asian American mental health to the 2017 Open Call video challenge organized by TEAM (Together Empowering Asian Minds). The video features stories of herself, along with three other Wellesley students: Amal Cheema '17, Sitara Zoberi '19, and Tanvee Varma '18.
ORSL at WellNESST Festival 2/15

ORSL participated as part of the Wellesley College WellNESST festival! Over 50 students stopped by to complete a finger labyrinth meditation activity and learn about the upcoming labyrinth design and building project on campus.

Pictured: Lara Glass and Chaplain John Bailes at the ORSL booth
Unitarian Universalist Retreat 2/18
Pictured: Cseca Gazzolo, Liz Wendell, Lydia MacKay, Timothy Boatwright, KC Skeldon
Darshana Cooking Night 2/24

Students and the Hindu Chaplain, Shrestha, made egg curry and chickpeas in Acorns kitchen, and it was delicious!
Mardi Gras 2/28

Chloe Carlander and Kira Van Vorhees rolling up their sleeves and serving up pancakes.

Members of Sophia's Table enjoying a little Marci Gras/Shrove Tuesday at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church!  Our students quickly offered to help and found themselves on pancake duty!

Names left to right: Olivia Lewis, Catherine Winn, Cali Stenson, Madeleine Sorensen,
Sarah Robbins-Cole
Sophia's Table 

Departing from its former, solely religious purpose, some of the members of Sophia’s Table convened on a Saturday night at French House to cook dinner and enjoy The Lord of the Rings The Twin Towers movie. Joined by a few members of French House, the students made chicken tacos and had a wide-ranging conversation while sharing the meal. After dinner and cleanup they settled in for the three hour film, fortified by brownies, chocolate truffles and ice cream.
(Grace Ballenger)

Pictured: Cali Stenson, Olivia Lewis, Kira Van Vorhees, Rachel Hale, Grace
Ballenger, Safia Williams, Catherine Winn, Camilla Korczara, and Cseca Gazzolo
Fresh Check Day 3/8

(Left) Chaplain John Bailes getting his face painted at Fresh Check Day. (Right) Wellness intentions for students.
Staff Meeting 3/8
Coming Up
Weekly Offerings Fall 2016
Copyright © 2017 Office of Religious & Spiritual Life at Wellesley College, All rights reserved.

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