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2017

a n n ua l report

THE FAITH & SPIRITUALITY CENTRE faith & spirituality centre annual report

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table of contents 2

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4 Collaboration 6 Leadership 10 Community 12 Introduction

Religious pluralism Metrics

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introduction 4

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Yet another fabulous year has gone by. We’ve had a lot of activity both with events and with new staff, chaplains and representatives. We started the year out strong with several outreach opportunities during fall orientation week, kicking off the semester with our annual interfaith student club dinner and welcoming almost 30 student volunteers. These were all great ways for the campus community to learn about the Faith & Spirituality Centre (FSC) and how we support religious life on campus. Over the past year we welcomed three staff – Jessica Burke as program coordinator, Elyse Brazel as education coordinator, and Naveid Dar as program assistant (co-op student). We also welcomed five new chaplains and representatives – from the Christian (Orthodox), Muslim (Shia), and Baha’i communities. It’s been a wonderful gift this past year to have such a vibrant breadth of diversity in our staff, chaplains, and representatives as we continue to support our diverse campus and community. Additionally, we began forming an interreligious student alliance – inviting executives from the various faith or philosophical based student clubs to collaborate and discuss ongoing projects around dialogue, shared values, and community service both on and of campus. Members of the alliance offer opinions, suggestions, and bring a religious-student voice to religious diversity issues on campus including international students and student accommodation. I continued to lead the Spirituality & Religious Pluralism community of practice (COP) through the Canadian Association of College & University Student Services (CACUSS). The COP facilitated two webinars on religious diversity on campus and are currently drafting a monograph that will have several articles supporting religious life on campuses in Canada ranging from: space, religious pluralism, spirituality and wellness - to how to draft a memorandum of agreement with chaplains. We’re excited with the developments from this team and the recognition this area of student services has received.

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We had another fantastic year with the Kaleidoscope Project, with 21 students completing the program. We engaged with familiar spaces, places, and people and explored new ones too. We’ll also continue our research project in the upcoming year and have included the opportunity for one-on-one interviews for further feedback and engagement. We were honoured to be recently recognized for the amazing impact of the Kaleidoscope Project and earned the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education’s (NASPA) Outstanding Spiritual Initiative Award for demonstrating a significant impact on campus by promoting spiritual and religious growth and learning among students.

Sincerely,

Adriana Tulissi, Manager, Faith & Spirituality Centre

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The Faith & Spirituality Centre (FSC) had an exciting year collaborating and as a centre has a shared commitment to achieving common goals. Collaboration is a value the FSC shares with the university as an important way that the community creates opportunities for shared experiences, learning and relationships.

Inter- or Intra-faith Initiatives INTERFAITH DINNER: We opened the school year with a new interfaith dinner initiative. Over 60 representatives from a variety of religious and spiritual student clubs, our Faith and Spirituality Student Team (FASST), and community members joined together for a shared meal. The dinner provided an opportunity for communities to meet and connect with the FSC and each other for interreligious collaboration and dialogue. CHAPLAINCY EVENTS:

• The Lutheran, Christian Reformed, Pentecostal, Catholic, United/

Presbyterian and Baptist chaplains and Christian staff workers for SU Clubs, collaborated in offering an Opening of the Year Christian Worship Service in September, and a Christian Unity Worship Service in January. • Margaret (Lutheran chaplain), Pearl (Christian Reformed chaplain) and Zoe (support staff for United/Presbyterian chaplaincy) hosted a bi-monthly Women’s circle. WORLD HIJAB DAY: Our Muslim (Sunni) chaplain supported the Muslim Students’ Association hosting World Hijab Day raising awareness around the hijab and spoke about what hijab means in Islam. LIVING WITH IMPACT: In collaboration with the Sikh Students Association, this interactive workshop focused on developing excellence in one’s personal and professional life through Sikh Meditation, yoga practices and self-defense techniques.

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INTERRELIGIOUS STUDENT ALLIANCE: The FSC brought together members from SU and faith based religious clubs on campus to build solidarity, understanding and activities together. The group is currently working on a film project to highlight religious life on campus. ROOTS OF RESILIENCY: In collaboration with the SU Wellness Centre, Pearl Nieuwenhuis (Christian Reformed chaplaincy) and Zoë Say (United/ Presbyterian Chaplaincy) provided a joint offering around resiliency and spiritual wellness. RELIGIOUS LITERACY:

• Sexual & Gender Wellness Week: Various chaplains from

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the centre came together during Sex Week, to offer a panel discussion on “Consent through the Lens of Religion”. The FSC also hosted Dr. Benjamin Baader from the University of Winnipeg who presented, “Dancing on a Ray of Light: Transsexuality and other Border Crossings.” Dr. Baader explored the intersection of his trans-identity and Jewish faith, recounted his personal narrative, and offered an autobiographical insight to embracing his gender indeterminacy as an entry point to the Sacred through Jewish ritual observance. Our education coordinator and our Muslim (Sunni) chaplain guest lectured during several Werklund School of Education classes on how to support diverse religious identities in the classroom. Our Muslim (Shia) chaplain partnered with the Thaqalayn Muslim Students’ Association to offer a session on polygamy in Islam. The Sikh Representative led a tour of the Gurdwara for FSC staff as part of our winter retreat, and a tour for Education students who were exploring culture as part of a diversity course. Our Christian (Pentecostal) chaplain facilitated a Student Success Centre (SSC) class for graduate students. He also participated on air with RedFM and the Graduate Students’ Association discussing issues of pluralism and being Canadian. Several of our Christian chaplains – Lutheran, Pentecostal and Christian Reformed – spoke in multiple religious studies classes about their faith traditions, experiences and practices.

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INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE PANEL: In partnership with Career Services, the FSC was pleased to be added to the existing “Inclusion in the Workplace” panel series. The panel invited representatives from the City of Calgary, TD Bank, Alberta Health Services, and a student leader, to talk about what types of challenges and celebrations their organizations are working on to support religious life in the workplace. CRAIGIE LECTURE: The chaplains continued their partnership with the Department of Classics & Religion for the annual Peter Craigie Memorial Lecture, which hosted Dr. Paul Spilsbury for a discussion entitled “Reading the Bible Today: the Place of Scripture in Modern Discourse and Identity.”

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leadership

The FSC is a place where students come together in community, in practice and in learning. This process taps into the talents of our chaplains, who embody the gifts of mentoring, leadership, companionship and rootedness.

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The FSC also provides opportunities to engage in critical thinking by exploring the relationship of religion and spirituality in the public sphere, interreligious and intercultural dialogue and cooperation, and how we can build global citizens and leaders to create a better world for all. STUDENT LEADERS AND STUDENT RETREATS:

• Our Muslim (Sunni) chaplain provided training and support

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for members of the Muslim Students’ Association during Islam Awareness Week as well as support following the mosque shooting in Québec. Our Muslim (Shia) chaplain joined the centre late in the year, but has begun relationships with the Thaqalayn Muslim Students’ Association. The Lutheran and United/Presbyterian chaplaincies partnered to bring students together in worship and community with a winter retreat in Sylvan Lake . The Christian (United/Presbyterian) chaplaincy supports the Drum Troupe (a SU club) in developing a group of students to lead drum circles on campus and in community organizations. Our Christian (Pentecostal) chaplain provided mentorship to a number of students in the Leadership and Student Engagement (LSE) offices’ Emerging Leaders Program. The Christian (Baptist) chaplain’s ministry focuses on discipling and mentorship. He also builds community with many different students through conversation, food, and teaching. The Christian (Christian Reformed) chaplains worked with several students throughout the year – either leading in spiritual direction or mentorship, through one-on-one meetings and a weekly gathering called Arise. The chaplaincy also welcomed Russell Clarke – an intern from Ambrose University.

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• The Christian (Catholic) chaplain provided guidance to the Young for Christ on Campus to lead the monthly prayer gathering. He also provided support and guidance to the University of Calgary Catholic Community Student Council members to organize, and lead their events such as retreats, Christmas Formal, Welcome BBQ, Year End BBQ, and several services.

FAITH & SPIRITUALITY STUDENT TEAM (FASST): We continued to have a vibrant FASST team. As ambassadors to the FSC, they welcomed new students and hosted a weekly tea time. They also helped out with various FSC programming and hosted board game nights, faith and film screenings and helped with community building events for international students and their families. PEER HELPER PROGRAM

• The Lutheran and United/Presbyterian chaplaincies’ peer helper

program, called the Peer Partnership Programme, partners with local congregations to provide students with a network of peers who want to explore their faith and learn leadership skills. Students take on leadership roles within their congregations and with the campus ministry while reflecting on their experiences through the lens of their faith. • Our Christian (Pentecostal) chaplain Kelly had a great team of student leaders this year: Daniel M., Daniel S., Amanda, Nellie, Katherine, Matt and Andrew who led both on- and off-campus in vital and significant events.

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community

The FSC is a place where students, faculty and staff come together in community and to form community. Gatherings that foster sharing, connectedness, dialogue, and reflection create an atmosphere of trust, growth, and connection.

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CHAPLAIN ACTIVITIES AND WEEKLY EVENTS

• The Lutheran and United/Presbyterian chaplaincies partnered

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to offer several great community building events on campus including: A Simple Supper (along with the Anglican chaplain), Talking Circles, Contemplative worship, summer bbq’s, Peer Partnership Programme, and a winter retreat in Sylvan Lake. The Christian (Catholic) chaplain brought people together as a community to pray the Rosary, and to celebrate the Eucharist. Every Sunday after Mass, refreshments are provided for communal gathering and once a month sandwiches are made for the Calgary Drop–In Centre. The Christian (Pentecostal) chaplain continued to offer weekly worship gatherings for students and a weekly staff Bible study The Christian (Orthodox) chaplain hosted a Vespers service during Lent for students, staff and faculty. The Bahá’í representative has begun meeting with Bahá’í students on campus and planning events and devotional gatherings over summer.

ICE CREAM GIVEAWAY & OPEN HOUSE

• The FSC handed out over 1200 scoops of ice cream on on the

first day of class to welcome students to campus and kick-off the year. • An open house was held on the last day of the fall semester to celebrate the semester in a fun and communal way.

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AROUND CALGARY

• Our Muslim (Sunni) chaplain worked with Bears Paw Christian

Academy by providing a session on Islam to support better understanding for the community. • Our Christian (Pentecostal) chaplain continued to strengthen their friendship program, Home away from Home, which has now served over 300 international students.

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religious pluralism 14

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Religious pluralism involves moving beyond the acknowledgement of differences to understanding, action & respect. The FSC is committed to developing global and cross-cultural competencies and increasing the diversity of our campus community. As part of an institution of higher learning, the FSC actively works with academic units to encourage greater understanding and awareness of cultural and religious difference in the context of an inclusive and pluralistic campus open to all viewpoints.

The Kaleidoscope Project The Kaleidoscope Project continues to envision a more pluralistic and inclusive campus community. Students are invited to engage in learning, conversation and action with others who may have a different background or viewpoint. Through conversation and action, we can build a more engaged and diverse community – a community that works together, regardless of religious tradition, spirituality, culture, identity, sexual orientation, gender, and personal or political views. The second year of the Kaleidoscope Project welcomed 21 students from a variety of academic programs including business, nursing, development studies, psychology, and engineering. During the 2017 reading break, students took part in an immersive experience to learn more about diverse religious practices, engage in interreligious dialogue, and reflect on cultivating a more inclusive and pluralistic campus community through the development of religious literacy. Students learned from members of different religious traditions about their daily practices, history, beliefs, and customs. Each day of the program focused on different religious communities: Hinduism, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam – this year we were also fortunate enough to learn from the Bahá’í community. For each religious tradition the students were given an introductory lecture given by a leader and then visited local sites associated with that community. Over the week, the group visited over 10 sacred sites, exploring the diversity within each faith.

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Meals together played an important part in experiencing different cultures. Students sometimes ate meals seated on the floor, shared common plates family-style, or ate with their hands. The students explored recent case studies where religious practice intersected with the public sphere:

• What are some of the perspectives around having a Sikh kirpan worn in a junior high school?

• Who might be invested in a decision to allow the Muslim Call to

Prayer to be projected in a small, historically Polish Catholic town? • Should the government be allowed to force a blood transfusion to be given to a young girl whose religious devotion makes her unwilling to receive it? Students were challenged to develop their intercultural skills in energetic and creative ways. From mock trials to news skits, a community was created and passion was sparked to become a source of support for the each other, the FSC, and the Calgary communities we encountered. As part of a research project approved by the Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board, students completed the Intercultural Development Inventory. Results showed that participation in co-curricular programs such as this demonstrate an increase in cultural competence, increased knowledge and understanding of diversity, as well as enhancing intercultural engagement skills. Research from last year’s students revealed an overall increase in their intercultural competencies (as measured by the Intercultural Development Inventory®), and revealed through thematic analysis the following experiential outcomes: shifts in perspectives, through increasing knowledge and understanding, and valuing diversity; enhanced intercultural engagement skills; new connections; inspiring action; and personal growth, through enhanced self-awareness and the ability to challenge oneself.

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PLURALISM & RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY WEEK: The fourth annual Pluralism & Religious Diversity Week had fantastic uptake of events and converted the FSC into the Pluralism Hub for a drop-in space for the week. Highlights included: • Welcoming the “What I Be Project” for the first time at a Canadian post-secondary institution. The project was created by photographer Steve Rosenfield. • Hosting Nayyef Hrebid and Hayder “Btoo” Allami for a special screening of a documentary film of their lives and experiences moving to the United States called “Out of Iraq”. • Learning from renowned speaker and religious studies scholar Stephen Prothero wrapped up the week by sharing his views towards religious pluralism, religious nationalism, culture wars, and posited some lessons to learn from. TRAINING & WORKSHOPS: The FSC co-led with the Office of Diversity, Equity & Protected Disclosure (ODEPD) a workshop to help participants become more inter-religiously competent. The FSC piloted its Faith Zone workshop which encourages participants to: • Acquire knowledge around key terminology, myths and misperceptions about different religious communities and historical examples of religious discrimination in Canada. • Feel more comfortable asking questions and fostering meaningful relationships across lines of difference. • Learn concrete steps to become an ally to members of religious communities that face discrimination.

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Spirituality & Religious Pluralism Community of Practice Adriana continued to lead the Spirituality & Religious Pluralism community of practice with CACUSS this year. We were able to host two webinars as well as are beginning the process to publish a monograph based on the most frequently asked questions/supports student service professionals look for to support religious life on campus.

metrics

Growth

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Team PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT • Imam Syed Hadi Hasan successfully completed the Community Helpers program. • Zoë Say attended a Rhythm2Recovery workshop in Edmonton with Simon Faulkner focusing on a number of therapeutic approaches using drums.

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• Paul Verhoef, Elyse Brazel, and Kelly Johnson all completed the

train-the-trainer program for the KAIROS Blanket Exercise – an interactive learning experience that teaches the Indigenous rights history in Canada.

UNIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY COMMITTEES WITH REPRESENTATION FROM THE FAITH & SPIRITUALITY CENTRE FOR 2016-17: • Student & Enrolment Services Leadership Council – Adriana Tulissi. • Interfaith Council of Calgary – Adriana Tulissi, Sh. Fayaz Tilly. • Spirituality & Religious Pluralism Community of Practice with CACUSS – Adriana Tulissi. • ODEPD Diversity & Equity Network – Adriana Tulissi. • Mental Health Strategy Programs Subcommittee – Naveid Dar.

Celebrations This year was a very successful year welcoming new chaplains/ representatives. After many years of relationship building, we were able to welcome three Orthodox Christian Chaplains (Father George Dahdouh, Father Peter Rougas, and Father Kyle Parrot), a Shia Muslim Chaplain (Imam Syed Hadi Hasan), and a Bahá’í Representative (Sandra Brask). This ensures we have a breadth of support for students and that our chaplains/ representatives are reflective of the diversity of our student body.

Awards & Recognition • The Kaleidoscope Project earned NASPA’s Outstanding Spiritual

Initiative Award for demonstrating a significant impact on campus by promoting spiritual and religious growth and learning among students. • The Wellness Centre’s Roots of Resiliency Program – which includes the work of both Pearl Nieuwenhuis and Zoë Say from the Faith & Spirituality Centre, earned the University of Calgary’s Teaching Awards for Educational Leadership.

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THE FAITH & SPIRITUALITY CENTRE MSC 373, 2500 University Dr. NW Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 ucalgary.ca/fsc

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faith & spirituality centre annual report

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2016-2017 Faith & Spirituality Centre Annual Report  

2016-2017 Faith & Spirituality Centre Annual Report  

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