Welcoming Emory's New Hindu and Buddhist Chaplains
Welcoming Emory's New Hindu and Buddhist Chaplains
 News and Programs 1.11.21
Welcoming Emory's New Hindu and Buddhist Chaplains
Shweta Chaitanya, Hindu Chaplain
Brahmacharini Shweta Chaitanya
Hindu Chaplain 
Priya Sraman, Buddhist Chaplain
The Venerable Priya Sraman
Buddhist Chaplain
Greetings from the Dean of Religious Life and University Chaplain
The Reverend Greg McGonigle
The Rev. Greg McGonigle
Dear Friends,
In times like these, it is good to be part of a community we believe in that stands for learning, service to society, inclusion, ethical leadership, and the positive transformation of society and the world.
Here in Georgia, the New Year has already brought historic news, with the election of Georgia's first Black and Jewish senators, who have worked together as an inspiring interracial and interfaith team. This was through elections made fairer by the grassroots activism of moral leaders like Stacey Abrams and other Black women organizers who are committed to eliminating voter suppression and ensuring that everyone eligible has the democratic right to vote.
In this month in which we honor and rededicate ourselves to the ongoing work of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we have also already witnessed a glaring demonstration of the need for this continued work in the failed but deadly insurrection in the U.S. Capitol Building in which racism, white supremacy, antisemitism, sexism, and other forms of violence and vandalism were on full display. We reject these falsehoods and we recommit ourselves to the values deep in our souls and traditions that inspire us toward building the Beloved Community of justice and love. In the coming weeks, OSRL will be offering more programming to lift up the voices of interfaith spiritual and moral leaders who can help to inspire us all in the needed work of ending discrimination and exclusion.
As the new semester begins, I am delighted to share the news that we have been able to move forward in our vision of a multifaith university chaplaincy model that will help us to better reflect and serve Emory's religious and philosophical diversity. I am grateful to the students, faculty, and staff who joined us in conducting two competitive national searches that had multiple strong candidates for Emory's Hindu and Buddhist chaplain roles, and I am pleased to share that we have invited two outstanding new colleagues to join us in these roles on February 1.
Our new Hindu Chaplain will be Brahmacharini Shweta Chaitanya, a Hindu monastic in the Chinmaya order. Shweta is a graduate of UT Austin and of Columbia in Sanskrit studies, and she studied and was ordained as a brahmacharini in Mumbai, India. Most recently, she served at the Chinmaya Center in Houston, Texas, and in the past academic year she also participated in an inaugural fellowship on Hindu chaplaincy at Harvard University. 
Our new Buddhist Chaplain will be The Venerable Priya Sraman, who is a Bangladeshi Theravada Buddhist monk. Venerable Priya earned degrees in Buddhist studies in Thailand, at the University of Hong Kong, and at Harvard. Most recently, for four years he was the Buddhist Chaplain at Tufts, where he served students, faculty, and staff through weekly meditation and dharma study, pastoral care, ritual leadership, planning speakers and retreats, and participating in interfaith programs. He has also been active in the Harvard initiatives on Buddhism and race.
Both chaplains will join all of us on the OSRL team in offering weekly gatherings, educational programs, pastoral care, service and social justice leadership, campus and community relations, and intersectional work with Emory Schools, units, and committees. They will serve students, faculty, and staff as well as prospective students, families, and alumni, and join us in collaborating on academic, diversity, wellness, and civic engagement efforts. They will also be part of helping to envision our new interfaith initiatives as part of our interfaith strategic plan. They join our new Jewish Chaplain Rabbi Jordan Braunig who began with us in September, and our search for a Muslim Chaplain is underway.
More information about spring semester programs will be forthcoming soon, but I would like to call attention to the events below in honor of King Week 2021, including our interfaith event with The Rev. Jennifer Bailey of the Faith Matters Network in Nashville. Rev. Jen will help us to explore a theme common to the work of Dr. King and the new Biden-Harris administration, "Healing the Soul of the Nation." This topic is both much-needed and timely, and we hope you will join us as we rededicate ourselves to Dr. King's work, and also look forward to Black History Month.
Peace to you and yours as the New Year begins. We hope that everyone has had as restful a break as possible, and that all who celebrated enjoyed the holidays, especially recently our Orthodox Christian friends. May the New Year be a blessing.
Warm regards,
The Reverend Greg McGonigle
Dean of Religious Life and University Chaplain
King Week 2021 Interfaith Event
OSRL King Week Interfaith Event: "Healing the Soul of the Nation" with The Rev. Jennifer Bailey
Friday, January 22, 3:00 p.m. EST, Register via Zoom here: https://bit.ly/OSRLMLK2021  
AME minister, interfaith leader, and founder of the Faith Matters Network (a Womanist-led organization equipping faith leaders and organizers), Rev. Jen will speak in a week marked both by the legacy of remembering The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement and the U.S. Presidential Inauguration.
Biden and Harris have spoken about “Healing the Soul of the Nation.” How might we do that? How might we heal ourselves as healers? And how do we promote the public health in a time of pandemic COVID, racism, antisemitism, and many forms of discrimination and inequality?
Rev. Jen will offer remarks and engage in conversation with OSRL’s Dean of Religious Life Greg McGonigle and Jewish Chaplain, Rabbi Jordan Braunig.
For more information, please contact religiouslife@emory.edu.
Register Here
We Still Have Hope: Chaplains Respond to Our National Crisis
The attack on the Capitol on Wednesday has left a deep wound in our nation’s heart. As we all collectively grapple with this divisive moment of crisis, Interfaith Youth Core reached out to diverse interfaith leaders on campuses across the nation for prayers, reflections, and words of hope to remind us all that in the end it is hope that always persists. Here are their responses.
Dr. Robert M. Franklin, Jr. Discusses the Aftermath and Impacts of the Violence at the U.S. Capitol
The police response to Wednesday’s attempted coup is drawing comparisons to last summer’s protests against police brutality and systemic racism. Black activists and allies were repeatedly targeted by law enforcement, at times with tear gas and physical violence. Though police were present at the Capitol yesterday, far-right insurrectionists faced little resistance from them, as they stormed the building.
For more on this, The Takeaway spoke to Rev. Dr. Robert M. Franklin Jr., professor at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, and Rashad Robinson, President of Color of Change.
To hear this segment click here and the "Listen" button.
Additional MLK Programming and Opportunities 
Martin Luther King J. Lecture
ODEI Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture: Legacy and Responsibility
Thursday, January 28, 2021, Time TBD
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion presents the 2021 Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture with speaker: Maggie Anderson, JD, MBA, Author of Our Black Year. More information coming soon. 
Emory Explores: How to Be an Effective Advocate
Thursday, Januar
y 21, 5:00 p.m. EST
Are you passionate about a cause or a movement and trying to find out how to exercise issues you feel strongly about?
Emory Alumni Association and the Office of Government and Community Affairs have partnered on a series of programs that bring together Emory thought leaders and advocates to share their journey, their challenges, and how they realized their passions.
Join this digital conversation to hear from inspiring leaders and start mapping out your path to becoming an advocate and leader.
Do Something Good: Engage, Serve and Unite
Throughout January 2021
The Atlanta community will unite in virtual and in-person service for a series of events to honor the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
For more information and to register click here.
Sponsored by Hands on Atlanta.
MLK Weekend of Jewish Service and Learning
Friday, January 15-Monday, January 18, 2021
Inspired by the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we serve in solidarity, with a commitment to equity. Volunteering is one way to show up for our neighbors and address immediate needs created by institutionalized racism and other intersecting injustices.
Reimagine service in the context of a global pandemic to serve at home, serve virtually or serve in-person MLK Day. Activities will run all weekend with meaningful Covid-19 safe options for all ages.
Off Campus Programs
Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta
Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta - Weekly Enewsletter
The Regional Council of Churches Weekly Church Action eNewsletter contains events, volunteer opportunities, and resources of interest to the faith community. We welcome submissions from the community. Past issues are here. Below are a few highlights from this week's edition:
  • Weekly Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Peace
    Mondays, January 11, 18, and 25, 6:00 p.m. EST, Zoom
    Be part of prayer for peace and healing in our nation. Pray for strength as our country moves from one administration to another. But most of all, pray to heal the divisions among us and to at peace with one another. Please join us by clicking here.

  • Honor the Life and Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 
    Through January 2021, Virtually and In-Person
    The Atlanta community will unite in service for a series of events to honor the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

    The King Center | The Center for Nonviolent Social Change has events. Explore the Hands On Atlanta calendar of events from Morehouse, the King Center and more.

    MLK JR DAY OF SERVICE — Hands On Atlanta
  • Spring Convocation Service with the Candler School of Theology
    Tuesday, January 26, 11:30 a.m. EST                                                                        
    Willie Jennings, associate professor of systematic theology and Africana studies at Yale Divinity School, will give the address. Watch on Facebook LiveInstagram or the Candler website.
Peace, Compassion, and Kindness: A Contemplative Meditation Series
Every Wednesday 12:00-12:30 p.m. EST, Zoom
Interfaith Atlanta/The Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta (FAMA) offers a weekly 30-minute midday respite time with a focus on peace, compassion and kindness. Join this virtual contemplative program that seeks to provide sanctity and perspective in today’s world.
For Zoom login, please click here.
Animals, Religion, and Public Health: An Interfaith Webinar
Wednesday, January 13, 3:30 p.m. EST, Webinar
CreatureKind, Jewish Initiative for Animals (JIFA),Shamayim: Jewish Animal Advocacy, and Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry (UUAM), will convene a panel of religion scholars and experts to address the pressing issues surrounding how we raise animals for food, specifically addressing how factory farming increases the risk of future devastating pandemic outbreaks. Registration required by clicking here. This webinar is Co-sponsored by the Better Food Foundation.
North American Hindu Chaplains Association Webinar
Friday, January 15, 2021 7:00 p.m. EST
Join a conversation with speakers Kailash Joshi, President and Resident Faculty Member, HCI and Gaurav Rastogi, Dean and Resident Faculty Member Hindu Community Institute. Join us for a conversation about HCI’s offerings and how HCI and NAHCA are teaming up professionally to provide a spectrum of Hindu spiritual care in North America. We are so delighted at the prospect of this partnership. Register to receive the Zoom webinar link here.
Partner Programs
Winter Break Virtual Group Fitness Class
Wednesday, December 2 - Tuesday, December 22 and Wednesday, January 6, -Tuesday, January 19
You are invited to stay fit and have fun by joining virtual classes. For registration and Zoom access, please click the link here. Sponsored by Emory Recreation and Wellness.

Intercultural Communication Workshop for Students
Friday, January 15, 2021, 9:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m., EST
Choose from one of the above two workshop offerings.
Intercultural competence is the ability to interact effectively and appropriately in a variety of cultural contexts. ISSS invites International and domestic students to join this free workshop to develop your intercultural communication skills.
Register by December 15, 2020 by clicking here and Zoom details will be emailed to registrants.
Carlos Museum: Wondrous Worlds: Art and Islam Through Time and Place Coming Soon
Tuesday, January 26 - Sunday, May 9, 2020, Virtual Tour
Book your tour now for this exciting exhibition designed for students in grades 6-12.  Explore the Carlos Museum's upcoming exhibition, Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam Through Time & Place that examines the long history, vast geographic expanse, and remarkable diversity of art in the Islamic world.
The virtual tour opens with an introduction to the Five Pillars of Islam to provide context and will also introduce themes like international trade and interconnections, the sacredness of the written word, fasting and feasting, jewelry and adornment, and Islamic architecture and its legacies.
Students will look at works of art in a number of different media, including paintings, carpets, costumes, jewelry, ceramics, metalwork, prints, and photographs.  Contemporary works from artists Rachid Koraichi and Victor Ekpuk, and calligrapher Hassan Massoudy are shown alongside works from as early as the ninth century.
Opportunities and Resources
LGBTQ+ Student Support Group
Monday, December 7, 2020 - Tuesday, January 19, 2021
The Student Support Group is open to any Emory student identifying as LGBTQ+. For more information, and to sign up, please email Katherine Werner, Psy.D., group coordinator here.
Creating Change Conference
Thursday, January 28 – Sunday, January 31, 2020, Virtually
Creating Change is organized by the National LGBTQ Task Force and is the largest LGBTQ activist conference in the country.
Emory students have participated in previous years thanks to funding from the J. Michael Aycock Leadership Development Fund. Students interested in receiving funding and apply to attend next year's conference should click on the link below or on the flyer by Monday, Jan 18, 2021.
For questions please reach out to Megan Pendleton here.
To apply for funding to attend the conference click here.
Personal Prayer Spaces on Campus - Spring 2021
Communal religious practices are happening virtually or off-campus this semester. Cannon Chapel, the university chapel on the Quad, is closed for communal spiritual gatherings. However, there are small prayer spaces around campus that are available for individual prayer and meditation. To see a list of those spaces, please click here or below. 
For questions, please contact religiouslife@emory.edu
Weekly Gatherings
Weekly Religious and Philosophical Gatherings
While this is a year unlike any other, there are a plethora of weekly religious and philosophical gatherings offered at Emory. Many of them are listed here and at the button below.
Can't find what you are looking for? Check out our Fall 2020 Orientation page with videos and contact information for many of our religious and philosophical organizations. You can can also directly contact many of our undergraduate and graduate communities directly or contact our religious life affiliates and OSRL staff.
For questions, or to add an item to our weekly gatherings page, please email religiouslife@emory.edu.
Upcoming Religious Holidays and Festivals
These events are drawn from the multifaith calendar maintained by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at Harvard Divinity School. To see more upcoming religious holidays and festivals, please click here.
Birthday of Guru Gobind Sing Ji
Tuesday, 1.19.2021
Tradition: Sikhism
Guru Gobind Singh Ji (1666-1708), the 10th and final Sikh master, created the Khalsa, the "Brotherhood of the Pure," and declared the Scriptures, the Adi 'Granth, to be the Sikh's Guru from that time on.
Tu B'Shevat
Wednesday, 1.27.2021
Tradition: Judaism 
Saturday, 1.30.2021
Tradition: Zoroastrianism
We welcome your support for the mission and programs of the Emory University Office of Spiritual and Religious Life. Thank you for your prayers and generosity.
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Emory OSRL Enews is published weekly during term by the Emory University Office of Spiritual and Religious Life covering Atlanta-campus programs. For Oxford College spiritual life, please click here. To submit information or to update your preferences, please contact religiouslife@emory.edu.
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