Tufts University Chaplaincy

Greetings Alumni and Friends

Dear Friend,
Greetings of the fall, alumni and friends of the Tufts University Chaplaincy. I hope this message finds you and your loved ones well.
The academic year is already off to a great start for spiritual and interfaith life at Tufts, and I wanted to share with you below some of the exciting highlights of our work over the past several months.

Giving Tuesday 2018

I also wanted to share with you that on November 27, the University Chaplaincy will be participating in the Tufts Giving Tuesday campaign to help grow support and resources around spiritual life at Tufts. We are hoping that alumni and friends like you will join us in participating on that day. Participation is key, so gifts of any size are most welcome. Please follow our Giving Tuesday efforts and find the link to give by clicking here:  
Join the Facebook Event
Of course, if you have the means to make a larger gift, your generosity would be a blessing that will enhance our dynamic and growing programs. We welcome your vital charitable support for our work at any time by clicking here:
Donate Today
Please be assured that you are in our thoughts and prayers in Goddard Chapel and the Tufts Interfaith Center. We are eager to stay in touch with you and to connect however we can. Please share your news with us, and let us know if there are ways we can support you. Meanwhile, we wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Peace and light,

The Reverend Greg McGonigle
University Chaplain

Tufts University Chaplaincy Newsletter Fall 2018

CAFE Pre-Orientation Program 

We started the academic year by offering our national-award-winning interfaith social justice Pre-Orientation Program CAFÉ for the fourth year in its new format. Almost 50 students participated, including entering students and returning student peer leaders. The new students began their Tufts careers with a week of exploring spirituality and social justice in Boston, as well as sampling some of our favorite Boston foods, enjoying a sunset boat cruise on Boston Harbor, and making new friends. You can read more about this great program and watch a promotional video here.
Tufts University Chaplaincy Team
Back row: Program Manager Zachary Cole, Buddhist Chaplain The Venerable Priya Sraman, University Chaplain The Reverend Greg McGonigle, Music Director and Organist Thomas Dawkins, Jewish Chaplain Rabbi Dr. Naftali Brawer, Catholic Chaplain Lynn Cooper, Chaplaincy Coordinator Alex Chiu
Front row: Humanist Chaplain Walker Bristol, Muslim Chaplain Dr. Celene Ibrahim, Protestant Chaplain The Reverend Dan Bell

University Chaplaincy Team Highlights

We continue to be blessed by having one of the finest University Chaplaincy staff teams in the country. After the inspiring 39-year tenure of Rabbi Jeffrey Summit, this year we welcomed Rabbi Naftali Brawer as our new Jewish Chaplain. We also welcomed a new Music Director and Organist, Thomas Dawkins, who has already led our largest Halloween Midnight Organ Concert to date, with over 400 students attending. In the past year, we celebrated with Muslim Chaplain Celene Ibrahim as she received her Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Brandeis University, and with Protestant Chaplain Daniel Bell who was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. Buddhist Chaplain Priya Sraman and Humanist Chaplain Walker Bristol both recently received their Master of Divinity degrees from Harvard University, and Catholic Chaplain Lynn Cooper joined University Chaplain Greg McGonigle in the Doctor of Ministry program at Boston University School of Theology. Closer to home, our Chaplaincy Coordinator Alex Chiu has begun the Master of Public Policy Program in Tufts' Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.
Illumination Ceremony 2017

Illumination Ceremony 2018

For the third year this year, the University Chaplaincy coordinated the Illumination Ceremony that culminates Tufts Undergraduate Orientation. On Saturday, September 1, approximately 1,600 new Jumbos gathered to light candles and reflect on what it means to set a light on the Hill for each other and the world. Three alumni and student leaders from the Tufts interfaith community offered beautiful reflections on spirituality, ethics, and light. You can read their reflections here.

Annual Spiritual Interests Survey and October Letter to Parents and Families

Each summer, the University Chaplaincy conducts a spiritual interests survey for all incoming Tufts undergraduates and graduate/professional students so that they can share their spiritual identities, their interests in interfaith and spiritual activities, and the spiritual and ethical questions on their minds as they come to campus. It provides us with valuable information we use to guide our programs, and we publish the demographic information online. This October, for the first time, we were invited to write the monthly Letter to Parents and Families of undergraduates in Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts. This letter provided an opportunity to share the results of the spiritual interests survey, in which 80% of undergraduates participate.

Russell Lecture on Spiritual Life 2018

On Wednesday, April 11, we hosted the Russell Lecture and Dinner for 2018, welcoming Unitarian Universalist theologian and scholar The Reverend Dr. Thandeka to speak about “Love Beyond Belief.” Dr. Thandeka engaged the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends present in a meditation to center the importance of spiritual experience as a pathway for building friendship and interfaith relations. For more information about Dr. Thandeka and Love Beyond Belief, please click here.

Baccalaureate Service 2018 and Wendell Phillips Address

On Saturday, May 19, we hosted the Baccalaureate Service for the Class of 2018, including the Wendell Phillips Address. This year's address was delivered by Anna Del Castillo, A18, who was Tufts Community Union Vice President and TCU liaison to the Interfaith Student Council. This year’s Baccalaureate Service also included the first-ever Buddhist reading, read by Palak Khanna, A18 who is now a student at the Fletcher School. To view the video of the service, please visit here.

Other University Chaplaincy News

Summer/Fall Associated Chaplaincy Newsletters

Each of our associated chaplaincies composed an impressive summer/fall newsletter that also serves as an annual report of their activities over the past academic year. We encourage you to read them and to learn about the vibrancy of our programs and communities for spiritual and ethical life: Buddhist, Catholic, Humanist, Muslim, and Protestant.

Partnership with Reconstructionist Rabbinical College "Campus Chaplaincy for a Multifaith World" Fellowship

For the second year, we have been invited to participate in the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Luce Foundation's “Campus Chaplaincy for a Multifaith World” Project. University Chaplain Greg McGonigle and Muslim Chaplain Celene Ibrahim are the liaisons with this project, which is exploring how spiritual practices foster the development of character. Last year, we encouraged our staff, Tufts’ Interfaith Student Council, and the campus at large through an "Interfaith Awareness Month" to share spiritual practices and to reflect on character. This year, we have invited Tufts alumna The Reverend Jennifer Bailey, A09 and Executive Director of the Faith Matters Network, to speak about spirituality and values, and we plan to offer similar events with alumni, faculty, and staff in this vein.
Hebrew College Boston Bridges Fellowship and Interfaith Leadership Initiative 
This fall, Buddhist Chaplain Priya Sraman and University Chaplaincy Program Manager Zachary Cole were invited to participate in Hebrew College’s year-long fellowship for emerging spiritual leaders called, Boston Bridges. They join a cohort of spiritual leaders in the Boston area networking and reflecting on their work. Zachary Cole is the first Humanist ever to participate in this program. For the second year, Tufts is also connected with Hebrew College through the Boston Interfaith Leadership Initiative, through which two students from our Interfaith Student Council--Olaluwa Faleye, E21, and Najma Jama, A21--join with student leaders from other universities around Boston to plan retreats and build an intercollegiate interfaith network.

Tufts Graduates Go to Divinity School

We have begun an annual tradition of hosting information sessions for divinity schools and graduate programs in religion in Goddard Chapel. Last fall, some 35 students attended the information session, and met with representatives from numerous top divinity schools nationwide. Three members of the Class of 2018 applied, were accepted, and have enrolled in divinity school: Anna Del Castillo and Nicole Morris at Harvard Divinity School, and Mary Travers at Yale Divinity School. On Thursday, October 25, we held another well-attended fair, and the divinity school admissions representatives said Tufts is among their favorite places to come and recruit.

You Are Invited

Annual Winter Holiday Concert and Open House

Wednesday, December 5, 2018, 4:30 p.m., Goddard Chapel

All alumni, friends, families, faculty, staff, and students are warmly welcome to the University Chaplaincy Annual Winter Holiday Concert, featuring the Tufts Concert Choir of some 80 student voices. Please join us for this festive open house and celebration of the season as we end the fall semester and share holiday cheer. Here you can view a video from last year's concert. For more information, please contact chaplaincy@tufts.edu.

University Chaplaincy E-newsletter

Please know that you are welcome to sign up for the University Chaplaincy enewsletter for more information about religious and philosophical programs on campus. We send this newsletter to some 8,000 subscribers each week. While some of our weekly spiritual gatherings are student-focused, many programs are open to alumni and friends. With any questions, please contact chaplaincy@tufts.edu.

Interfaith Alumni Association 

Would you like to stay connected with other Tufts alumni and friends who are interested in spiritual and interfaith life and the work of the University Chaplaincy? If so, please contact chaplaincy@tufts.edu. We are looking for leaders to form an alumni Shared Interest Group that would network those interested in spiritual and interfaith life within the Tufts community.
Please send us your news: Are you a University Chaplaincy alum or friend who has news related to spiritual or ethical life? Please send us your news. We want to connect with you.
About Us
The University Chaplaincy is a dynamic hub supporting religious, spiritual, ethical, and cultural life for all members of the Tufts community. We provide pastoral care, support religious and philosophical communities, educate about spiritual and ethical issues in society and the world, and promote multifaith engagement.
Tufts University Chaplaincy | Goddard Chapel, 3 The Green | Medford, MA 02155 US
chaplaincy.tufts.edu | chaplaincy@tufts.edu | 617.627.3427
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