Oct. 19, 2020

Four ways to connect spiritually this semester

The Faith and Spirituality Centre (FSC) is one of the only programs of its kind in Canada.
The Faith and Spirituality Centre (FSC) is one of the only programs of its kind in Canada

The FSC welcomes students of all spiritual, religious and cultural backgrounds, and provides an intersectional and inclusive approach to spirituality. The physical space in MacEwan Hall (MSC 478) has traditionally been for students to drop in, have snacks and even practise some yoga. This year, the on-campus space is open for individual study, and students are still welcome to drop in for a free cup of tea from their own mug.

The centre and its programming are run by volunteers and staff, and headed by the pluralistic engagement coordinator, Sarah Ashton, whose mission it is to create a safe space for students and to build community. This year, their focus is on helping students feel engaged even if that means they’re doing so remotely. If you’re feeling the need for community, check out these tips to connecting this year.

Join an online event

Like many other campus services, the FSC has ramped up their online programming to accommodate remote connections and continue to promote faith, culture and learning.

Programs run by FSC faith representatives are open to everyone and are more directed to specific faith communities, like the daily morning prayer, weekly Quran reading, and the Baha’i Round Table.

Other events are drop-in and volunteer-run. The Virtual RealiTEA event is held on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and students are welcome to study, play games and share stories over tea.

For more events, check out the FSC calendar.

Speak to a faith representative

Students can still request a one-on-one meeting with a faith representative to receive support and guidance. There are 21 faith representatives in the FSC, who can be contacted via email. Students can meet the chaplains here.

Visit the Vitruvian Space (DC14)

The Vitruvian Space, located in the basement of the Dining Centre (in DC14), has prayer spaces for meditation, prayer or a spiritual check-in. As one of the only universities in Canada with open prayer spaces during the pandemic, UCalgary asks that students bring their own prayer mat and follow the guidelines. Currently three of five spaces are open to accommodate health regulations. Check the updated protocols on using the space during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FSC staff have been working closely with student associations and individuals to make sure the space is used safely.

Sign up for the Faith and Spirituality bi-weekly newsletter

If you’re looking to stay updated on news and events from the campus community, check out the Faith and Spirituality newsletter. The bi-weekly email also provides related information on upcoming holidays and community events. Sign up for the newsletter here.