• How are we to be?

    3 September 2021

    “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.” (An interpretive translation of the Jewish Talmud by Rabbi Rami Shapiro)


    Welcome (back) to Carleton and a new year! It is wonderful to be starting back in person (hopefully!), with so many new faces across the campus, including in the Chapel. We are very pleased to welcome Tauseef Akbar, our new Associate Chaplain for Muslim and Interfaith Life, and Chrissy Bensen, our new Chaplain’s Office Coordinator. And we’re excited to work with a great group of new and returning Chaplain’s Associates. This new academic year feels especially meaningful since we can gather in community for the first time in a long while.


    But this is an emotionally and spiritually complicated year too. The nation and the world are reeling from the pandemic, natural disasters and climate chaos, war and violence, and racial injustice. Many of us have suffered deep personal losses and are grieving for almost two years spent differently than we had expected. We aren’t even quite sure how to greet people, let alone how we should be feeling or acting (happy, excited, grieving, angry—or all of those?).


    It is hard to hold so many emotions at one time, yet we are called, as the translation of the Talmud indicates, to recognize the grief and the pain around us and to keep trying to make a difference right here and now. Making a difference can mean helping individuals or changing the systems that cause pain, injustice, or harm. And such work grows from love and allows love to grow.


    “There’s power in love to help and heal when nothing else can. There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will. There’s power in love to show us the way to live.” (Bishop Michael Curry)


    Join us in the Chapel this fall as we seek to discern how we are to be, live, and love in this new year,

    Carolyn Fure-Slocum, College Chaplain

  • With Gratitude

    27 May 2021

    For so many reasons, this has been a tough year for us all–and even harder for some of us, both here on campus and beyond. But in this last weekly…

  • Languishing

    21 May 2021

    “Now I shall know unrest again, /And all my heart that was so still/Will beat in me like troubled tides/And urge me to its will”     -Jessie Belle Rittenhouse In 2002,…

  • These continue to be complicated times, don’t they?  (Of course, as I type this I wonder if things are ever uncomplicated, but….)  We read and hear regularly about violence around…

  • Our country continues to struggle with a basic human dilemma of being a community. Where are the borders? Who is in, or who can come in, and why? Strangely, at…

  • Ramadan’s Second Ashra

    28 April 2021

    Ramadan is divided into three ten-day ashras or stages, and right now, in the middle of Ramadan, we’re in the ashra of forgiveness. This forgiveness is specifically between God and…

  • A Season of Uprising

    22 April 2021

    On Tuesday evening, just a few hours after the verdict in the Chauvin trial, I was in a gathering where Carolyn asked something like, “If you were at the Hennepin…

  • Prophetic Imagination

    15 April 2021

    I had the privilege of hearing Rev. Dr. William Barber II at a recent virtual conference. Barber co-chairs the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival (named for…

  • Absence and Connection

    9 April 2021

                On Monday evening, at the sighting of a shadow where there was once a crescent, the month of Ramadan will officially begin. There is a common misconception that the…

  • The Promises of Spring

    1 April 2021

    Ash Wednesday was February 17, the beginning of the season of Lent for many western churches.  Eastern or Orthodox churches meanwhile observed the start of “Great Lent” this year on Monday,…