• Moses Was Born Illegal

    12 December 2016

    It is written in the Hebrew scriptures that a certain newly-arisen king of Egypt took note of the large Hebrew immigrant population in his land. He seems to have been afraid, at least that’s what he told his constituents, and he ordered that any newborn Hebrew boy be thrown into the Nile.

  • Chapel Birthdays!

    31 August 2016

    One hundred and fifty years ago, local Congregationalists launched a new college in Northfield, dedicated to the growth of its students’ intellectual, moral, and spiritual lives.  One hundred years ago this fall, the College showed its commitment to this vision by building the beautiful Skinner Memorial Chapel.  Seventy years ago, the College hired its first chaplain to help the campus explore the integral relationship between faith and learning.

  • In the College’s sesquicentennial and the Chapel’s centennial year, I am very pleased to announce that Ailya Vajid will join us part time in spring term as our first Associate Chaplain for Muslim and Interfaith Life. Ailya comes to us from working at Swarthmore College as the Muslim Student Advisor, having received an MA from Harvard Divinity School and a BA from Swarthmore. She is commuting from St. Peter, MN, where she lives with her family.

  • …Or perhaps, “Two College Chaplains Walk Into a Coffee Shop.” Or, “A Muslim and a Jew Meet in the Shadow of a Huge Cathedral” (St. John the Divine, in New York City). Or, “Two Carls Get Together at Columbia University.”

  • This summer, the Chapel has been undergoing major renovations, including adding air conditioning and a Muslim foot washing station, updating some of the basement rooms for different needs, revamping the heating and ventilation, and putting in new sound, projection, and lighting systems. As the college grows, the Chapel must change to best serve current and future students as the spiritual center of our diverse community.

  • Perseverance

    19 March 2015

    At the end of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march 50 years ago, Martin Luther King gave a speech, often called “How Long, Not Long,” on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol. That question of “How Long?” comes to mind when we still see the need for Black Lives Matter protests around the country against racial profiling, police brutality, and mass incarceration. Real change can be so slow, when people are being mistreated and dying right now.

  • Winter Theology

    23 December 2014

    Sometimes I just hate doing the work.

  • Carleton is a lively religious and spiritual campus. With slight variations each year, about 60% of our student body claims a religious preference, with almost every religion in the world represented here. Most of our student religious groups are sizable and active, and Chapel events representing different faiths are well attended. Today’s religious students tend to be both knowledgeable about their faith and open to learning about other traditions.

  • Meaning beyond tragedy

    26 March 2014

    On Saturday, April 5th, we will hold a memorial service for Talia Goldenberg ’12, who died on February 20th from respiratory arrest that occurred after a surgery. And on Saturday, April 12th, we will hold a memorial service for James Adams ’15, Michael Goodgame ’15, and Paxton Harvieux ’15, who died on Feb 28th in a car accident caused by icy roads. These are terrible tragedies—young people should not die, parents should not have to bury their children. There is no purpose or greater good served by these heartbreaking deaths.

  • January 17th is “Jewish Arbor Day”, but for many folks, including us here at Carleton, it has evolved into Full-moon Multi-faith Earth-Day Celebration.