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It’s a busy week in religious life!

By Chelsea Lehmann on April 14, 2014

Monday April 14
12:15 PM Newman Lunch on “The Jesus Prayer”
5:00 PM Passover Seder in Parker Commons

Tuesdays April 15
6:00 PM Passover Seder in the Saperstein Center

Wednesday April 16
Bible Study and Lunch with CJU, Wed at 12:15 in the Sap with Rabbi Dena Bodian: The Passover Roots of the Last Supper

Thursday April 17
12:00 PM Ask An Atheist Day, Coop
12:15 PM Heretics Lunch with Professor Pilgrim “Confessions of a Heretic”, Chapel Basement
10:00 PM Holy Thursday Mass with Foot Washing in Memorial Chapel, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament continues until Midnight

Friday April 18
12:20 PM Walking Stations of the Cross Meditation (meet on Chapel Steps)
1:30 PM Jumah Prayer
3:00 PM Solemn Liturgy (Traditional Good Friday Service), Memorial Chapel
5:00 PM Shabbat Services, Saperstein Center
6:00 PM Meatless Good Friday Dinner, free, Chapel Garden Level
8:00 PM Screening of the Passion of the Christ with UC in Chapel Basement

Saturday April 19
8:00 PM Easter Vigil at St. Mary’s Church, Hamilton.

Easter: April 20
10:45 AM Mass of the Lord’s Resurrection, Memorial Chapel; Easter Egg hunt after Mass
12:30 PM University Church Service, Memorial Chapel
5:00 PM Easter Dinner, Colgate Inn (tickets may be purchased in the Coop 11am-1pm starting Monday April 14)

Confessions of a Catholic 6: Charitable spirit

By Bennie Guzman '17 on December 16, 2013

In my opinion, the holiday season has dramatically changed in recent years, and I feel as if it is my responsibility to say a little something about it. I cannot say that I’m the most charitable person in the world, and I really have no right to criticize anyone about how charitable they may or may not be, but I still feel like this is still something that should be discussed.

In this day and age our culture has become obsessed with material possession and status. We look at ourselves over other people very often. Today we worry too much about helping ourselves or helping out people only those who we want to. But we rarely consider people who we don’t know, or those who can’t pay us back at all. I feel as if we should look to help other people who may not be able to help us.

As a part of the Chapel, I was invited to do charity work in Morrisville. I simply helped people with getting clothes and toys for Christmas. This was something that I felt was really good for me. I normally don’t volunteer for charity work and I can honestly say that it bugs me that I don’t do it more. I want to do something for others just for the heck of it, because when I do it feels really good!

So as a final holiday message before we go off to enjoy our break, I ask you to consider being more charitable. I ask you consider doing something for other people this season. Think about doing something for somebody that they may not ever be able to repay. It doesn’t matter how big or how small your act of charity; everything will be appreciated.

Happy Holidays!
Bennie Guzman

Confessions of a Catholic 5: Colgate Jewish Union

By Bennie Guzman '17 on December 15, 2013

They very first assignment I had as a Chapel Intern was to go to a dinner in the Sukkah on campus. For those of you who don’t know, a Sukkah is a decorated hut that is used during Sukkot, a biblical Jewish holiday. This was not only my first real experience with different religions, but also my first experience with anything related to Judaism.

Until then, I had never learned or experienced anything about the culture or the religion that wasn’t portrayed in the media or the little information that was presented in my history classes. At the end of the semester, one of my final assignments was to attend an open party, hosted by the Colgate Jewish Union (CJU), during Chanukah. Going to one of the first events and the last events put on by the CJU made me realize the gap in my knowledge. I felt that I needed to fill this gap and to truly get a sense of Judaism on campus and as a religion.

Because I did not know much, I had to find some way of being introduced to the Jewish faith. I talked with Lindsey Skerker, a member of CJU, to get a better sense of the Jewish community. Our conversation was slightly surprising, but it was something that I found very interesting.

Lindsey describes being Jewish a being not only a part of a religion, but also a part of a larger culture and community. Even the CJU is a part of the world’s largest national Jewish student union. Understanding this gave me a greater appreciation for Judaism and the Jewish community. I know that when I first went to the open party that CJU was hosting, I did feel almost like an outsider, but the members of CJU were extremely friendly and open. I think this is evident in the different things that CJU does. CJU holds Shabbat services every Friday which includes dinners open to the whole community, and every Sunday they hold bagel brunches.

For me the idea of Judaism has become less about the religious aspect and more about the community aspect. I understand the Jewish faith is something sacred and important, but I feel like the feeling of community that CJU is trying to create is something that should be appreciated more. This community aspect is something that the world has been losing in the recent years, and it is nice to see that through Judaism and the CJU the feeling of community and openness can be brought back into our lives.

Confessions of a Catholic 4: Las Posadas

By Bennie Guzman '17 on December 15, 2013

In light of the holiday season and my role in exploring different religions, I decided to focus on how different religious holidays are celebrated in different cultures. For this post I want to focus on the holiday tradition of Las Posadas.

Las Posadas is a religious holiday tradition, started by the Spanish and later brought to many Central American countries and to the southwest United States. The tradition recreates the journey that Mary and Joseph took when finding lodging and awaiting the birth of baby Jesus.

The celebration begins on December 16th and ends on December 24th lasting nine days, representing the nine months of pregnancy. Each evening the community gathers to recreate the scene. An angel leads Mary, riding a donkey, and Joseph along the path as the community follows carrying candles and poinsettia. The community follows from house to house, singing las posadas and asking for accommodations. They continue this from house to house until they reach the home in which they will celebrate.

At the end of their journey a prayer is held in the form of the nativity scene. At the end of the night people celebrate with food and drink, and children will break a star-shaped piñata. On the final day of Las Posadas, the Church is traditionally the final place of celebration. Over the 400 years that Las Posadas has been celebrated, the tradition hasn’t changed much — it still adheres to many of the same basic traditions as the original Spanish traditions.

Confessions of a Catholic 3: Muslim Student Association

By Bennie Guzman '17 on December 15, 2013

This semester I worked with the Chapel as an intern, and because of this I have been able to go to events that other interfaith groups have hosted. In the course of doing this I have been able to learn a little more about the different groups and the different religions on campus, and I have gotten to meet more students who practice different faiths than myself. I cannot say that I know everything about the different religions that are practiced on campus, but I took a little time out of my busy finals week schedule to try and learn more about these groups from people who practice these religions, and from others may know a little more than I do about these religions.

One of the first groups that I got to learn about this semester was the Muslim Student Association (MSA). To be honest I knew very little about the Islamic faith. I learned about it in high school, but I never really took the time to get to know the religion beyond that. This semester when I attended MSA’s Eid Dinner and Banquet, I felt a lot of appreciation for Islam as a faith and the Muslim culture. I took it upon myself to ask Usman Ghani ’16 — a friend of mine and a member of MSA — to give me more information about the Islamic faith and about MSA as a group on campus.

Based on what he said here is my brief overview of Islam for those, who like me, don’t know much about the faith: Islam has six articles of faith:

  1. belief in one god;
  2. belief in angels;
  3. belief in revealed books (Bible, Quran);
  4. belief in prophets;
  5. belief in the day of judgment, and;
  6. belief in predestination (that everything is already determined by Allah).

Also, in Islam there are five ways of practicing the faith, called the five pillars of Islam. They are:

  1. declaring that you believe that there is only one god, Allah, and that Muhammad is his last prophet.
  2. prayers.
  3. fasting.
  4. Zakaat (a form of obligatory charity where every year, usually in Ramadan, Muslims give a certain percentage of the stuff they have to the needy), and;
  5. Hajj (a Pilgrimage to Mecca). Hajj has to be performed at least once in a person’s lifetime, and while in Mecca, the pilgrims perform obligatory actions there and nearby. It ends with the sacrifice of an animal that is in remembrance of Abraham’s sacrifice. The end of the pilgrimage coincides with eid-ul-azha.

MSA as a group holds discussions about Islam in the United States. The group is also a way for Muslims on campus to practice their faith, and it is a vehicle for promoting awareness of the faith though events that highlight its traditions.

Because I do not practice the Islamic faith or know much about the Islamic culture, I feel that it is something that we as a community should learn more about. I know that in US culture there are a lot of preconceived notices about Islam as a religion, many of which stem from ignorance about the faith, the ways it is practiced, and the lives of Muslims in this country.

I encourage you as a reader to consider learning more about Islam. MSA holds weekly meetings and plan events throughout the year. How hard could it be to learn something about a faith that you may not understand?

Spend Colgate Day with Christmas music, live or on Livestream!

By Chelsea Lehmann on December 12, 2013

Organ in the Colgate ChapelIt is that time of year again! Our annual Lessons and Carols and organ recital event will take place December 13 at 7 p.m. in the Colgate Memorial Chapel.

The evening will begin with an organ recital featuring Glenn Kime. Kime is in his eighth year at Colgate University, serving as Teacher of Organ, Accompanist, and University Organist. He is in his twenty-second year as Director of Music for May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society in Syracuse. Kime studied with Will Headlee (Syracuse University), Cherry Rhodes (University of Southern California), and privately with Gillian Weir, in London and in Cambridge. He has performed solo recitals from London to Los Angeles, including conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society. As an accompanist, he has performed throughout the United States, in Canada, throughout Britain, Northern Europe, and China. He has recorded French Romantic organ symphonies on the Raven label at Old First Church, San Francisco.

Lessons and Carols is a service in anticipation of Christmas — bible verses and music tell the Christmas story. This year’s performers include: the University Choir, the Newman Choir, Sojourners Gospel Choir, Karl Jackson ’14, Jenni Larchar, the Mantiphondrakes, and Emmett Potts ’15. Our readers will feature Dean Aurelius Henderson, Juliana Bukoski ’14, Rodney Agnant ’14, Lauren Bearden ’14, Kevin Gonzalez ’14, Ada Hicks, Ashlee Eve ’14, Claire Littlefield ’14, and Provost Doug Hicks.

If you are not able to attend but would like to watch, watch it live online.

What a way to spend the last Colgate Day of the academic year. Happy holidays, from the Office of the Chaplains!

Confessions of a Catholic

By Bennie Guzman '17 on December 10, 2013

So this semester at Colgate, I was a pretty frequent member of the Secular Association of Skeptical Students, or SASS for short. Now going to SASS meetings while still being a person who practices Catholicism is pretty interesting. There are times where I as an individual felt like somewhat of an out cast because I still had faith in a religion and many others seemed to dismiss faith in general. However, I cannot say that I did not enjoy every meeting that I went to for SASS.

At a normal SASS meeting, we would all meet up on the first floor of the Ho Science Center. Usually we would wait outside of the room we are supposed to be in because it is still locked. So after about 5-10 minutes the meting starts up. We have pizza and wings to start off the meeting and then we would get into some pretty deep discussions about things that are usually discussed in most religions. Some of the discussions that I remember involved topics of marriage, life and afterlife and a huge discussion about morality and human nature. In my opinion the discussion and topics that SASS brought up in their general meetings were about looking at the world in it’s current state and trying to find and consensus amongst all the different view point. And because the group was not based on a singular religious belief, students who identify with all religions, students who may not currently practice a particular religion but grew up with one, and student who never identified with any religion at all can provide input and different perspectives into a discussion.

Being a member of SASS and being religious at the same time is something very interesting. I think something I find the most interesting about being a part of SASS, is that skepticism and questioning are a key part to understanding what it means to be a part of SASS. And as a final thought I would like to say that being a part of SASS allows for “religious” discussions to occur without allowing one particular one viewpoint to dominate the discussion.

Annual Faculty Shabbat service was a success!

By Emily Rooney on December 9, 2013

On Friday, December 6, students from the Colgate Jewish Union invited various faculty members to Shabbat services and a dinner to follow. This special Faculty Shabbat was a huge success in bringing professors and students together outside of the classroom setting.

Many faculty members attended services for the first time, including Professor Matt Leone, who claimed, “It was a wonderful opportunity I wouldn’t miss.”

Others, like Professor Anat Guez, have been to services before. Professor Guez, who teaches Hebrew, explained why she attends services occasionally. “I love it, I am proud of the students, of the Hebrew in the services, and the way they lead Shabbat.”

President Herbst also attended the service with his wife. He has been to Shabbat services before and commented that he “wanted to share this community event and support the Saperstein Center.”

Ben Oliver, the Assistant Director of Outdoor Education, and his wife Janine attended the service for the first time in a while. “We received an invitation from the CJU that said ‘we miss you’ and we realized we missed them too,” Janine Oliver said.

They were not the only people returning to the Saperstein Center for the first time in a while. Jason Kammerdiener, an alumnus from the class of 2010 working in the communications office, attended the Shabbat service because “it’s been a while since I’ve been here… it’s a good chance to reconnect with the space and meet new students.”

Needless to say, there were many reasons to attend this Shabbat. As Professor Jessica Graybill put it, “I saw a community on campus that I don’t usually see, it was a nice community moment.” Especially with the semester coming to a close, the Faculty Shabbat was a great chance for students, faculty members, and alumni to connect or reconnect over a service and dinner, featuring delicious deserts by Erica Pais.

Thanksgiving at Colgate!

By Chelsea Lehmann on November 22, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from some of your favorite people at Colgate! Enjoy the video:

Welcome Colgate Families!

By Chelsea Lehmann on October 24, 2013

This weekend is full of events: you can check out the entire schedule here: http://www.colgate.edu/parents-and-families/family-weekend. The Chaplains Office will also be hosting three events on Sunday:

Catholic Mass at 10am in the Memorial Chapel, followed by a brunch (RSVP required)
Protestant Worship at noon in the Memorial Chapel, followed by a lunch (RSVP required)
Bagel Brunch at Noon in the Saperstein Jewish Center

We hope to see you at an event, and welcome to campus!