Spirit Week 2013

Students celebrating Holi

From April, 2013

Photo by Joel Wintermantle

For 10 days this quarter, the Spiritual Life Office at Rockefeller Chapel holds a series of events dedicated to celebrating the diversity of faith traditions on our campus. Organizations open their doors to all students, faculty, and staff who are interested in exploring communities different from their own, or who desire to delve deeper in to their own tradition.

“In addition to focusing on spiritual diversity and collaborations across traditions, Spirit Week creates opportunities for students from diverse traditions to engage with one another through dialogue, workshops, and shared experiences,” said Jigna Shah, Assistant Dean, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel and Director of the Spiritual Life Office.

 Each year, events expose students, faculty, and staff to traditions and practices from different faiths. Students are deeply involved in planning, creating, and attending the events. The Spiritual Life Office expects more than 1,500 students will have attended events by the time Spirit Week ends. Approximately 400 students participated in the Holi celebration last Saturday.

Spirit Week began in 2011, shortly after the creation of the Spiritual Life Office. It was timed to coincide with a major art installation at Rockefeller on the theme of impermanence. One of the 2011 Spirit Week events featured the Dalai Lama's monks constructing a sand mandala over a four-day period, culminating in the ceremony where the sand is swept up and cast into water (in this case, Lake Michigan). Last year, the keynote event was a musical event involving Tibetan chant and dance, with the premieres of several musical works written by graduate students in the Department of Music with the spirituality of sacred architecture in mind.

This year’s events are collaborative across traditions. Spirit Week 2013 began with a celebration at the Smart Museum in the context of the India in Activism and Art installation, and there are several major events taking place, including a talk by the worldwide leader of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage on Friday, April 26. All events are free. Spirit Week 2013 runs through April 28. View the full list of events below.

Spirit Week Opening Reception
Wednesday, April 17  5-7 p.m.
Smart Museum, 5550 S. Greenwood
A student-led celebration of spiritual diversity, with song, prayer, chant, and readings, against the dramatic backdrop of the exhibit The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India since 1989. Hors d’oeuvres served.
Cosponsored by the Spiritual Life Council

Art and Text: An Interfaith Lectio Divina
Thursday, April 18  4:15-5:30 p.m.
Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park, 5500 S. Woodlawn
An invitation to meditate artistically while engaging sacred texts with paint, clay, color pencils, and more.
Presented by Emily McGinley, pastor at Urban Village Church.

Love, Imperfectly Known
Thursday, April 18  7-8:30 p.m.
Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park, 5500 S. Woodlawn
Brother Emmanuel from the Taizé community in France offers a reading, followed by discussion, from his new book Love, Imperfectly Known, addressing intersections of psychology, religion, sexuality, and ethics. Vegetarian dinner provided. Preceded by a brief evening prayer (6:30-7 pm, all welcome).
Sponsored by Lutheran Campus Ministry, Brent House, and Calvert House

Pilgrimage Across Traditions
Friday, April 19  4:30-5:30 p.m.
Rockefeller Chapel, Uncommon Room
Students tell their stories of pilgrimage and discuss the role of journeys and sacred spaces in religious and cultural traditions.
Co-sponsored by jU and the Muslim Student Association
Taizé Worship: Contemplative Prayer and Song
Friday, April 19  7 p.m.
Bond Chapel
Join Christians from across campus in prayer and song, and learn about this international movement of contemplative worship, with Brother Emmanuel of the Taizé community.
Sponsored by Calvert House, Lutheran Campus Ministry, Brent House, and Hyde Park Union Church

Unleash the Colors
Saturday, April 20  12-3 p.m.
Eckhart Quad, Rain or shine
A celebration of Holi, India’s vibrant and colorful spring festival! Cover your friends in the colors of spring. Lunch provided.
Cosponsored by the Hindu Student Sangam, the South Asian Students Association, and the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (Pritzker)

Remembering Victims of Violence: Mozart Requiem
Saturday, April 20  7:30-9:30 p.m.
Rockefeller Chapel
Mozart’s final work, his beautiful Requiem, is sung by the combined student voices of Motet Choir and the Chapel Choir, with other music of mourning for those lost to violence on our streets and in our neighborhoods. Tickets $20, free to students.

Sunday at Rockefeller – Earth Day
Sunday, April 21  11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Rockefeller Chapel
Rockefeller’s Sunday service, with prayers and readings for Earth Day, drawn from Christian liturgy ancient and contemporary, and Russian music from Golosá. Spiritual address by Dean Elizabeth Davenport.

Spring Yoga on the Lawn
Sunday April 21  6:30-7:30 p.m.
Harper Quad (rain location: Bond Chapel)
Join Meredith Haggerty as she leads special Sunday evening ‘sunset session’ of yoga and sun salutations outdoors on the quad. Bring a yoga mat if you have one and wear loose, comfortable clothing.

Six Impossible Things: Earth Day Special!
Monday, April 22  4:30-5:30 p.m.
Rockefeller Chapel
A quarterly series in which distinguished visitors talk about what has motivated them in their work and in their lives: belief and choices, past and present. Breakfast snacks served because breakfast is great in the afternoon. Featuring alum Tabassum Haleem (Middle Eastern Studies), who works to support public policy that encourages sustainable energy.

Spirit Break
Tuesday, April 23 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Reynolds Club, Marketplace / South Lounge
Stop in any time for free backrubs, crafts, snacks, and guided meditation.

Icons: The Cosmos Filled with Glory
Tuesday, April 23  6 p.m.
Rockefeller, Uncommon Room
Icons present a world changed, transfigured, permeated with divine grace and radiance: see how the ancient tradition of iconographic decoration depicts this, with slides and music.
Sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Fellowship/St. Makarios, Calvert House, and the Catholic Student Association

Shari'ah Demystified: Understanding Islam's Sacred Law
Tuesday, April 23  7:30 p.m.
Harper 140
Islamic shari'ah is an often-discussed topic in in the media, but is still poorly understood. Professor Ahmed El-Shamsy discusses shari'ah as a living code for Muslims, and Umar Faruq Abd-Allah (PhD '78) speaks on the goals and priorities of Islamic law.
Sponsored by the Muslim Student Association

Workshop: Writing as Religious and Spiritual Practice
Wednesday April 24  12-1:30 p.m.
Reynolds Club, South Lounge
There are things in life that seem impossible to put into words: experiences of the transcendent and the holy. But for some, the inclination is to pursue that impossible task! An opportunity to explore writers and texts who speak to the ineffable, and to develop techniques for spiritual writing. Lunch provided.

Wake Up UChicago
Wednesday April 24  3:30-4:30 pm
Rockefeller, Uncommon Room
A student-run mindful meditation group, inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh’s Wake Up movement,  with 30 minutes of sitting meditation followed by 30 minutes of walking meditation on the quads: share in the joy of awakened living and rediscover peace!

Practicing Nonviolent Communication
Wednesday, April 24  5-6 p.m.
Institute of Politics, 5707 S. Woodlawn, Student Meeting Room (lower level)
Nonviolence is a mindful approach to life that emerges from standing for love, courage and truth. Learn to live life fully connected to the core values of nonviolence, no matter the circumstances, internal or external.
Co-sponsored by the Institute of Politics

Spirit Café
Wednesday, April 24   5-6 p.m.
Spirit Café, Rockefeller Lower Level
Come philosophize and engage in a lively conversation with peers around questions of meaning and purpose. Snacks provided. Repeated every Wednesday of the quarter.

Biblical Women and Power
Thursday April 25  4-5:30 p.m.
Newberger Hillel Jewish Center, 5715 S. Woodlawn
An interfaith conversation about women’s authority and subversive influence in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, based on the work of Tikva Frymer-Kensky. A panel of UChicago’s women religious advisors shares perspectives on how models of gender influence cultural institutions and discuss finding female role models among biblical characters.

Crescents over Rockefeller
Thursday April 25  8-9 p.m.
Rockefeller Chapel, front desk at 59th street entrance
Using the lunar calendar to chart the changing of the seasons and the commencement of sacred rituals is a practice that dates back millennia and has remained central to the spiritual practice of Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Indigenous peoples the world over. Join in the ascent of the Rockefeller carillon tower on this full moon night. Repeated Saturday May 11 at 7:45 pm for the new crescent moon sighting.

Compline for the Feast of St. Mark, Evangelist
Thursday April 25  9-10 p.m.
Bond Chapel
The divine office of Compline is the last service of prayer in the Christian monastic tradition. Join Brent House and members of Motet Choir in a celebration of the feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, with chant and a cappella choral pieces.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
Friday, April 26  7:30-9 p.m.
Rockefeller Chapel
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, global leader in peace initiatives and Buddhist lineage holder, presents on how mindfulness and compassion practices can help create a culture of kindness that can affect global change, and curb social ills. Tickets $20, free to students.
Presented by the Shambhala Meditation Center of Chicago

Homeless Food Run and Fleece Blanket Making
Saturday, April 27   10 a.m.-1p.m., blanket making, lunch
1-3 p.m. homeless food run
Rockefeller, Uncommon Room
Come make fleece blankets and pack meals to pass out to the homeless downtown. If you can tie a knot and spread peanut butter and jelly on bread, you have all the skills you need for this act of service!
Sponsored by Calvert House, Homeless Food Run, and the Muslim Student Association

Sunday at Rockefeller – Spirit Week
Sunday, April 28  11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Rockefeller Chapel
An interfaith service for Spirit Week, with music from the African Missa Luba, and spiritual address by Dan Libenson, director of Jewish U.

Religion for Atheists
Sunday, April 28  12:30-2 p.m.
Rockefeller, Uncommon Room
A discussion based on philosopher Alain de Botton's book of the same name which argues that “it must be possible to remain a committed atheist and nevertheless find religions sporadically useful, interesting and consoling.” Do you agree? Think he's full of nonsense? Come have lunch and talk about religion as separate from belief, with believers and unbelievers alike.
Co-sponsored by the Secular Alliance