Kenyon College: Spiritual Places

I'm mark Bragan and I'm Rachel Kessler we are the chaplains at Kenyon College and we comprise the office of spiritual and religious life we help students gain a greater understanding appreciation for beliefs other than their own and respect for others who hold those beliefs and that way we honor the human spirit and nurture its development we also encourage students to take responsibility for their spiritual identities and ways that are meaningful to them louisa may alcott once wrote that i am not afraid of storms for i am learning how to sail my ship our job is to help all members of the kenya community sail their shoes we now want to introduce you to some individuals who are discovering where their spirituality is best nourished on the kenyan campus my religious studies professors would probably be pretty upset with me if I didn't define sacred spaces that would just hit a part in considering how hectic college life can be with your academic responsibilities with sewer organizations with your social life nothing is more important than finding that place set apart from that stress finding a place set apart from from the anxieties and rigors of college life the place where you can just go and be yourself and sit and reflect that can be different things for different people but for me the Chapel of the Holy Spirit has always been that place record center myself and avoid that stress and anxiety of college life but even though lucky me to be alone it's the community of people that I found here them really reshaped my entire college experience the rothenburg Hillel house is a gorgeous and welcoming space at Kenyon as a freshman in my first semester this is where I came to hear Shabbat services and high holiday services which was an incredibly important aspect of becoming comfortable and feeling at home and Gambier for me throughout the week it is a space that is almost always open for students to study and meet whether they're Jewish or not we have this chapel space we have a dining room and a lounge and Mark Bregenz office is always there and he's always smiling and available to meet and we have a few amazing Hillel managers who are great at coordinating weekly event and this is a space that I love at Kenyon I'm Tana childs I'm a first year from Little Rock Arkansas I hope to be a Poli Sci major and the reason that I connect with this spot is because it was a pivotal moment in my faith journey I was I did service pre-orientation so I got to Kenyan before both of my roommates and I wanted to give them a chance to sort of say goodbye to their families like I had when they moved in so I decided to go around and explore campus so I wandered over there old kay because it's a very famous spot on campus and as I sort of was leaving there I was walking down to the CAC when I saw this base and I thought it was really beautiful and it felt very peaceful so I sat down and I sort of went into like this meditative state and I started thinking about my own faith journey and I was thinking about how my entire life I know that my family has been praying for me and that they're always keeping me in their thoughts and I felt like in that moment that College was empowering me to sort of take control of my own fate and I decided that I was going to take an active interest in my own growth I so i sat here and thought about it a while and I hoped that for the remainder of the year that I would be able to meet people and experience things so that would help me grow in my faith in sort of achieve those goals and I definitely have found over the course of a year that I definitely feel very connected spiritually here and that all of the friends that I've made through faith have been really instrumental in my own growth I'm brandy Cruz I'm a first year English major in the Muslims here at Canyon college when I asked about where do I feel most spiritual you know in campus you know I've choose peers because you know I'm an extrovert first of all and I love just talking to people and you know peers is that person you know everybody has to eat here and everything but everybody comes together from all different backgrounds you know whether it be you know not Muslim or Muslim and when I'm talking to my non-muslim friends you know they're always curious about my identity my religious identities what I practice what I believe in in this very sincere way that you usually don't get here in America and it's really comforting to feel that to feel loved to feel appreciated because you worship you know your God and about your own beliefs but it's so it's so comforting to have these national lot conversations and I really truly appreciate it and I really true feel truly feel closer to God you know when I talk to everybody because I can really see God in everybody and I could really see that love and compassion and everybody here on campus no matter you know their relationship right now we're in Ascension Hall this is Philo matthews 'i'm a lecture hall and it is a place where i feel spiritually connected because first of all it's really gorgeous so anyone who comes to Kenyon should know that they should look at take a look at Philo but also because ascension is the home to the Religious Studies department and I'm an English and religious studies double major so I've found a lot of spiritual fulfillment engaging with faculty and other students in both the English and religious studies departments because for me what I feel really spiritually involved I'm intellectually engaged and I'm really present in the moment with interesting people that I care about so I've had a lot of really interesting conversations in phyllo and an intention with my advisor and with friends Kenyon has taught me a question what I thought I knew about my religious identity through my religious studies classes and my English classes and has also taught me to embrace parts of myself that I think I was less comfortable with before I came so when you do science you you sometimes are just overwhelmed with a sense of wonder at the marvelous way the universe is put together and Einstein said that sense of wonder was a spiritual experience of the of the deepest and most profound kind you don't have to be a member of a particular faith tradition you don't have to go up on a mountaintop or be in a temple but if you're open to it that means you can have a a sense of the presence of God doing your physics homework you

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