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In these challenging times, Concordians find connection through the Multi-faith and Spirituality Centre

NOV 10 to 12: Engage with practitioners from a range of religions and philosophical backgrounds in a secular setting at the upcoming virtual fair
November 3, 2020
By Christian Durand

A diverse group of people holding up signs with the names of different religions on them. Ellie Hummel: “Spiritual practice is about learning to live with uncertainty.” | Image taken pre-pandemic.

The global pandemic has launched humanity into a period of great uncertainty. Many of us are questioning mortality, our place in society and other existential questions related to faith and spirituality.

For Concordia students contemplating these issues there is the Multi-faith and Spirituality Centre (MFSC). It’s a home on campus for those who wish to celebrate the human essence, whether spiritual, secular or religious.

Seeing the larger picture

MFSC chaplain and coordinator Ellie Hummel believes that one of the core elements of spirituality is seeing oneself in the larger picture.

“We bring people together in a space where they can explore topics of faith and spirituality and share with open arms and without judgement, so that we can contemplate the overall arc of life. It’s about creating deep, healthy reflection in a fun and relaxed environment.”

Such exploration is especially important now.

“Living in ambiguity is not easy; we are always looking for clear answers. Spiritual practice is about learning to live with uncertainty and the unknown,” Hummel adds.

Since the closing of MFSC physical spaces in mid-March, the centre has moved online. Weekly activities include conversation cafés with guests. The cafés explore a range of topics such as curiosity, life stories, advocacy, photography and sacred walking. The centre also hosts meet-up lounge discussions, a weekly pause for reflection and special events such as a mid-term chill. One-one-one conversations can also be arranged.

A strong community dedicated to growth, understanding and kinship

At the heart of the MFSC’s appeal is the sense of community it fosters among students.

Azfar Adib, a PhD candidate in electrical and computer engineering, came to Concordia from Bangladesh two years ago. At the time, he was looking for activities beyond the classroom. He discovered the MFSC and, soon after, whole new worlds.

“Coming from a majority-Muslim country, it was the first time I could explore so many different beliefs,” he says. “Being part of this community has widened my thinking as well as my circle of friends, with whom I can share ideas with.”

Sai Niranjan Jyothimahalingam, a master’s student in aerospace engineering, discovered the centre when he attended Graduate School Base Camp. He considers himself spiritual but not religious and contends that MFSC events are some of the best places on campus to have conversations and make connections.

“Having an online space to discuss interesting topics with great people has been very helpful since the beginning of the pandemic,” Jyothimahalingam notes. “It is a safe space that has helped me gain perspective on the situation we are living through. Plus, I get to see people other than my roommates!”

Your turn to discover the Multi-faith and Spirituality Centre

The Discover Multi-faith Fair will take place virtually this year from November 10 to 12 and include three days of reflections, interactions, games and learning. This is an opportunity for Concordia students to engage with practitioners of various faiths and spiritual and philosophical backgrounds in a fun and inclusive environment.

Register today for the virtual
Discover Multi-faith Fair, taking place from November 10 to 12.


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