New & Arriving Students
Welcome to Puget Sound! Some students come to campus with a strong, particular religious identity; others arrive having grown up socially or culturally connected but not sure what that means for them as adults; and many land on campus with limited interest in or familiarity with religion and spirituality. The Chaplaincy is here for all of you, in various ways – connecting to maintain important identities and traditions; finding new paths to understand your sense of spirit, meaning, and wholeness; asking hard questions and figuring out who you want to be; or helping navigate the complex and often unfamiliar worlds of religious, spiritual, and cultural pluralism. The Chaplaincy is not meant to enforce or encourage any particular system of belief, or to pressure subscription to any general structural belief system. We want to be alongside you as you continue to define yourself and evolve through your time at Puget Sound – supporting, challenging, listening, and wanting the best for each student in their own path.
In almost all these events, you’ll likely hear something like this: “EVERYONE is welcome here, to participate or respectfully observe, as fully as feels right for who you are and your own journey.” These (and other Chaplaincy events) are a great opportunity to come and learn about different religious and spiritual practices in the college environment.
A few concrete options to consider during your first few weeks on campus:
- Move-In Day Havdalah Service: In partnership with the Jewish Student Union, all students (with a particular shout-out to our Jewish students) are welcome to gather at Wyatt Hall at 6:30pm (during the latter part of the welcome picnic) for a short, casual, music-and-joy filled Havdalah service as we bid adieu to Shabbat for the week.
- Orientation Chapel Service: Various Christian Life leaders help us in offering an ecumenical, eclectic, laid-back, and welcoming Sunday morning service at 10am on the day after move in. We’ll be done by 10:45am, so you’ll have plenty of time to get to your 11am Orientation schedule. Any family or parents that are around are most welcome to be present.
- Intercultural Identities Exposition: The Expo. is a fantastic chance not only to have free, local ice cream, but to learn about the range of student clubs that connect with race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, spirituality, and more. Check out your Orientation App for the exact time, but this is one of the best ways to make these connections early in your time at Puget Sound.
- Jewish Life Welcome Brunch: Jewish Student Union (JSU) and the Chaplaincy host a free brunch (this year on Sunday, September 8) for Jewish students to come, connect, hear a little bit about Jewish Life at Puget Sound, and EAT. Kosher options are available.
- Religion &… is a monthly student-led program for anyone to come and talk about religious literacy, diversity, and more. Our September kick-off is led by rising senior Castor Kent, and is at 6pm on Wednesday 9/11 in the Student Diversity Center. Castor will be presenting a version of their senior thesis, “The Force be With You…and Also With You” – a study of religious imagery and language in the Star Wars saga.
- Blues Vespers: Blues Vespers happens 2-3 times a semester, pairing local and national traditional blues performances with poetry and reflection and silence in a “spiritual but not religious” space on Sunday nights. We’ll start on Sunday 9/22 with Grammy-nominated songstress and storyteller Ms. Chaney Sims. 5pm in Kilworth Chapel – always free, always done by 6:30pm.
- RIS-Reflection and Intention Space: Monday, 9/9, is our first “Reflection and Intention Space” for the Fall. This is a casual, reflective, connecting space we create each month to hold events of the past few weeks in our care, and to consider our hopes and commitments for the month ahead. It’s a brief but meaningful time to connect each month, from 9am-9:30am in the Murray Boardroom in Wheelock Student Center (just past the bathrooms behind Diversions).
- Check out University Chaplain Dave’s coffee hours, office hours, and other ways to connect here.