Chapel News

  • arc quote

    Bending the Arc

    September 5, 2019

    Four hundred years ago, in August 1619, a ship arrived in Virginia carrying 20 enslaved Africans.  With their sale to colonists, slavery began in America.  As The New York Times “1619 Project” discusses, this legacy of slavery shaped American history and current social, political, and economic life.  

    It can be hard to see any bend toward justice in such a long arc and thus understandable why some people are angry, fearful, or depressed....

  • Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and white supremacy are on the rise in this country and around the world.  The October attack on the synagogue in Pittsburgh, the recent attacks on the two mosques in New Zealand, and the 2015 attack on the Black church in Charleston are horrific examples of this.  

  • One Body

    We Are Like One Body

    December 11, 2018

    The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.
    (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5665)  

    In a world that often feels like we are pulling further and further away from one another, I am reminded of this saying of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings) that as human beings, we are like one body: When one of us is hurting or attacked, all of us are in pain.

  • awe and wonder

    Awe and Wonder

    August 31, 2018

    Our interfaith dialogue group sometimes does an exercise called “Speed Faithing,” talking briefly with several people about a variety of topics.  When we debrief on what their favorite question was, it is usually about when they’ve experienced a moment of awe.  Such feelings of mystery and wonder cross the boundaries between faith traditions.

  • Over spring break, I answered a call from Jewish Community Action, a local social justice organization. They needed someone to testify before a Minnesota legislative committee, against a bill aimed to reopen a shuttered prison in Appleton MN.  I strongly believe that adding more prison beds is NOT a good solution to the woes of our state, so I agreed to go testify.

  • Crossing Paths

    Crossing Paths

    December 18, 2017

    Life around the chapel is bursting with spiritual, religious and learning opportunities; it’s like a colorful marketplace, where people of various faiths and ethnic backgrounds come not to sell but to share what is most precious to them. And we all grow.

    Take me and the Druid fellow with whom I recently connected at a study session....

  • In these divisive times, the world has deep need of people who uphold Carleton’s core aspirations: building a welcoming and inclusive community, while encouraging individual freedom of inquiry and expression. 

  • Ailya Vajid


    March 15, 2017

    We continue to live in challenging times.  Fifty years after the Civil Rights Movement, racism, discrimination, and violence still perpetuate devastating realities in this country.

  • Moses

    Moses Was Born Illegal

    December 12, 2016

    It is written in the Hebrew scriptures that a certain newly-arisen king of Egypt took note of the large Hebrew immigrant population in his land. He seems to have been afraid, at least that’s what he told his constituents, and he ordered that any newborn Hebrew boy be thrown into the Nile.

  • Chapel in Fall

    Chapel Birthdays!

    August 31, 2016

    One hundred and fifty years ago, local Congregationalists launched a new college in Northfield, dedicated to the growth of its students’ intellectual, moral, and spiritual lives.  One hundred years ago this fall, the College showed its commitment to this vision by building the beautiful Skinner Memorial Chapel.  Seventy years ago, the College hired its first chaplain to help the campus explore the integral relationship between faith and learning.

  • Carleton Chaplains

    In the College’s sesquicentennial and the Chapel’s centennial year, I am very pleased to announce that Ailya Vajid will join us part time in spring term as our first Associate Chaplain for Muslim and Interfaith Life. Ailya comes to us from working at Swarthmore College as the Muslim Student Advisor, having received an MA from Harvard Divinity School and a BA from Swarthmore. She is commuting from St. Peter, MN, where she lives with her family.

  • Mouhamadou Diagne '12

    ...Or perhaps, “Two College Chaplains Walk Into a Coffee Shop.” Or, “A Muslim and a Jew Meet in the Shadow of a Huge Cathedral” (St. John the Divine, in New York City). Or, “Two Carls Get Together at Columbia University.”