January 25, 2009

Religious Life at Mount Allison University

For the benefit of those who are interested, below I've included some information about Religious Life at Mount Allison University.

There are seven churches in Sackville in addition to the 'Denominationally Inclusive' University Chapel.

The Anglican Church of Canada
Father Kevin Stockall
Service Time: 11:00 a.m.
Located opposite the Mount Allison Swan Pond
Phone: 536-0897

United Baptist Convention
Rev. Vernon Vickruck
Service Time: 10:45 a.m.
Located at Silver Lake, 4 km from campus;
a church van provides pickup at the chapel at 10:30 am
Phone: 536-2615

Fellowship of Baptist Churches
Service Time: 10:45 a.m.
Located on Main Street near the Sackville Hospital
Phone: 536-2464

Independent Baptist
Rev. Morris Mills
Service Time: 11:00 a.m.
Located on east Main Street just past the highway overpass
Phone: 536-0407

The Presbyterian Church in Canada
Service Time: 11:00 a.m.
Located on Bridge Street next to Memorial Park
Phone: 536-3786

Roman Catholic
Service Time:9:00 a.m.
Located on Charlotte Street next to La Pavilion Bousquet
Phone: 536-1460

United Church of Canada
Rev. Gail Hopkirk, Supply
Service Time: 11:00 a.m.
Located at the corner of Bridge and Main Streets, downtown Sackville
Phone: 536-0498

Denominationally Inclusive Worship
Rev. John Perkin
Service Time: 7:00 p.m. September - April
Mount Allison University

Use of the Chapel

The chapel is open daily during the academic year and during weekdays in the summer months, as a place for personal prayer and meditation. The University Chapel is used for a variety of religious or faith-based activities, and is open to all as a place of refuge and peace.

The chapel Sanctuary is primarily used as a place of Christian worship; during the academic year, worship of a non-denominational nature takes place on Sunday evenings under the leadership of the University Chaplain and student Chapel Assistants. This evening service a long-standing tradition at Mount Allison is called Vespers, meaning literally “evening prayers”; it is a blend of tradition and contemporary worship elements from a variety of Christian traditions.

Funerals, prayer vigils, memorial services, and other special liturgical events take place in the Chapel with the permission of the University Chaplain. The Chapel is sometimes used for musical performances, dramatic presentations, public readings, and public addresses or forums that reflect the integrity of the purpose of the building. These may occasionally be jointly sponsored by the Chaplain's Office. The Chapel is a popular site for weddings. More information about weddings is available at this web site. All requests for use of the sanctuary should be made through the University Chaplain.

The Chaplain also leads study, discussion and spiritual nurture groups in the Chapel. Student groups, representing a variety of faith-based interests, meet in the Chapel for prayer, study and fellowship.

The Manning Room is used by the University community for study, meetings, and group activities. Booking can be arranged through Facilities Management. Permission must be obtained from the Chaplain's Office for weekly or term bookings.

For those who prefer not to be in the traditional Christian environment of the chapel sanctuary, a room in the basement of the Chapel has been designated as the Multi-Faith Prayer Room. This room is available without booking.

All those who use the chapel are asked to be considerate of those who may be seeking a place for quiet prayer or meditation, in either the Sanctuary or the Multi-faith Prayer Room.

From the University Calendar:

10.12 Religious Life on Campus

10.12.1 Introduction

Mount Allison is a church-founded university which affirms the partnership of faith and higher education. The Mount Allison crest declares that religion is a central and integral part of university life, and the University continues the commitment made in its founding to nurture the spiritual life of students. It supports and encourages personal spiritual development and affirms that university is a place to be awakened to the deep mysteries of life; the search for truth is a religious quest as well as an educational goal.

The chapel at Mount Allison, located at the heart of the campus, is a visible symbol of the commitment of the university to the importance of faith in university life. It stands as a reminder that the university is committed to nurturing students as whole human persons.

While founded under Methodist direction, Mount Allison upholds freedom of religion and creeds. Chapel worship and activities are ecumenical by design; the Office of the Chaplain is intended to be an ecumenical appointment, responsive not only to the many Christian denominations represented on campus but to the diversity of religious traditions. The Chaplain is open to engaging students of all religions in faith development.

10.12.2 The Chapel

The Chapel on campus is a refuge and a retreat in the midst of the activity around it; it is open daily for quiet reflection or prayer. Its exterior design makes it accessible from any direction on campus; the interior design naturally draws the eye upwards. The chapel is used primarily for worship, but individuals and groups associated with the university may arrange with the Chaplain for the use of the chapel for purposes that reflect the goal of nurturing religious life on campus.

The chapel was built and dedicated in 1965 through the initiative and generosity of the Rev. C.H. Johnson, and with the support of many other alumni, friends of the university, church people of the region and other individuals and institutions.

The organ is a gift of a former Chancellor, Dr. Ralph P. Bell, in memory of his mother. The stained glass windows were given by Marjorie Young Bell. A permanent record of the gifts is found in "The Book of Remembrance" in the narthex of the chapel. A small meditation room for private or small group prayer or worship is located to the right of the front of the sanctuary; the Chaplain maintains a study to the left side. The Manning Room in the basement is named for the generous gift of Mrs. Gladys M. Manning, and is dedicated to the religious and social life of the campus.

A multi-faith prayer room is available in the chapel; this room is intended for private or small group prayer in a comfortable setting supportive of all religious traditions. A Muslim student group makes use of this prayer room every Friday.

10.12.3 Worship

Sunday evening worship services, or vespers, are held throughout the academic year. Other special services in the week take place through the year.

The Chaplain provides leadership in worship, drawing on students and other members of the University community. Students take an active role in the chapel programs, sharing in planning, preparing and leading worship.

10.12.4 The Chaplain

The Chaplain oversees the Chapel and its programs and worship; the mandate of the Chaplain goes beyond worship and extends to nurturing spiritual life on campus to include counsel and comfort for those needing encouragement or support, to being a refuge to those in need, to enriching University life. All the work of the Chaplain is undertaken regardless of the religion, ideology or faith of those who seek. The Chaplain is appointed by the University and serves as Chaplain to the whole community, including both students and employees, with a responsibility to speak to the university as well as from within it.

10.12.5 Student Groups

Students engage in their faith pilgrimages in many ways, and the University provides ample opportunity to develop in faith. The Chapel services give opportunity to share in worship and develop leadership abilities; the Chapel Choir provides a way to express faith in music. Student groups operate autonomously, but often in conjunction with the Chaplain.

Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship has an active group that offers fellowship, singing, Bible study and prayer. The Student Christian Movement is also very active, and encourages students to translate Christian faith into action through issues of peace and social justice.

The Pre-Theology Society comprises those students who are considering ministry, and it meets occasionally for fellowship, study and mutual support.

10.12.6 Programs

Religious awareness and spiritual development are the concern of a variety of programs initiated by student groups, the Department of Religious Studies and the Office of the Chaplain. These may include guest lecturers, forums for dialogue on religious matters, and other special events.

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