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The Interfaith Centre

The Interfaith Centre is a community hub on campus where inclusivity is standard, questions are always welcome, and the differences between people and cultures are explored and celebrated.

 

Interfaith Centre group meeting

Meet the Interfaith Centre team

Our chaplains serve on a volunteer, part-time basis and represent a variety of different faith communities.

Art Kung, Christian, University Campus Ministries

Art KungAs a SAIT alumnus, Art enjoyed a life of adventure in the air ambulance industry — bringing help and hope to some critical scenarios over the years.

His intense career experiences stirred in him difficult questions of life and death, meaning and purpose. Art says his journey has led him through a "theology of grace" into deeper spirituality, community and conviction.

What's a chaplain?

Oooo, great question. I feel it means different things to people. Some would look to us as pastors or priests with whom they can find likeminded community and spiritual guidance. Others are looking for a safe place to ask questions and gain perspective. Essentially, I guess we’re sounding boards — people who can speak encouragement and offer perspective.

Ask me about...

Anything! I absolutely love: hockey (sports in general, but come on, I'm Canadian), coffee (fresh, hand ground in my office or in my "second office", The Odyssey), technology (ask me about my watch), family (I'm blessed with the best wife and son in the history of the world), spirituality (meaning and purpose — for me, the answers are nestled deep in my own faith journey), food and culture, the list goes on.

What does interfaith mean to me?

To me, interfaith is about not merely tolerating different faiths or non-faith but finding ways to celebrate each other while recognizing the differences.

Contact

art.kung@sait.ca
403.542.0414
Monday to Friday, 9 am - 4 pm

Reverend Tim Nethercott, Christian (United Church)

Tim NethercottBefore becoming ordained in the United Church of Canada, Tim had careers in book publishing, teaching English and with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Tim describes himself as a "religious mongrel," since he was raised in the Evangelical church and spent a number of years in the Roman Catholic world. Like many young people, he became "allergic" to his own faith tradition in his 20s and left the Church for several years. He practiced Buddhism for two years, then finally returned to his own religious tradition.

He was formed for ministry at Queens University in the Canadian tradition of the Social Gospel, which places a high value on the struggle for social justice. Tim is a vigorous LGBTQ advocate.

What's a chaplain?

A chaplain is a religious leader who works in a public institution rather than in a faith community like a church or a synagogue. Chaplains attempt to bring the spiritual wisdom of their faith tradition to the overall culture of the institution they serve and to individuals who seek them out for support.

Ask me about...

LGBTQ people and Christianity. The United Church of Canada, in which I am ordained, has been on the path of affirming sexual and gender minorities for over 30 years.

What does interfaith mean to me?

It means having the humility to learn from people of other traditions. I find that one of the best ways to learn about my own faith tradition is to interact with people of other traditions.

Contact

tim.nethercott@sait.ca
403.202.0180
Tuesdays, 1 - 3 pm

Reverend Cristino Bouvette, Roman Catholic

Cristino BouvetteWhat's a chaplain?

I'm still figuring that out! Although I’ve been a priest for seven years and have always remained connected with university students and young adults, I’m still learning about the best way to serve people at this stage of their life on and off campus.

Ask me about...

Food and climbing. I have a very large Italian family on my mother's side, so I basically grew up in a kitchen. In the last five years, I have discovered rock climbing and am a proud member of the Calgary Climbing Centre community.

What does interfaith mean to me?

The freedom to explore the meaning of life and who (if anyone) decided we should be here is the most enriching experience of being human. Faith traditions give us a way to consider these important topics, and when doing so side by side we learn to look and listen together.

Contact

403.463.2133
Thursday, 10 am - 4:30 pm

Imam Fayaz Tilly, Muslim (Sunni)

Fayaz TillyImam Fayaz Tilly attended the Institute of Higher Islamic Learning in Buffalo, New York, where he memorized the Holy Qur'an and acquired the knowledge of the basic Islamic sciences. Upon becoming a Hafiz (one who has successfully memorized the Qur'an), he enrolled in the seven-year course of Islamic Sciences at Darul-Uloom.

After completing his degree (masters equivalency) in 2002, he returned to Canada to serve the Muslim community of Calgary, Alberta. Imam Fayaz is the founder and director of Tahfeez-ul-Quran, a Quranic memorization program in Calgary.

Contact

Fayaz.tilly@sait.ca
403.284.7385
Mondays, 1 - 3 pm

Howie Cummings, Bahá'í

Howie CummingsA unique hallmark of Howie's career has been working with youth in cross-cultural and multi-lingual settings. He has served as principal of a Hutterite School, collaborated with Inuit elders in the instruction of igloo making in Nunavut and designed curriculum for First Nations' technology education.

Throughout his career, Howie developed a wide range of unique approaches to teaching technology education, including the design and implementation of an entrepreneurial education program through which students created their own for-profit mass production companies.

Now retired from teaching, Howie recently moved to Calgary from Saskatoon with his wife May, and is enjoying being nearby his daughters and six grandchildren.

What's a chaplain?

A chaplain provides a service of a spiritual nature through spiritual companionship, friendship or help. Although each chaplain has roots in a particular religious affiliation, chaplains also have a heartfelt desire to address the needs of those who may have no religious orientation or one that is different to their own. Chaplains at SAIT are also well-equipped to offer encouragement, comfort and solace through other non-denominational, spiritually-based approaches.

Ask me about...

Riding a motorcycle across Alberta, canoe building, wilderness tripping and woodcarving.

What does interfaith mean to me?

Interfaith means that diversity of faith need not be a barrier to getting together for the sake of the common good. Commitment to the interfaith ideal is the means through which religious prejudice will not only be eliminated, but replaced with an appreciation for diversity of thought and mutual respect for one another — to make the world a better place through the unification of its people.

Contact

Howie.Cummings@sait.ca
403.464.1182
Thursdays, 11 am - 1 pm

Sarah Ward, Interfaith Centre Coordinator

Ask me about...

What I’m reading right now, how meditation has improved my life and how a non-religious person like myself came to be the Interfaith Centre coordinator.

What does interfaith mean to me?

It means helping students and staff thrive in an environment where people of all faith and non-faith traditions can come together and work towards creating a strong, supportive and diverse SAIT community.

Contact

sarah.ward@sait.ca
403.210.4358

Community spaces

Everyone is welcome at the Interfaith Centre. We invite you to:

  • drop by the Interfaith Centre anytime for a chat — MB227, Stan Grad Centre, 9 am - 4 pm 
  • take a deep breath in our meditation space — MB314, Stan Grad Centre, 7 am - 7 pm 
  • host a group chat in our meeting space — MC311, Stan Grad Centre, 7 am - 7 pm  

Religious accommodations

Every member of the SAIT community — students, staff and faculty — has the opportunity to profess and practice their faith without fear of discrimination. 

If you need an accommodation for a religious observance, complete the request form a minimum of 10 days prior to the observance. Forms must be completed electronically and emailed to interfaith@sait.ca. Requests will be accommodated whenever possible. Students are required to make up missed work and meet all course requirements. 

If you're looking for accommodations for documented disabilities or health conditions contact  Accessibility Services.

Calendar of faith observances 

Please note, this list is not exhaustive — additional dates may be found on the Interfaith Calendar.

Eid-al-Adha* Islam Aug. 11, 2019 (sunset) to Aug. 15, 2019
Rosh Hashanah Judaism Sept. 29, 2019 (sunset) to Oct. 1, 2019
Yom Kippur Judaism Oct. 8, 2019 (sunset) to Oct. 9, 2019
First Two Days of Sukkot Judaism Oct. 13, 2019 (sunset) to Oct. 15, 2019 (nightfall)
Shemini Atzeret Judaism Oct. 20, 2019 (sunset) to Oct. 21, 2019 (nightfall)
Simchat Torah Judaism  Oct. 21, 2019 (sunset) to Oct. 22, 2019 (nightfall)
Diwali ( Deepaval) Hindu Oct. 27, 2019
Hanukkah  Judaism Dec. 22, 2019 (sunset) to Dec. 30, 2019 (nightfall)
Christmas Christianity Dec. 25, 2019
Epiphany Christianity Jan. 6, 2020
Christmas (Orthodox) Christianity Jan. 7, 2020
Lunar New Year Buddhism Jan. 25, 2020
Ash Wednesday Christianity Feb. 26, 2020
Purim Judaism March 9, 2020 (sunset) to March 10, 2020 (nightfall)
Norouz Baha’i/Zoroastrian March 20, 2020
First two days of Passover Judaism April 8, 2020 (sunset) to April 10, 2020 (nightfall)
Maundy Thursday Christianity April 9, 2020
Good Friday Christianity April 10, 2020
Easter Christianity April 10, 2020
Holy Friday (Orthodox) Christianity April 17, 2020
Easter (Orthodox) Christianity April 19, 2020
Last two days of Passover Judaism April 14, 2020 (sunset) to April 16, 2020 (nightfall)
Ramadan* Islam April 23, 2020 (sunset) to May 23, 2020
Shavuot Judaism May 28, 2020 (sunset) to May 30, 2020 (nightfall)
National Indigenous Peoples Day Indigenous June 21, 2020
Eid-al-Fitr* Islam May 23, 2020 (sunset) to May 26, 2020
*Some observances are based on the lunar calendar, and may vary by one or two days.

Memorial and grief support

Our interfaith chaplains work collaboratively within SAIT to provide support for staff and students dealing with the loss of a colleague or classmate. Contact the Interfaith Centre for more information.

Interfaith Centre student leaders

Our student leaders assist with the development and delivery of Interfaith Centre programming and events. Visit the  Co-Curricular Record directory on My Career Hub and search "Interfaith" to learn more about becoming an Interfaith Centre student leader.

What's on at the Interfaith Centre

Interfaith schedule of services

Weekly Activity Time/ location
Monday Meditation Mondays 7:15 - 7:45 am/MC314
Tuesday Christian Prayer 12:15 – 12:45 pm/MC311
Wednesday Communi-tea 11 am - 1 pm
Thursday Bahá'í Devotional Gathering 12:15 – 12:45 pm/MC311
Friday Jummah Prayers 12 pm – 2 pm/3rd Floor Johnson-Cobbe, KA305 Study Area
Chillin' and chili with the chaplains

Come for the (FREE) chili, stay for the (AWESOME) chaplains! Drop by and meet our diverse team of chaplains. Check the events calendar for upcoming opportunities.

Communi-tea

Come by every Wednesday between 11 am and 1 pm and connect with our chaplains and student leaders for conversation, games and tea. See you in the Interfaith Centre, MB227, Stan Grad Centre.

Community drum circle

Join us for a jolt of joy — beginners needed.

Not a drummer? No problem — we’ll teach you in three minutes. Don’t own a drum? No problem — we’ve got lots. Only have a few minutes? No problem — you’re welcome to come and go as you please.

The Drum Circle is not a performance group. It’s a fun, spontaneous group rhythm event using percussion instruments from around the world. Everyone is welcome and every gift of rhythm is valued.

Drumming is also good for you — group drumming has been shown to boost mood and lower blood pressure and heart rate. 

Book a drum circle for your event or class through interfaith@sait.ca or check the events calendar for upcoming opportunities. 

Meditation Mondays

Start your week off right — join a 30-minute guided group meditation every Monday morning at 7:15 am. Try out a variety of tools and techniques to help you maintain your meditation practice. See you in the Interfaith Meditation Room, MB314, Stan Grad Centre. *No sessions Oct. 14 or Nov. 11.

Speed faithing

Kick-start a classroom conversation about ethics, religion, diversity, cross cultural communication and more with help from one or all of our chaplains. Book a session for your class through interfaith@sait.ca.

Walk the labyrinth

Practice modern mindfulness using ancient-inspired exercise — book the labyrinth for your event or class through interfaith@sait.ca or check the events calendar for upcoming opportunities.

 

Events

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