Community is where humility and glory touch… Community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but for one another. Community is the fruit of our capacity to make the interests of others more important than our own. — Henri Nouwen
Each Wednesday during the school year we gather for chapel at 11:35 a.m. It is an oasis of spiritual retreat in the midst of busy studies. The chapel service is a blend of contemporary and traditional elements. Worship is led by our Worship Leader, Jessica Gauthier, supported by the Chaplain of the College. (Check out this recording of a worship song by members of our community.) Guest preachers are from local congregations or from partners in other traditions and denominations.
On three Wednesdays per year, we also gather for shared worship with the United Theological College and the Montreal Diocesan Theological college. It is an ecumenical service hosted by each college, in turn. As of the 2021-2022 academic year, we will also share in worship (twice per term) with students in our French, Master of Theological Studies program. These will be bilingual services.
Each Wednesday, after chapel, we share together in a community lunch upstairs in the common room. This lunch is at the heart of our community lunch, where we can catch up with each other, share about ongoing studies, or commiserate over challenging professors!
One some Wednesdays, there is simply a time of informal conversation together. At other times there may be specific programming. We may be invited into small groups for a time of deeper sharing and prayer with one another. Or we may hear a guest speaker, who will share about some aspect of ministry or the life of the church. Guests have included local ministers, missionaries, church officials, or faculty members.
Each year the students and faculty of The Presbyterian College participate in a weekend retreat that is held at Camp CAMMAC on Lake MacDonald in the Laurentians. The retreat includes inspiring times of worship, delicious food, and an experience of the gifts of nature. Enjoy some time by the lake, or throwing a frisbee with friends.
This context of retreat provides the means for community building and personal renewal in preparation for another year of study. As one student affirms about the retreat, “it is a good way to start the semester in a welcoming and safe environment.”
Our annual convocation service is a formal event in the life of the College, and it is usually held in the traditional church building of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul. At this event, degrees are granted and prizes awarded. Often a long-serving member of the church or a community organization is honoured with an honorary degree.
But this event is also a community event. It’s about seeing one another complete something significant, and celebrating together. There is song and conversation and food – all the ingredients of a great community time. It is always a highlight of the year!