Lifting spirits

Lifting spirits

Faith and Spiritual Life offers new programs to support student wellbeing.

By Dana Mitchell, Division of Student Affairs

February 14, 2020


Photo of people having a conversation
The staff members of Faith and Spiritual Life (from left): Adam Bloemendal (Associate Chaplain), Wendy Luella Perkins (Associate Chaplain), Kate Johnson (University Chaplain), Abdullah El-Asmar (Associate Chaplain).

With a new semester underway, Queen’s Faith and Spiritual Life is offering several new programs to help students combat stress and connect with the larger Queen’s and Kingston communities.

Among these new offerings is the Supper and Support program, a chance for students with little or no parental support to gather weekly for a shared meal. Students facing similar circumstances are able to support and engage with one another in a safe and non-judgmental space. The program is held every Tuesday and features a different discussion topic each week.

“The Supper and Support program is not only an emotional outlet, but it helps me to learn important life skills and connect to other resources on campus,” says one of the student participants. “Most importantly, the group connection I developed with other students in a similar situation to mine was encouraging and showed me that we are capable of succeeding in university despite the many challenges we face.”

Students can also partake in the Grab and Go with Queen’s Retirees program. Once a month, a group of volunteers from the Retirees Association at Queen’s prepare and distribute hearty snacks to students at the University Centre.

In addition, Chaplain Kate Johnson holds Sampling Silence sessions every Tuesday and Thursday in the Interfaith room at Mitchell Hall. These focused sessions provide students with 20 minutes of meditation that draw on a variety of religious traditions and poetry.

After moving into their new space in Mitchell Hall, the Faith and Spiritual Life team have been able to expand their programs and services to benefit a larger range of students from all spiritual backgrounds.

Faith and Spiritual Life, a unit of Student Affairs, also offers other programs including Cooking with Grammas and Cooking with Kingstonians, monthly programs that allow students to engage with members of the community while preparing delicious and healthy meals.

In addition, Faith and Spiritual Life has teamed up with the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) to offer Crafternoons every Wednesday in the International Centre at Mitchell Hall. All domestic and international students are welcome to attend and partake in a variety of crafting projects.

One of the most popular programs offered by Faith and Spiritual Life is Soulful Singing. Run by Associate Chaplain Wendy Luella Perkins, this uplifting program brings people together through the shared meditative practice of song. The program runs every Wednesday in Mitchell Hall and is open to all students, staff, faculty, and community members.

"I am deeply privileged to share programs that are focused on building resiliency, fostering spiritual depth and developing vibrant community through eating, singing, meditating and creating together,” says Perkins. “Through Cooking with Grammas, Cooking with Kingstonians, Soulful Singing, Stew Suppers and Crafternoons; students, staff and community members are able to connect over a meal, through song, or while crafting, and share the joys and struggles of being human.  I have witnessed again and again how these activities can lessen the loneliness, isolation, and challenges that many students experience during their time at Queen's and bring meaning and joy to student, staff, and volunteer alike."

To learn more about these and other programs, visit the Faith and Spiritual Life website or email