Weekly Numen Lumen tradition returns with a focus on ‘dreaming’

University Chaplain Rev. Kirstin Boswell, who joined Elon earlier this summer, was the first speaker of the weekly inspirational series which will explore the theme of dreaming for the 2021-22 academic year.

With the semester underway and students settling in, one of the university’s more established gatherings took place for the first time this academic year on Thursday morning.

The Numen Lumen: A Thursday Inspiration series began Aug. 26 and will continue every Thursday throughout the academic year with various speakers and musical performers. Held in the Sacred Space in the Numen Lumen Pavilion, the weekly gathering offers a time for reflection and for community.

The theme of the Numen Lumen series this year is dreaming. The Numen Lumen website, which will list the speakers and musical guests for both fall and spring semesters, notes that “dreaming will push our community to traverse the passive and active forms that dreaming takes in our lives.”

Delivering the first talk in the series this year was University Chaplain Kirstin Boswell, who joined Elon earlier this summer. “Today, I am dreaming of a strong community, rooted in aspirations for the greater good,” Boswell said. “Today, I am dreaming of dreaming of each of us embracing our mission and purpose and moving beyond resilience to thriving.”

Boswell spoke about the type of life she is dreaming of for not only herself and loved ones, but for all. She dreams for all of us to move past resilience because the act of being resilient can exact a toll on the mental health of those who are asked to forget and forgive despite the challenge that may be. Regardless of whether our plans in life change, Boswell said, our sense of self and purpose should remain unwavering and rooted.

“I have come to believe that one way to do so is to examine resilience from another angle, by looking at the role of nature and purpose,” Boswell said. “We need to have a healthy sense of our own vision and purpose in this life. And when I allow myself to dream, that’s what I’m dreaming of four all of us.”

The a capella group Twisted Measure performs at the first Numen Lumen of the year.

Along with Boswell’s speech, Twisted Measure, the university’s oldest co-ed a cappella group, performed at the event. The group performed two songs, “Light in the Hallway” at the beginning of the program and “Bones.”

Teaching and Learning Technologies will gather this year’s Numen Lumen events and post them on a YouTube playlist that is also home to speakers from pervious years. More stories and reflections are also available at truittcenterblog.com.

“We are hopeful that Numen Lumen will continue to serve as a time of stillness, listening and reflection this year,” said Allison Pelyhes, multifaith coordinator for the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life.