Numen Lumen: A Thursday Inspiration returns with focus on meaningful relationships

The weekly tradition allows for the Elon community to gather for reflection, and holds the theme of "Meaningful Relationships Matter" this academic year.

Among the oldest and most cherished traditions at Elon University is Numen Lumen: A Thursday Inspiration, a weekly gathering for all members of the Elon community that promotes reflection, creativity and connection through the sharing of stories. Numen Lumen is held each Thursday in the Sacred Space of the Numen Lumen Pavilion throughout the academic school year.

Numen Lumen sign in the Sacred Space.“We welcome everyone to Numen Lumen,” said University Chaplain and Dean of Multifaith Engagement Rev. Kirstin Boswell. “We invite you to come as you are and with no expectations except a willingness to listen and reflect, and an openness to the importance of sharing in each other’s stories.”

Numen Lumen is a time for people to gather for reflection, various speakers, musical performers and engage with the community. A long-time university tradition, Numen Lumen has become a cherished gathering not only for conversations but also to showcase the creative talents of members of the community.

“The Truitt Center is a place where relationships are the bedrock of who we are and what we do, and that carries over into Numen Lumen,” said Associate University Chaplain Rev. Julie Tonnesen.

Each year, the weekly Numen Lumen series presents a theme and this year the focus is on the idea that “meaningful relationships matter.” When deciding the theme for the coming year, the focus centered on mentoring relationships because they are at the forefront of Elon’s mission. The university has a national reputation for nurturing strong relationships and supporting connections between students, faculty and staff across a range of experiences. Numen Lumen is open to all in the Elon community whenever they are interested or inspired.

Musical performance during Numen Lumen series.

“We’re inviting staff, faculty, students, and everyone in between to share. We want a diversity of experiences and stories represented,” said Tonnesen.

Numen Lumen is intentional in timing as well as location. The Sacred Space in Numen Lumen Pavilion provides a location that welcomes everyone of all religious, spiritual and secular backgrounds. The time from 9:50 to 10:20 a.m. is blocked off on every Thursday morning so students, faculty and staff can join the gathering. There will always be a time and a place for Numen Lumen.

“The weeks I don’t go to Numen Lumen, I genuinely feel like something is missing,” said Tonnesen.

The first gathering for the fall 2023 semester is Thursday, Aug. 24, and Tonnesen will be speaking and Simon Mendelsohn ’26 will give a musical performance.