Our Newsletter

Download or Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter for inspiring stories and insights, with reflections by our staff, Marybeth Leis and Jeff Druery and by students.

Tutors Help Youth Stay in School

February 2011

"The only reason I'm able to stay in school is because of the help you give me at the Homework Club," shared 'Abdul' a recent immigrant youth. Read about how Student Open Circles is making a difference within the needs and opportunities of the inner city and on the McMaster campus.

Stories from the Tech-Free Zone

December 2010

Students talk about why they are giving up their cellphones and laptop computers for two hours each week. Through this event they are becoming aware of issues such as poverty in our own community, as well as engaging in conversation and creative expression that helps them to gain a renewed perspective amidst the many pressures and distractions that they face.

Holding Space

September 2010

"Open Circle has provided the foundation for me to begin my spiritual journey. Had I not been ready, it would have not touched me so deeply, but had it not been there, I would not have grown so profoundly. The most wonderful thing about Open Circle is meeting a diverse group of people who share in the commonality of spiritual practice and the realization of something deeper in life. These qualities result in powerful interactions that serve to restore faith and hope for our world."

Student Stories

May 2010

Catch a glimpse into the hearts and minds of McMaster students through:

  • Elisa's musings on the ubiquity of cell phones and the need to "connect without the outlet"
  • Marisa's campaign to raise support for a community centre in an under-serviced neighbourhood in Hamilton
  • an art show by Open Circle's weekly Creativity Circle
  • pictures of students serving in the community

The Gift of Time

December 2009

Participating in Community Volunteer Action has opened my mind, and heart, to the infinite number of ways that I may impact my neighbours in the greater Hamilton community. I have learned the importance of giving another person my time, and how many people are in need of another's simple attention.

Whose Helping Whom?

May 2009

At my placement, my duties described on paper may be restricted to academic guidance for elementary youth, but in reality, I believe my role in the lives of the individuals I help and their role in my life, are ultimately much greater.

Get Out of the Bubble

December 2008

First year students often still see themselves as kids. In just a couple of months time, I've already noticed changes in these volunteers as they cross the threshold into seeing themselves as adults with responsibility for their actions in the world.

Hunger for Real Things

August 2008

"These young people want to move beyond the "community" they find on-line or the buzz of shopping to engage in real conversations, experiences, and spaces for listening, knowing deep down that there is nothing better than people in a room together."

Learning Through Service

December 2007

Like waking up at 6:00 on Saturday mornings? Not a lot of people do. The Wesley Soup Kitchen starts at 6:45 a.m. on Saturday mornings and may discourage a lot of people from volunteering

Questions and Quotations

October 2007

"If someone were to write a memoir of your life, what would you want them to say were your guiding principles?" asked 'Melissa' following a reading she had brought to our Spiritual Journey Circle. Each participant in this weekly discussion group periodically brings something that they have been reading or reflecting on. After sharing the reading, they give the group a question to journal about that prompts further reflection.