Stanford’s New Interfaith Center

Many years ago I was a student intern at Memorial Church at Stanford. Occasionally, I would go up to the Old Union Clubhouse building, where the various campus ministry offices were housed, and invariably, the secretary would ask me if I would change one of the light bulbs in the hallway. (Being 6’5″, I could reach where none of the other staff could manage.)

Well, the Clubhouse has undergone a major renovation, and the new facility reflects the similar complete revolution in campus ministry and religious life. This past week, Stanford dedicated the third floor as a multifaith space, now called the Center for Inter-Religious Community, Learning and Experiences, or CIRCLE.

Designed to meet the specific requirements of a number of religious traditions, the flexible space allows tables, chairs, and furnishings to be moved to accommodate worship needs. Facilities are available for Muslim students to wash their faces, arms, hands, and feet before prayer.

Where once only the United Campus Christian Ministry, Lutherans, and Episcopalians had office and worship space, the mix now includes Muslims, Hindus, Jews and others who make up the Stanford Associated Religions (SAR). A religious library and meeting rooms fill the remaining space in the building. Thirty-five years ago, we would never have dreamed of such diversity and opportunity!

This entry was posted in Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Local. Bookmark the permalink.

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