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As part of this year’s theme for Religious Awareness Week, “Varieties of Our Religious Experience,” Lafayette spiritual groups invite the campus to explore faiths through religious services and group meetings. In addition, a brown bag lecture and discussion led by Kelsey Rice, “Not So Silent: The Changing Role of Women in the Christian Church,” will address women’s past struggles, current position, and future in the church.

“Knowledge is the key to understanding,” says Trustee Scholar Sara Kreisel ’07(North Bellmore, N.Y.), president of Hillel Society. “It is important for the Lafayette community to continue to break down barriers of mistrust and misunderstanding and join together.”

“It’s easy to live our lives on the surface without really considering these deeper, critical questions of our existence,” adds Marquis Scholar Josh Porter ’06 (Pittstown, N.J.), vice president of Lafayette Christian Fellowship (LCF).

The schedule:

Sunday, Feb.19

11:30 a.m.: Ecumenical Chapel Service featuring homily, “The New Old Way,” at Interfaith Chapel, Hogg Hall.

11:30 a.m. Catholic Mass in Colton Chapel.

Monday, Feb. 20

Noon: “Varieties of Our Religious Experience,” organizations including Newman Association, The Journey, Muslim Student Association, Lafayette Christian Fellowship, and students representing the Hindu and Buddhist communities discuss practices of their faiths in Farinon Atrium.

7 p.m.: An ecumenical Christian student discussion of contemporary issues hosted by The Journey at Interfaith Chapel, Hogg Hall, pizza and soda provided.

9 p.m.: A gathering of Catholic students hosted by Newman Association at Newman House, 119 McCartney Street.

Wednesday, Feb. 22

Noon: Rice presents “Not So Silent: The Changing Role of Women in the Christian Church” at Interfaith Chapel, Hogg Hall. Lunch will be provided for $3 cash or flex.

7:30 p.m.: Bryan Stoudt ’95 will speak about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5) during an LCF weekly meeting, at Interfaith Chapel, Hogg Hall.

Friday, Feb. 24

Noon: Muslim Prayers at Mosque in Whitehall, Pa. For information contact Office of Religious Life at x5320.

5:15 p.m.: Shabbat Service followed by dinner at 6 p.m., in Hillel House, 524 Clinton Terrace.

Rice is the associate for the National Network of Presbyterian College Women (NNPCW), a ministry of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. Since 2003, she has traveled around the country speaking to groups about women and their involvement the church past and present. Rice staffs NNPCW’s annual leadership event for college women and provides other networking and leadership opportunities for women in the church. In addition, her articles about women and faith have appeared in Presbyterians Today, Horizons: The Magazine for Presbyterian Women, and
Church and Society. Rice is a graduate of Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash. and resides in Louisville, Ky.

LCF is an interdenominational evangelical group of students and faculty who are committed to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Group meetings take place Wednesday evenings to worship God through prayer, music, and biblical teaching. Activities include retreats, volleyball and softball games, picnics, music concerts, guest speakers, and conferences.

Founded last year by John P. Colatch, director of religious life and College chaplain, The Journey springs from the Christian tradition but also seeks to build bridges of understanding to other faith traditions. Meetings consist of informal discussions regarding current issues and religion 7 p.m. Mondays in Interfaith Chapel, Hogg Hall. Pizza and soda are provided. Contact Colatch at x5320 for more information.

Hillel Society serves Jewish students and faculty by providing a variety of religious, cultural, and social events. Programs include local and national speakers, musical groups, brunches, holiday celebrations, and weekly Shabbat dinners at Hillel House.

Muslim students at Lafayette maintain traditions of their faith through the activities of the Muslim Student Association (MSA). There is a Muslim prayer room in Hogg Hall where daily prayers are held and transportation is provided each Friday to a nearby Mosque. MSA invites Muslim students to share in their activities and encourages non-Muslims to visit their prayer meetings and learn about Islam.

The Newman Association is a Catholic organization that assists students, faculty, and staff in the integration of their intellectual lives with religious faith and values. Holy Mass is celebrated in Colton Chapel each Sunday during the semester at 11:30 a.m. and on holy days at noon. The Newman Chaplain provides for the reception of the Sacraments, retreats, and conversation about personal concerns.

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