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Planet Orange discussion to focus on how Hendricks Chapel can break down religious barriers for LGBT students
Planet Orange discussion to focus on how Hendricks Chapel can break down religious barriers for LGBT studentsFebruary 21, 2008Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Spirituality and sexuality will be the focus of two upcoming sessions of the Planet Orange weekly discussion group, hosted by Syracuse University’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center.
The Rev. Thomas V. Wolfe, dean of Hendricks Chapel, has invited students to engage in a discussion on Monday, Feb. 25, about the experiences of religious barriers that LGBT students bring to college and how the chapel can play a role in dismantling those barriers. The discussion will be held from 7:30-9 p.m. in Hendricks’ Small Chapel, located on the lower level of the building. Students will be asked to participate in a visual cultural audit of Hendricks, visiting the space and reviewing publications and the chapel’s website.
“Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students come from a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds. While some faith traditions welcome LGBT people, messages of intolerance and lack of acceptance of other religious faiths have caused great harm to an entire group of people,” says Adrea Jaehnig, director of the LGBT Resource Center. “Many LGBT college students wrestle with bringing their sexual and spiritual identities together in some sort of congruent way.”
Wolfe says: “It is essential that Hendricks Chapel be a source of spiritual support for the LGBT community. I grieve every time I hear a member of that community express hesitancy to enter the chapel because of a negative experience with a religious community prior to coming to campus. This effort is all about communicating our open door and further strengthening our long time commitment to being a safe space.”
During a follow-up discussion the following week, students will be asked to provide feedback on how Hendricks can continue to or better serve the LGBT community. The follow-up session will be held on Monday, March 3, from 7-9:30 p.m. at the LGBT Resource Center, 750 Ostrom Ave.
For more information, contact Hendricks Chapel at 443-2901 or the LGBT Resource Center at 443-3983.