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Hendricks Chapel Inspires Discovery During Interfaith Exploration Week
Exploring a faith tradition other than one’s own—or exploring religion and spirituality in general—can provide perspective, empathy and a deepened understanding of one’s own identity.
From March 3 through March 10, the campus and larger Syracuse communities are invited to Interfaith Exploration Week, to explore Hendricks Chapel’s programs and services across a span of religious and spiritual traditions and practices.
Interfaith Exploration Week is designed especially for those curious about new traditions, those seeking to reconnect with their own beliefs, and those who wish to spark and sustain relationships with those of diverse perspectives. The full schedule is available at chapel.syracuse.edu.
The programs reflect some of the chapel’s regular weekly schedule of events and services, which are always open to all. During Interfaith Exploration Week, however, program leaders will take special care to welcome newcomers and guide them through the process and perspectives of each respective tradition and practice.
Programs and services during Interfaith Exploration Week are open to all. None of the events require advance knowledge or preparation, nor do they require special clothing. For Muslim prayer on Friday, March 4, women are recommended to wear a head covering if they wish to participate, but not if they wish to simply observe.
The week will officially begin with an open house on March 3 from 4-6 p.m. in the chapel’s Noble Room. Chaplains, religious and spiritual life advisors, and student leaders will greet attendees, share information about various spaces of the chapel, and answer questions about religious and spiritual traditions and practices represented at Hendricks Chapel. Light refreshments will be provided, inclusive of a variety of dietary needs including vegetarian, gluten-free, Halal and Kosher options.
Those curious about exploring new traditions and reconnecting with those of their past will find a variety of options available during the remainder of the week. Programs include Hindu storytelling through dance, Christian bible studies, Buddist meditations, prayer groups for various faiths, a gospel music premiere and a traditional Hamantaschen cookie baking night for the Jewish holiday of Purim.
A special concert featuring the Hendricks Chapel Choir, Syracuse University Singers and the vocal jazz ensembles from the Setnor School of Music will close out the week. The choirs will perform José “Peppie” Calvar’s “Mass of Reconciliation,” a high-energy blend of traditional text and modern musical elements including jazz, funk and Latin popular styles. The concert will take place March 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel’s Main Chapel.
The choirs will perform with singers from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, as well as a jazz orchestra comprised of six national-quality jazz instrumentalists in collaboration with Syracuse University jazz faculty and four students from the Setnor School of Music’s Jazz and Commercial Music program.
“Interfaith Exploration Week is an opportunity to create and sustain curiosity, understanding and expression,”,says Brian Konkol, dean of Hendricks Chapel. “We hope that all participants can learn about others, and also learn about themselves, all in service to our common good.”
Interfaith Exploration Week is organized by the Student Assembly of Interfaith Leaders (SAIL), chaplains, religious and spiritual life group advisors, and staff of Hendricks Chapel. The idea for the program came from student leaders that participated in an Interfaith Youth Core training during the fall semester.
Those with questions about Interfaith Exploration Week are invited to contact Hendricks Chapel by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 315.443.2901. Additional information about chaplains and religious and spiritual life group advisors can be found at the Hendricks Chapel website.