News

Published:

January 31, 2019
 

Come One, Come All: Interfaith Center Creates Affinity Space for Students of Faith


by Choya Randolph, M.F.A. '18

Hands of people from different cultures together

Visit the third floor of the Ruth S. Harley University Center and you’ll find both our Interfaith Chapel in Room 306 and, right down the hall, our main center in Room 302. In both spaces, students, faculty and staff are welcome to come and experience various forms of spiritual practice, leadership opportunities, guidance and education. You may find a group of students discussing scriptures, enjoying kosher, parve, vegan or halal lunches, singing gospel songs, praying, studying or just talking. The Interfaith Chapel provides books of scripture, prayer mats, prayer shawls, kippahs, a holy water font and other necessities for prayer.

This affinity space stems from the Interfaith Center, a service dedicated to fostering religious belief on campus, providing opportunities for worship and fellowship and encouraging the discussion of spiritual values and religious traditions. “I think it’s such a wonderful asset to the University,” said Wendy A. Badala, director of the Interfaith Center . “It’s wonderful what these services and what the Center can do for students.”

The Interfaith Center has been at Adelphi for over 20 years. It has grown to not only be a welcoming space for those seeking spiritual worship and guidance, but a place to receive counseling.

Housing Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Protestant chaplains, the Center has the capacity to assist with outreach and support throughout the University community. The Center offers spiritual services, outreach, spiritual counseling and education, memorial services, remembrance ceremonies, leadership opportunities, interfaith programming and social activities.

Multiple spiritual services are available throughout the week. On a continual basis, students of various religious beliefs meet with chaplains for Catholic Mass, Protestant fellowship, Muslim prayer and Jewish leadership education. The Center chaplains are available to assist the Adelphi community as needed when difficult and/or challenging circumstances arise. “We have had students who are suffering from grief because of a sudden death in the family, and we’ve had chaplains who’ve been able to immediately respond to those needs,” said Badala.

The Interfaith Center works closely with clubs on campus, such as the Adelphi Christian Fellowship, Chabad Student Association, Jewish Student Union, Muslim Student Association, Newman Club and Sikhs United, in an effort to stay in touch with students.

Along with bringing church to Adelphi, the Center also brings Adelphi to church. Adelphi collaborates with the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City. Two chaplains of the Interfaith Center are leaders at the cathedral. This opens doors for students to be a part of choirs, masses and more.

The Interfaith Center plans and prepares for important services on our campus to help the community in need, such as the 9/11 Candle Lighting and Remembrance Service, which honors those lost on September 11, 2001. The Center also offers ceremonies and services as needed for other events upon request. The Center also provides opportunities for experiential learning through various social justice and cultural understanding events. The Oxfam Hunger Banquet is sponsored by the Interfaith Center to demonstrate the disparity between wealth and poverty in the world as participants are assigned the role of someone from upper, middle, or lower class or poverty. The Interfaith Center also holds annual dialogues that address topics ranging from the role of religion in a professional setting or in politics.

“This wonderful place has not only been a peaceful place for worship, but has also been a place for me to learn more about my faith, build beautiful friendships, laugh uncontrollably from all the fun moments and events, and witness unconditional love,” said junior Kendall Troy.

The Interfaith Center is starting the new year with plenty of events planned. Last Wednesday was the Fondue Night Out with games and activities as a collaboration with the Adelphi Christian Fellowship, Chabad Student Organization, Jewish Student Union, Newman Club, Muslim Student Association and Sikhs United.

Another Oxfam Hunger Banquet is planned for February 26 in the University Center. In March, there will be a Mardi Gras celebration signifying the start of Lent in the Catholic liturgical year. To observe Ramadan, a month of fasting in the Islamic calendar, there will be a party in May.

“It’s a blessing to be able to meet and collaborate with students of other faiths and show that friendship and cooperation is possible despite our differing beliefs,” said sophomore Megan Ferguson. “Getting involved in the Interfaith Center, its student-run organizations and the prayer and service opportunities it offers is the best decision I made as a student here at Adelphi.”

 

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About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning.

Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves more than 8,100 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online.

More than 115,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.


For further information, please contact:

Todd Wilson
Strategic Communications Director 
p – 516.237.8634
e – twilson@adelphi.edu

 
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