Welcome to Campus Interfaith Resources!

Friends,

In these unprecedented times, I hope you are staying safe and healthy.  Normally orientation is one of my favorite times of the year, meeting new Lakers and helping them get connected with our campus resources.  This year, we have gone digital and on this page,  you will see the various things Campus Interfaith has to offer.  You can learn more about the 20 or so Religious, Spiritual and Secular groups that we have on campus, you can learn how to become an interfaith ambassador, you can learn about our religious accommodation policy, and finally you can learn about some of the programming Campus Interfaith Resources offers.

Eboo Patel, the founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, reminds us that colleges are civic laboratories where people with different beliefs come together to live, learn, and socialize.  He reminds that we are better together than we are apart, so we need to come together. 

Below are a few questions that we get asked a lot with some common answers.  We hope that you join us for an interfaith discussion or a site visit.  You can also email us or call us at (616)331-3207 in order to connect more.  We look forward to seeing you on campus.

Yours,

Kevin McIntosh
Coordinator of Campus Interfaith Resources

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For virtual orientation and other info, click below

 

Orientation Portal

CIR's Mission

At GVSU, we seek to support and celebrate the religious, secular, and spiritual diversity of our campus. Campus Interfaith Resources exists to both accommodate the unique needs of various faith-based groups on campus while also proactively appreciating the richness of our diversity through educational and engaging programs.

Find Your Home

The GVSU Community is as diverse in faith, belief and philosophy of life as it is in other regards. There are lots of student organizations representing different religious, secular and spiritual beliefs.  If you don't see your tradition represented, reach out to Kevin McIntosh or the Office of Student Life to learn how to start a registered student organization.  


Recently, Campus Interfaith Resources hosted a virtual community gathering to hear words of hope from various traditions.  You can watch the gathering to the right.  You can also find some spiritual care resources below.

Cornovirus Resources

1. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe some more. Take time in your day, at any moment, to take ten deep even breaths. Carve out 5-10 minutes to meditate or practice mindfulness or contemplative prayer. Start here, now, wherever you are.

2. Ground yourself in the present moment. Focus your awareness on something real, enduring, or beautiful in your surroundings. Look up often. Discover the wonder and awe that is already here.

3. Acknowledge your fears, anxieties, concerns. Offer them up in prayer, if you pray. Write them in your journal. Share them with others. Feel what you feel, honor it, and know that it is not the final word.

4. Remember you are not alone. Ever. You are surrounded by care and support. Reach out.

5. Create and sustain community. Show up for one another. Listen compassionately. Practice empathy. Even while avoiding “close physical contact,” message the people you care about. Stand with those most vulnerable and those who suffer the brunt of prejudice and fear. Check in on folks. Call your mother, father, guardian, mentor, little sibling, long-lost friend.

6. Unplug, judiciously. While staying aware of developments, do not let the Corona-chaos govern you, but forgive yourself when and if it does.

7. Practice kindness. There is a temptation in health scares to view others as potential threats. Remember we are in this together. While practicing health guidelines and appropriate caution, remember to engage one another. Smile when you can. Bring good deeds and good energy into our world.

8. Stay healthy through sleep, diet, exercise. See healing and wellness holistically—mind, body, and spirit.

9. Make art. Discover, imagine, engage your hopes and fears, the beauty and ugliness of our world. Write, paint, sing, dance, soar.

10. Practice gratitude. In the face of crises, make note of the things for which you are grateful: your breath, the particular shade of the sky at dusk—or dawn. The color blue, the color green, the gifts and strengths you have, other people in your life, the ability to laugh. A pet.

11. Connect with your spiritual, religious, humanist, cultural, or other communities. Find strength and solace and power in traditions, texts, rituals, practices, holy times and seasons.

12. Pray as you are able, silently, through song, in readings, through ancestors. Remember the long view of history, the rhythms and cycles of nature, the invisible threads that connect us all.

13. Practice hope. Trust in the future and our power to endure and persist, to live fully into the goodness that awaits.

—Alexander Levering Kearns
Director of the Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service
Northeastern University
March 11, 2020

"Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.

But,

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise

You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet

The sky is no longer thick with fumes

But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi

People are singing to each other

across the empty squares,

keeping their windows open

so that those who are alone

may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland

Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know

is busy spreading fliers with her number

through the neighborhood

So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples

are preparing to welcome

and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting

All over the world people are looking at their neighbors in a new way

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

To how big we really are.

To how little control we really have.

To what really matters.

To Love.

So we pray and we remember that

Yes there is fear.

But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.

But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.

But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.

But there does not have to be disease of the soul.

Yes there is even death.

But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic

The birds are singing again

The sky is clearing,

Spring is coming,

And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul

And though you may not be able

to touch across the empty square,

Sing.”

 

--Brother Richard Hendrick
Capuchin Franciscan priest-friar

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“Campus Interfaith Resources gave me a safe space to exist between religious viewpoints. I love listening and learning, and interfaith events made it easy to explore and befriend people of very different identities, without requiring me to change the way I identify and express my own secular worldview.”

Ben Scott-Brandt

Orientation FAQs

No! Our programs our open to everyone.  We've folks who identify as Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, Atheist, Agnostic, Secular Humanist, Buddhist, Hindu and many more take part in our programming and events.  The whole idea is to get a wide range of identities around religion together for conversations or for learning about one another.  

Campus Interfaith Resources does not organize religious services.  We are happy to connect folks to a local house of worship or a student organizations.  Many of our student organizations will host bible studies, shabbat dinners, or jummah prayers.  

GVSU is committed to helping our students, faculty and staff thrive on campus.  We have a Religious Inclusion Policy that acknowledges the right of students, staff, and faculty to engage in religious observances.  Part of that policy grants religious accommodations if there is a conflict with a holy day and a class.  If a conflict with a religious observance exists, students must request a religious accommodation from their faculty within the first two weeks of each semester or as soon as reasonably possible after the instructor announces a particular mandatory class, examination, or assignment so that alternative arrangements can be made for any class, examinations, or assignments missed.  You can fill out that form here.

 

You can read the full policy here.

Thanks to resolutions by Student Senate and the University Academic Senate an interfaith reflection room was created in the Kirkhof Center in 2015.  Because of GVSU's growing downtown presence and a resolution passed by Student Senate, a temporary reflection room for meditation and prayer has been created from 12-5pm on the Pew Campus and a full time reflection room was created in CHS.  These spaces are designed for students of all faiths/non-faiths to practice their traditions authentically and safely on GVSU's campus.  

Learn more about these spaces here

While our list is not exhaustive at all, we have worked to get a list of various houses of worship in the local West Michigan community.  You can find that list by clicking the button below.  Reach out to Kevin (mcintkev@gvsu.edu) if the tradition you are looking for is not represented on this list and he can help you find more information.  

Local Religious, Spiritual and Secular Communities  

We have many religious, spiritual and student organizations at GVSU.  Click the button below to learn more about them.

Learn more about student organizations 

 

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