Despite there being a diverse range of faith and religious groups on Pacific University’s Forest Grove campus, there are still many who feel underrepresented.
To help increase the visibility of those who feel unseen and unheard, Pacific’s Center of Peace and Spirituality plans to hold open community gatherings around campus.
At these gatherings, students, faculty and staff will be invited to join in conversation with one another to discuss faith and ways in which to support others.
Director of the Center of Peace and Spirituality Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie, believes these community gatherings can provide the type of support that is otherwise scarce elsewhere on campus.
According to Currie, members from Jewish and Muslim faith groups feel there are no places of worship they can resort to on campus. Some people may even have to go as far as Portland to find a community to worship with.
“The support structures for underrepresented religious groups just don’t exist,” Currie said. “The Center of Peace and Spirituality might be the only support for them out here in Forest Grove.”
Currie said he plans to include students from Pacific’s religious graduate programs in the upcoming community gatherings. He hopes the gatherings can help fix and mend the disconnect between Pacific’s graduate and undergraduate students.
According to Currie, there will be community gatherings for the Humanist Community on Oct. 3, and another gathering for the Progressive Christian Community on Oct. 10.
The Center of Peace and Spirituality’s mission is to provide a network for faith groups to help stay connected with each other, or reach out to more groups with similar backgrounds. Faith groups participating in upcoming community gatherings will be able to promote their event on the Center of Peace and Spirituality’s social media network, to help spread the word.
Along with the Center of Peace and Spirituality, students can receive support at the Multicultural Center, the Center for Gender Equity and the Tom McCall Center.