Emory & Henry College Opens Interfaith Prayer Room

Posted by Brent Treash

Equipped with chairs, tables, prayer rugs and religious texts, a room in the lower-level of Memorial Chapel on the Emory & Henry College campus is now available for students of all faiths to have a quiet place to pray and meditate.

The Interfaith Prayer Room was created to be an inclusive and welcoming place for the college community of diverse religions and non-religious backgrounds. The inspiration for the room was sparked after a conference hosted by the Interfaith Youth Core that E&H students and staff attended in Oklahoma City, Okla. in 2016.

“We began to think about what Interfaith should like for Emory & Henry and we came up with the idea of the Interfaith Prayer Room,” said Mary K. Briggs, college chaplain. “When we talked with the Interfaith Youth Core, they encouraged us to provide programming along with the space, so that people could understand the meaning of the room.”

The college received a $3,000 grant to furnish the Interfaith Prayer Room and provide multi-faith programming for students. The programs are designed to inform individuals about religious diversity and customs.

“As a community, we are trying to share a message of inclusivity and acceptance for all,” said Austin Falin, president of the Association for Religious Diversity student group. “It is important that not only do we say that and interact with students, but it is important that we act in such a manner and we have the resources available to improve understanding and awareness.”   

The Association for Religious Diversity meets once a week to educate others about faith. The group offers a weekly mindfulness meditation group meeting on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. in the Interfaith Prayer Room. Other worship opportunities include Get Lit on Sunday at 8 p.m. in Memorial Chapel Fellowship Hall, Encounter on Monday at 7 p.m. in the Cole Parlor of Memorial Chapel and Unplugged on Wednesday at 9 p.m. in the sanctuary of Memorial Chapel.

“This space gives us an opportunity to teach people about different religions, so we can better understand one another,” Briggs said. “Even if we don’t have wide variety of faith traditions represented on campus, we can still talk about various religions and share ideas.”

For more information on how to reserve the Interfaith Prayer Room contact Briggs at mkbriggs@ehc.edu. Students can reserve the room for use from 7 a.m. to midnight. The prayer room is located in Memorial Chapel at 30450 Armbrister Dr, Emory, Va.

  • Student Safa Farhoumand helps dedicate the Interfaith Prayer Room.
    Student Safa Farhoumand helps dedicate the Interfaith Prayer Room.

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Memorial Chapel

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