Spiritual Life Introduces Faith in Action Series

The Spiritual Life Team introduced a new Faith in Action Series this year as an opportunity to expose students to different faiths and spiritual journeys.
“I wanted to bring this series to Chatham Hall to introduce new voices to our community and provide our students and adults with role models who are living into their faith in meaningful ways,” said Chaplain Beth Barksdake, dean of the Chapel & Spiritual Life.

The series kicked off on Sept. 15 with a conversation with Beth Stefanik, Chatham Hall’s former chief communications officer, who recently converted to Judaism. She shared her faith journey in the Van Voorhis Lecture Hall and joined current faculty member Zach Smith in saying a prayer in honor of Rosh Hashanah. Students were also invited to write and share their own prayer for this special celebration.

“Helping students understand other faiths and backgrounds is important because living into Chatham Hall’s mission, it's our responsibility to ensure our students can engage the world. Religion is very important to cultures and communities around the world, and we want our students to celebrate religious diversity,” Barksdale said.

Next, we were joined on Oct. 25 by Katharine Jefferts Schori, former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. As the first female presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the U.S., Schori helped pave the way for female religious leaders, and also brought a unique perspective as a former marine biologist and environmentalist. 

Ahead of Thanksgiving Break, Nysie Hurst P’25 spoke with students about the intersection of faith and nature on Nov. 17. Hurst shared her experience with the sacred in nature and grounding yourself in your surroundings. In honor of her visit, students and faculty created a mandala using natural items on the lecture hall’s patio and participated in a nature walk. 

As a part of the School’s celebration of Black History Month, the Reverend Canon Willis Foster of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia visited campus on Feb. 25 which included Holy Communion using a Eucharistic Prayer.

The final speaker participated in the School’s special Earth Day program on April 22. Dr. Delia Heck, professor of environmental science and interim provost and chief academic officer at Ferrum College, spoke to students about religion and the environment, including topics such as climate change and advocacy.
800 Chatham Hall Circle  •  Chatham, VA 24531
+1 434.432.2941  •  admissions@chathamhall.org
Day and boarding school for girls grades 9-12 in the Episcopal tradition.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Please enter your email above