(If you prefer audio, you can listen to via itunes at Stanford University Public Worship)
When this project began in 2010, I started it for three main reasons: Healing, Connection, and Remembrance. As I walk through the 10th year of the project, and the 10 year anniversary of the loss of those that inspired it – my grandmother, in April 2009 and my father, in August of the same year, it brings me comfort that their legacy is safe as I continue to tell the story of the global, spiritual, interfaith journey that I was inspired to take after I lost them.
Those who know me know that Stanford University is my happy place. At 11, I decided I wanted to attend Stanford; at 16 I did. In the 30 years since I first stepped foot on campus, I have been delighted, challenged, supported, celebrated, and humbled by my both my experiences at Stanford, and the amazing people that I have met as a student and as an alum.
Last fall, at a social event that followed my National Advisory Board meeting at the The Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford, I met Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann, the Senior Associate Dean for Religious Life at Stanford, and the the first University Chaplain from a tradition other than Christianity in Stanford’s history. She teaches and lectures widely on Jewish feminism, rabbinical ethics, the relationship between religion and education, and social justice. In Rabbi Patricia, I found a new friend, and a kindred spirit.
As we talked, I shared the My 52 Weeks of Worship story with her. I delighted, as I often do, in discussing topics of faith, worship, and interfaith communication with her. I offered to talk to students about those topics whenever I was back on campus, as I am, multiple times a year.
And I did – I spent an evening last week breaking bread with students that had been selected for the Fellowship of Religious Encounter, which enable students to engage in sustained, meaningful religious encounter with one another.
I also had the honor of giving my very first sermon at Memorial Church, entitled “With all My Heart,” and participating in a talk back after that sermon.
I was just so very happy to be there, in a place that I love, doing something that I consider to be such an honor – and one that I never imagined that I would do. Let the Divine shine through you. Keep telling your story. Your story will take you places you can’t really anticipate. Amazing places.