The events that we organize are invaluable experiences that allow members to learn about the world in ways that simply can't be replicated in a classroom setting. In the past few years we:
- Took a trip to the Yuba City Mosque, where we met with the Imam and several members for a discussion of Islam in America and American Muslim reactions to 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Took a trip to the Trappist Abbey of New Clairveaux in Vina. We got a chance to talk to one of the abbey's brothers about his experiences in 30 years of wearing the robes, and we were guided through a monastic-style reading of the Bible and meditation. We also toured the "Sacred Stones" Project; the reconstruction of a 1000 year-old Spanish monastery chapter house that is being reconstructed at Vina.
- Held several potluck dinners–we've had some wonderful opportunities to meet in the homes of students and faculty members to enjoy regional cuisines and discuss current topics of interest to RS students.
- Held several movie nights. Our viewings included Baraka, a stunning look at religious sites from around the world; Almost an Angel, a comedic story of a criminal who reforms when he thinks he has become an angel; The Wings of Desire a masterpiece by acclaimed German filmmaker Wim Wenders about an angel who desires to become human out of love for a woman; Andrew Lloyd Weber’s first musical Jesus Christ Superstar.We also went to see Mel Gibson’s The Passion and had a lively discussion afterwards.
- Held a book sale–this was a successful fundraiser. Faculty donated books for a campus-wide sale. We made $160, which will pay for transportation to events, food at our dinners, and donations for speakers.
- Took an overnight trip to Mt. Shasta where we explored some of the New Age legends surrounding this site, home to one of the largest volcanoes on the continent. We then spent a day at Shasta Abbey, a Soto Zen monastery, where we had a chance to witness Buddhist rituals and speak to the monks and nuns.
- Participated in the festive annual Sikh parade that honors the Sikh sacred scriptures known as Guru Granth Sahib. This massive parade is organized by the Sikh communities in Sacramento and Yuba City; and receives pilgrims form around the world.
- Watched the Bok Kai Chinese festival in Marysville held yearly to honor the Chinese God of Water worshipped at the nearby historic temple dating to 1880. This is one of the oldest continuous parades in the United States .
- Organized a panel of students from a variety of religions to discuss their beliefs and explain how their religious tradition speaks to their lives in the modern world. Over fifty people attended and benefited greatly.
- Spent a weekend at the Eastern Orthodox Monastery of St. Herman of Alaska (don’t worry, it’s in California ). The monks here live a disciplined life without electricity or running water and their dedication was very inspirational.
- Held a fascinating Halloween panel about Paganism and Wicca and joined in a Samhain Celebration
- Took a weekend trip to San Francisco where we went to the Asian Art Museum, Grace Cathedral, the African Orthodox Church of St. John Coltrane, St. Mary’s Cathedral, a Christian Science Church and the Vedanta Society.
- Took a trip to the Sikh Temple in Yuba City to take part in the yearly Sikh parade celebrating Guru Nanak.
In addition, we hope to host speakers on campus from some traditional religious movements (Tibetan Buddhism, Native American) as well as from new religious movements taking root in California (Soka Gakkai, Wicca, etc), attend a Powwow in Redding; and do many other educational and enjoyable activities.
We hope to see you at some of our many exciting events this year.