Coming into this school year there were some major changes in our Chaplaincy Initiative. We were able to bring on several new members and add a couple of more campuses. It was a big step for the program and we are honored by the work that we’ve been able to do thus far.
My work at USC this year culminated with a huge ceremony opening their new University Village. This nearly billion dollar project was several years in the making and the opening was a major event that brought people and representatives from all over the city. As part of this ceremony representatives from the Muslim, Jewish, and Catholic communities on campus were asked to lead the gathering in a prayer for the new space. It was a great opportunity to represent a Muslim voice in front of around 10,000 people in attendance for the opening gala.
With that event the school year at USC kicked off and we began our usual programming there in support of the students and campus community. USC is a unique experience for us because in addition to the usual local undergraduate population there are always a significant number of international students from various countries. The diversity of the students we serve there makes for a very interesting and enlightening experience for all. Our weekly study circles there have been wonderful this year with good attendance and some important and enlightening conversations.
At UCI so far this year things have been going well also. Since I am on campus two days a week this school year we have office hours on both days, a study circle on one day, and a tea and conversation social time on the other day. This year office hours at UCI have been even busier than they were before with all of the slots almost always being filled up. It has been a huge blessing to be part of these students’ lives, experiencing with them all kinds of ups and downs. In the coming days I will also have the joy of joining the MSU for a fundraising gala in order to help them raise some money for the events that they hold throughout the year.
In addition to the campuses we directly serve we have also done our best to stay in touch with the other campuses and chaplains to make sure that we are all on the same page and working together to serve the students as best as we can. One of the larger gatherings that I was blessed to join in that vein was this year’s MSA West Conference that was held at UC Berkeley this year. Many of the organizers were students that we have been working with over the years at the various campuses and it was a true delight to see them working together and putting on this wonderful conference.
Requesting your duas and support as always,
Director of IOK Chaplaincy Initiative