Center for Inter-Religious Community, Learning and Experiences at Stanford


Stanford is a residential university in Palo Alto California, with over 6100 undergraduates and 4300 graduates living on campus. (Source: The Office for Religious Life’s new Center for Inter-Religious Community, Learning and Experiences, more simply known as The CIRCLE, is located on the third floor of the remodeled Old Union. It offers a common room, an interfaith sanctuary, a seminar room, a student lounge and a library, as well as offices housing many of Stanford Associated Religions (SAR) member groups. As the shape itself connotes – open and inclusive – The CIRCLE is a safe haven for diversity, worship, ritual, meditation, reflection, and spiritual and intellectual growth.

The Rev. Eliza Linley, Episcopal priest and architect, was brought in as the liturgical consultant for this project. Stanford’s CIRCLE commissioned her to make silk hangings for the sanctuary, the lecture hall, and the connecting public spaces – a total of 17 banners, paintings and quilts. Linley hand-painted the furnishings on silk, and Deborah Rasmussen completed the quilting and needlework. Read more here.

Hear Rev Linley speak on “What Matters to Me and Why”, Wednesday , February 18, 2009, 12 noon-1 pm, at The CIRCLE, Stanford, Old Union, 3rd Floor. The Stanford speaker series “What Matters to Me and Why” encourages reflection within the Stanford community on matters of personal values,beliefs, and motivations in order to better understand the lives and inspirations of those who shape the University.

On View: Stanford Quad, 2008. Dyes, thread and silk. Painted by Eliza Linley; quilted by Deborah Rasmussen. 10 ft. w x 57″ h The arches of the Stanford Quad open here onto deep space. Images brought to us over the years by the Hubble Telescope put us in touch with a cosmic truth: we are stardust; the atoms that make up our bodies were present at the dawn of creation. The stars we see today are echoes of a drama that took place millions of years ago. This perspective gives us a more complete understanding of our place in the universe and our responsibility for the care of our planet.

About the Artist: Eliza Linley has a BA in Art from Smith College. Her work in graphic design and water media led her to the study of silk painting. From her studio in Aptos, California she has received commissions for silk hangings and vestments for churches across the country. She is a founding member of the Board of Directors of Episcopal Church and Visual Arts, and co-producer of Visual Preludes 2003 for The General Convention of The Episcopal Church in Minneapolis. She is a board member of the Center for Arts, Religion and Education, and chairs the board of trustees of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific.

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