Interfaith News for August 29 & 30


Abrahamic Program for Young Adults
APYA, founded 15 years ago, is designed to reflect the efforts and mission of the Department of Religion by teaching young adults at Chautauqua Institution about the shared heritage of the Abrahamic traditions. Programming has been suspended for the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will resume in 2021.

Baptist House
Located on the brick walk in the heart of Chautauqua Institution, the Baptist House has been engaged in the hospitality ministry since 1887. Our house provides a comfortable haven to meet new friends, learn through conversations on covered porches, and share experiences and life lessons as we renew our spirit on these beautiful grounds. Our mission at the Baptist House is to offer a welcoming retreat for all to fellowship, worship, rejuvenate and minister to the needs of all visitors who enter our door. We eagerly anticipate gathering again in person next year!

Blessing and Healing Daily Service
The Service of Blessing and Healing, sponsored by the Department of Religion, have traditionally taken place from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. EDT weekdays in the Randell Chapel of the United Church of Christ Headquarters. These services will resume in the 2021 season.

Catholic Community
For the first time since our founding in 1985, we are unable to offer masses, seminars, hospitality and housing on the grounds due to COVID-19.

Weekend Masses are held at 4 p.m. EDT Saturdays at Our Lady of Lourdes in Bemus Point, and at 5:30 p.m. EDT Saturdays at St. Mary of Lourdes in Mayville. Sunday Masses are at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. EDT at Our Lady of Lourdes in Bemus Point, and 11:30 a.m. EDT at St. Mary of Lourdes in Mayville. Daily Mass is held at 8 a.m. EDT Mondays and Fridays and at 7 p.m. EDT Thursdays at the Mayville church. Daily Mass is held at 9 a.m. EDT Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Bemus Point church. Consult the website for details:

Chabad Jewish House
Thank G-d, this summer has been a meaningful and successful season for the Chabad Jewish House at Chautauqua. 

Chabad offered daily online classes in Maimonides, Everyday Ethics, Jewish Psychology,

Medical Ethics and Kabbala ’n’ Meditation. Friday afternoons, we streamed online our Challah baking classes and distributed dough in advance to those Chautauquans wishing to join along.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shabbat services were conducted outdoors in the patio with proper social distancing and with all participants wearing masks. Even during these challenging times, Chabad remained opened and available to serve the community with their Judaic, Kosher and everyday needs.

Now that the summer is over, we begin to prepare for the High Holidays, including

the festival of Sukkot.

The Zigdon Chabad Jewish House serves as a Sukkah. It is a place that is always open and joyful, uniting and welcoming all Chautauquans, no matter their background or affiliation. 

The board of Chabad Jewish House would like to wish all Chautauquans: May G-d grant you

and your loved ones, a happy, healthy, sweet and prosperous New Year, and may

you be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life.

Chapel of the Good Shepherd
We look forward to the 2021 season when priests from churches throughout the worldwide Anglican Communion will serve as chaplains. 

Chautauqua Dialogues
Chautauqua Dialogues was established as an opportunity for Chautauquans to have meaningful engagement and conversation within the context of the Chautauqua weekly theme in an informal and small-group setting. The Chautauqua denominational houses provide the venues for these weekly discussions. More than 80 facilitators have been trained by the dialogue team led by Roger Doebke and Lynn Stahl. The Dialogues will resume in the 2021 season.

Christian Science House
The Christian Science House and Chapel joined the other denominational houses in not opening this year. After more than 50 years on Bestor Plaza, we look forward to serving Chautauquans next year at our Sunday and Wednesday church services and by providing a quiet place for prayer and reflection in our study room.

Disciples of Christ
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Chautauqua Institution has suspended in-person programming for the 2020 summer season. Therefore, our houses will not be open for summer 2020. We look forward to welcoming you to our houses during the 2021 season. 

Since 1874, we have been hosting guests in our two houses during the Chautauqua Institution summer season. With our new year-round Graybiel House, we now also offer a comfortable and welcoming venue for autumn, winter and spring retreats, workshops and meetings.

While we have a long association with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we are also leaders in Chautauqua’s interfaith community, providing affordable lodging and a welcoming community for people of all faiths and all ages. 

Friends of the Ecumenical Community of Chautauqua hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. 

The Ecumenical Community (ECOC) was not open this year for guests. The manager and the registrar were in residence completing paperwork and projects. We welcome friends to stop by with social distancing in mind.

We look forward to being together next summer on these sacred grounds — in the Shaw House, the Bird-Werner House, the Westervelt House and in our friendly community kitchens. In the meantime, please visit the ECOC website at for updates and ways to join together virtually. 

Everett Jewish Life Center in Chautauqua
It’s been a tough season for all at Chautauqua. 

The Everett Jewish Life Center is already planning new programs for 2021, with excellent speakers and first-rate films. We look forward to being with you again next summer in good health and good spirits. 

Food Pantry Donations
Hurlbut Church is accepting nonperishable food items for the Ashville Food Pantry. Donations may be dropped off at any time at the Scott entrance of Hurlbut Church.

Hebrew Congregation
The Hebrew Congregation was forced by the COVID-19 pandemic to cancel its on-campus programs. We were, however, able to serve our community with weekly virtual Kabbalat Shabbat services. We hope these have been meaningful.

The Hebrew Congregation wishes everyone a safe and healthy off season. Hopefully, we will all be together again at Chautauqua next summer.

Hurlbut Memorial Community Church
Let Hurlbut Memorial Community United Methodist Church be your summer presence for summer worship on the Chautauqua grounds. In-person worship is at 9:30 a.m. EDT Sunday, Aug. 30. Please enter the Scott Street door. At this time, no nursery is available, so children must remain with their families. Everyone is required to wear face masks the entire time while in the church.

The Rev. Carmen Perry’s sermons are accessible here

International Order of the King’s Daughters and Sons
Since 1920, The International Order of The King’s Daughters and Sons’ (IOKDS) mission included serving young adults in their personal and spiritual development at the Chautauqua Institution. This summer, like the Institution, we quickly needed to pivot our “Learn & Discern” internship program from our four properties on the Chautauqua grounds to a virtual format. The five-week program involved four interns working in areas of brand management, social media communications, faith-based programming, and donor relationships. IOKDS volunteers served as work supervisors and mentors. Their internship experience culminated in a “Virtual Huddle” where each intern presented their PowerPoint project reports and recommendations to the IOKDS Board. Valparaiso University, St. Bonaventure University and Houghton College awarded college credit for these internships. We now begin recruiting for “Learn & Discern 2021.”

Islamic Community
Jum’ah, the Friday Muslim communal prayer, has traditionally been held every Friday in the Hall of Christ. This service will resume in the 2021 season. The Jum’ah service, which has been open to all, combines the traditional elements of the Muslim worship experience with the opportunity to engage the Muslim coordinator for the Abrahamic Program for Young Adults with questions to further understanding about Islam. The Jum’ah prayer handout will be available in both Arabic and English transliteration, with detailed explanations for those who wish to join in prayer or understanding.

In previous seasons, Chautauquans have had an opportunity to learn about and walk the Labyrinth, located next to Turner Community Center just north of the parking lot. Although the Labyrinth is open for quiet meditation, Norma and Wally Rees will resume their Department of Religion-sponsored orientation — which includes a brief history of the uses of the Labyrinth — in the 2021 season.

Lutheran House
Although our house was closed this season we felt it important to communicate with our guests and friends. The Lutheran House sent out three mini-newsletters and met on weekly Zoom Meet & Greet sessions for each week. We talked with over 100 “Guests” and friends. See everyone in person next year. Stay safe and healthy! 

For more information, contact Sue and Jerry Keppel at 

Mystic Heart Community Meditation
The mission of The Mystic Heart is to help participants discover and manifest peace, compassion, and kindness in themselves, in their relations with others, and in their communities.

This year our online presence enabled both new and experienced meditators to maintain a daily practice. Perhaps our future will include this new way of reaching out beyond the grounds of Chautauqua. All of this summer’s online offerings will be archived and can be accessed here

Presbyterian House
Every year as we close the season, we look forward to next year. After a season away, the desire to return is even greater. We hope to see everyone on the porch for coffee in 2021 when the Presbyterian House reopens for hospitality and fellowship. 

Prayers for Peace
For many years, every morning during the season from 8:55 to 9 a.m. EDT, Chautauquans gather in the Grove to pray for peace through compassion. In 2020, all Chautauquans around the world are invited to join together from wherever they are in silent prayer and reflection for five minutes.

Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
The Chautauqua Friends Meeting is pleased to announce that a Quaker Denominational House is now on the grounds of the Institution. Located at 28 Ames, the Chautauqua Quaker House will be a place for study, renewal and worship. We hope to assist in the Institution’s goal of increasing diversity by seeking out Quakers and others of diverse backgrounds to participate in the vibrant community that is Chautauqua. We also hope to offer some limited affordable housing. 

We will have a Friend in Residence for the entire season. This is a person deeply familiar with Quaker practices who is called to travel in the ministry. Our Friend in Residence will engage with the Chautauqua Community in a variety of ways.

We look forward to joining with other denominational houses, holding worship in our living room, and bringing a vibrant contribution in the form of Quaker conversations, perspectives and insights. We believe that our practices will support and enhance Chautauqua’s goal of “exploring the best in human values,” and we look forward to sharing the house with you at our Open House in the spring.

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Chautauqua
Unitarian Universalists have a legacy of “deeds not creeds.” Our work for a better world calls us to harness love’s power to stop oppression. From grassroots community organizing, to interfaith state, national and corporate advocacy; in protest marches, prayer vigils and press conferences; in homeless shelters and in prisons, Unitarian Universalists put our faith into action.

Our justice efforts are grounded in our congregationally driven social justice statements and our call to break down divisions, heal isolation, and honor the interconnectedness of all life and all justice issues. At Chautauqua, we model these commitments by creating a just, welcoming and inclusive congregation. We act in partnership with groups at Chautauqua, including the LGBTQ and Friends Community, the Collaborative Union, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, and the African American Heritage House, to bring attention to the issues of diversity, equality and inclusiveness through our Sunday Services, our Ethics Week Lectures and our contribution of funding to each organization. 

The LGBTQ and Friends Community at Chautauqua have canceled all activities this season in keeping with the limitations on public gatherings during the pandemic. For information about activities for the 2021 season, including our speaker sponsorships and community events, visit To receive our newsletters, sign up on our website. 

The Chautauqua PFLAG Chapter expanded beyond the Institution about a year ago. Meetings continue throughout the year. PFLAG hosts a weekly “get together” for social connection, support and to answer the inquiries and needs of the greater Chautauqua community at 7:30 p.m. EDT Wednesdays via Zoom. PFLAG’s official monthly meeting is at 7:30 p.m. EDT on the fourth Wednesday of every month via Zoom. If you would like to attend, please email Steve Aschmann at For more info, call 814-440-0902 or consult our Facebook page.

United Church of Christ
We greatly regret that all three buildings of the UCC Society were closed throughout the 2020 season. For further information, go to our website: 

We look forward to welcoming you back next summer. Stay safe and healthy. 

United Methodist
We have truly missed sharing our summer with our many guests and visitors and the opportunity to meet more special folks during the season. The summer of 2020 has not been what any of us could have imagined, but perhaps we will appreciate even more the delights 2021 will bring as we, hopefully, gather. We so anticipate the joy of welcoming all to the porch and activities of the United Methodist House once again. Stay safe and we’ll see you on the porch!

Unity of Chautauqua
During the off-season, Unity of Chautauqua will explore “The I of the Storm: Embracing Conflict, Creating Peace,” based on the book of the same name by the Rev. Gary Simmons, at 9:30 a.m. EDT every first Sunday of the month beginning Oct. 4 via Zoom. There is an opportunity to join a discussion group on our Sunday topic from 6:30 to 8 p.m. EDT the following Wednesday evening via Zoom.

The topics to be explored are:

  • Inner resources we are here to express
  • How to dismantle those things that look and feel against us
  • The energy of conflict
  • The nature of wholeness
  • Working with judgment and criticism
  • The power of the heart
  • Reconciliation practices

Visit to get more details. 

Women in Ministry
Women who are involved in ministry look forward to next season’s noon meetings every Wednesday during the season via Zoom. Email Jane McCarthy for details

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The author Meg Viehe

Meg Viehe is a retired teacher living in Newport Beach, California, during the off-season. She is happiest when she and her husband Rich are surrounded by their children, grandchildren and the extended Viehe clan and friends at Chautauqua. Her advice to her grandchildren and others: “Be nice to everyone at Chautauqua. You never know who will be part of your future family!”