Spiritual Life

Spiritual but not religious: An experience of the divine

You may be among the growing number of people who consider themselves spiritual but not religious. What does that mean for you? If you don’t relate to a religion to help you define the meaning and purpose of life, in what ways do you sense the spirit? Naming the ineffable is almost impossible, and yet many people have a feeling, a knowingness that is an opening toward the transcendent.

Religions offer a community, a framework and some rules to follow, which are familiar and comforting to many. If no religion makes sense to you and yet you do sense the sacred mystery and wonder in life, you have to create your own roadmap for practicing what matters to you.


Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in Stanford’s Department of Religious Studies.


Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting

Courtesy of Carolyn Barnes
The newly built Los Altos church in 1914 featured a bell tower and an arched front window. Both continue as elements of the building as it stands today.

Foothills Congregational Church – the oldest church building in Los Altos – is scheduled to commemorate the 100th anniversary of its sanctuary 3-5:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at 461 Orange Ave.

The contents of a metal-box time capsule, sealed upon the sanctuary’s consecration Aug. 23, 1914, will be on display at the event. The celebration will include food, music and displays about the church’s current programs and the community groups that use its facilities.


Stanford students study religion through campus artifacts

The inscriptions inside Memorial Church, the death mask of Jane Stanford and the nod to the Egyptian ankh symbol formed by Palm Drive and the Stanford Oval all have one thing in common: Each was a topic of discussion for the students enrolled in a unique religious studies course at Stanford University.

Taught by Steven Weitzman and Kathryn Gin Lum, Is Stanford a Religion? applied analytical methods used by religious studies scholars to Stanford University. In this way, the course introduced undergraduates to the field of religious studies without focusing on any one specific religion.


The end of an era: Father Larry Percell leaves St. Nicholas

Rev. Percell

After the 12:15 p.m. Mass on the afternoon of June 22, a crowd gathered outside St. Nicholas Church and Parish Hall. It was an outpouring of the community honoring St. Nicholas’ pastor, the Rev. Dr. Lawrence (Larry) Percell, for his more than a decade of service.

Parishioners and friends thanked Percell for his commitment, competence and compassion for all who needed him during his days at St. Nicholas, whether parishioner or not. Tuesday was his final day as pastor of the north Los Altos faith community.


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