Community is one of the central aspects of any living religion. Communities provide a sense of belonging, meaning, and identity. Communities are also repositories for collective memories. Essentially, they provide a sense of “who we are.” They evoke the South African concept of ubuntu: “I am because we are.”
Community is thus a key element for exploration by students studying living religion in courses at Santa Clara University. This section of the Encounter Geomapping Project focuses on student experiences and observations of religious community. Below we showcase students’ fieldwork on religious communities in the following ways: featured images of religious communities, Encounter Geomap entries for religious communities, and a featured visual story on religious community.
I noticed the windows lining the walls of the church, which were all made of colorfully stained glass. This gave a warm, natural light filtering into the open hall, despite the fact that it was gloomy and rainy outside.
The church is found on 1957 Pruneridge Ave--a busy four-lane road-- and is connected to a school which the Church runs. The environment is a safe space with people who care deeply for their community and fellow parishioners.