Embracing the Radical Power of Hope

In a time of uncertainty, hope is a guide. For 28 years, the annual All Faith Service has been a beacon of hope, an opportunity for the campus and San Diego community to come together for interfaith dialogue.

This year, even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our world, the Feb. 4 All Faith Service was an opportunity to be together virtually in celebration of a wide range of faith traditions. The event, Embracing Hope: Our Journey to Healing, featured highlights from the past as well as new messaging, uniquely created for the world we live in today.

For Erin Bishop, director for Mission and Center for Christian Spirituality, the All Faith Service “reminds us not to underestimate how religion shapes our society in really impactful ways.” Through contemporary topics and reflection opportunities, the All Faith Service spoke to the present, providing insight into the world in which we live.

“This past year has been marked by brokenness and suffering related to the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and persistent systemic racism,” says Bishop. “We chose to focus on the themes of hope and healing, as well as the rich religious wisdom behind each one. While we mourn those lost, hope acts as our spiritual guide moving us forward into healing. As we grapple with what it will take to end racial injustice, hope unites us and propels us forward in action.”

The All Faith Service may have been a virtual experience, but for Bishop, it enabled the continuation of a tradition that has become a source of hope throughout our community. 

“A virtual event allows us to both honor and maintain our tradition of celebrating our religious diversity while doing our part to keep everyone as safe as possible” she says. “Our hope is that the theme of Embracing Hope: Our Journey to Healing speaks to this moment. We can't embrace each other safely right now, but what is within our power is to throw our arms around the radical power of hope.”

— Allyson Meyer ’16 (BA), ’21 (MBA)

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