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A place for all to worship

Interfaith activities appeal to believers within community and beyond

Created date

November 23rd, 2010

Every Thursday afternoon, in a classroom in the Audubon clubhouse at Eagle s Trace, a band of 20 or so residents gather for their weekly Bible study. Members of the group represent a variety of faith traditions, from Catholic to Protestant to Jewish, but they meet for a specific purpose to study the Bible. We looked at the book of Genesis during the first half of this year, says Pat Camerino, a retired academic administrator and ordained Catholic deacon. Now we re into Exodus. The study is resident-led, and since everyone draws from their own backgrounds, we have very lively discussions. The group interrupted their study briefly this fall to spend one afternoon looking at the history of the printing of the Bible, ahead of a traveling exhibit with a scheduled stop at the community.

The Enduring Word

It s good to learn more about the history of the printed word, says Camerino. We ve talked about other oral traditions and the development of the Bible, but we haven t, until now, taken a look at the physical structure of the Bible. The Enduring Word, a moveable museum of original biblical artifacts, is the personal collection of curator Dr. Rusty Maisel. It covers the history of the printed Bible and features a page from an original Gutenberg Bible. Eagle s Trace hosted the exhibit in late September. We have a very active religious life on campus with a variety of interfaith and ecumenical activities, says Mary Kate Kell, pastoral ministries manager at Eagle s Trace. Our residents are characterized by a desire to grow in their faiths. This exhibit offers a chance to gain a better understanding of how the Bible came to be in its current form. Bill and Roma Wantuck moved to Eagle s Trace seven weeks before The Enduring Word came to the community. It amazes me to be able to see something like this, says Mr. Wantuck, I m intrigued by the information on the King James version and how it came to be. The couple belonged to a nondenominational church for over 40 years before moving to Eagle s Trace. In the process of finding a church closer to their new home, they were learning just how many ties Eagle s Trace has to the surrounding religious communities.

Something for everyone

In addition to our Sunday afternoon service here at Eagle s Trace, several area churches provide transportation to and from Eagle s Trace for weekly worship services, says Kell. We also have a retired bishop from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston who comes to Eagle s Trace each month to celebrate Mass. And our Jewish residents gather weekly for Friday evening prayers. There really is something here for everyone. Ruth Herman, who moved to the community with her husband, Sandy, when it opened in 2005, has seen the Jewish population grow over the past five years. She just finished serving a term on the community s Interfaith Advisory Council. The religious atmosphere here is very encompassing and welcoming to everybody, says Herman. We really have a very diverse cross-section of faith traditions.