The last stop on our caravan was the Aspen Chapel. ”
“Take a setting provided by nature, offering the essence of spirituality in environment. Erect here an architecture to evoke the concept of engaging religious faith in conversation with the world. To this place gather, in lively encounter, leaders of religious thought to redefine spiritual values, to question, to seek relevant answers in a troubled world. Here create a national-global ecumenical center for seminars and dialogues on theological concerns of contemporary society. It is a testament to remind people in Aspen that there is foremost a spiritual dimension to our existence. It is a center for retreats, for meditation, for special worship services open to all, for musical presentations, for exhibits of art and literature and any other efforts to seek paths leading to brotherhood and peace. This is the Aspen Chapel.
These are the words printed on the program for the Chapel’s groundbreaking ceremony on June 8, 1968 where representatives of Protestant, Catholic and Jewish faiths were present along with the governor of Colorado. This vision is in effect today. The Chapel provides weekly services of Christian worship and Jewish Shabbat. Religious education for youth is on-going and spiritual seminars for adults are frequent. The Chapel features music concerts and art openings regularly. The ministry of marriage, baptism, memorial and counseling are constant features of the Chapel’s life. Personal connections are made daily. The Chapel is governed by a Board of Trustees, a Christian Administrative Board, and a Jewish Board of Directors. It also functions with various permanent and temporary committees and teams.
The Chapel ministers to a broad community of residents, second homeowners, and visitors throughout Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. Many of our constituents understand themselves as people of faith, but have moved beyond traditional religious institutionalism and exclusivity. The Chapel community welcomes all seeking and following a divinely oriented spiritual path. The Chapel also fosters a core group of people regularly involved in worship, education, service and community. They see the Chapel Community to which they belong as an expression of that global community into which we are all born as members of the human race, and into the full awareness of which we are called. Here is the Church into which the Cosmic Christ bids us to be born again.
As an interfaith Chapel, we emphasize an open and progressive theology. While respecting tradition and liturgy, we are redefining spiritual truths and values. We want to be honest and authentic in the way we relate to God and compassionate to one another. We desire to be realistic as we connect our spirituality to all realms of knowledge and understanding. We search for creative forms of worship and spiritual community. We wish to be part of the spiritual awakening where great faiths of this world are sharing their wisdom and the theme of unity with diversity progresses. We seek to be a Chapel, which honors religious history, responds to contemporary society, and envisions a spiritual future. There are many programs and goals yet to achieve. With God’s help, we are going forward in faith to fulfill the vision of the founders on the day they stood with a ceremonial shovel in hand.”
And finally, we were provided with cupcakes for our trip home from d’Elissious Cake Studio of Aspen. I got to try the Almond & Espresso (Almond Sour Cream Cake brushed with Amaretto with Espresso Buttercream) and it was amazing. A perfect balance of cake and frosting with frosting that was just sweet enough.