Vail Interfaith Chapel Turns 50 in 2019! A Community of Faiths in a Half Century of Service Invites You to The Celebration!

Posted December 7th, 2018

Our community founders, as they constructed ski runs, roads, schools, library, medical center, and a few watering holes, felt it critical for this fledgling mountain ski resort to also feature a place of worship. Like historic alpine European ski outposts, the Chapel was sited to serve as a community center of worship, local gatherings and spiritual reflection nestled by the calming waters of Gore Creek. Quite unlike those European cathedrals and dramatic village chapels, the Vail Chapel was to include a powerful descriptor: Interfaith. Jewish and Christian, Catholic and Protestant, observant and casual, skeptic, confused, rebellious, hurting….all would be welcome in Vail’s new worship space. And so, in the late 1960’s, as the nation reeled from war, cultural tumult and various social revolutions, our chapel founders designed and constructed a simple, quiet, powerful chapel on a peaceful bend of Gore Creek. Harking back to classic Scandinavian alpine architecture, building a worship interior far larger than anyone ever thought would be needed, they proudly opened the Vail Interfaith Chapel in 1969.

The rest is a dynamic prologue to our next half-century of service to the best ski community in North America. Weddings, memorials, bar mitzvot, baptisms have marked major life transitions in our community chapel. Shabbot, Sunday worship, Catholic mass and prayer of every variety hallow this sacred space with the blessing of worshippers standing together no longer in necessity, but authentic affinity. Major religious holidays witness standing room crowds all willing to be pressed inside simply to worship in their special place for that special moment during Christmas, Rosh Hashanah or Easter. Community groupings as diverse as Alcoholics Anonymous, Women’s Bridge Club, Grief Recovery and Christian snowboard wax parties gather regularly here. The Chapel has served as the natural gathering place during times of national crisis, local challenge and international ski competitions. And besides hosting weekly worship for six congregations, perhaps the Vail Interfaith Chapel’s greatest hosting takes place in quiet moments reserved for individual reflection in a back pew or watching the world go by in the tranquil creek flow outside.

Our founders could never have imagined their vision so robustly fulfilled today, or the hundreds of souls who pass through our doors every week. And this is only the first half-century. As Vail continues to evolve as a ski resort community offering the most attractive recreation and artistic opportunities available in North America, the congregations of the Vail Interfaith Chapel will evolve to serve this community with the same dedication, passion and empathy which we have inherited from those brave pioneers.

As we move into 2019, our 50th year, come join us for worship, celebration, music or just conversation! Take some time here in this sacred and peaceful site. And please consider supporting the Chapel financially as we continue to care for this facility so well loved and used. Not only is your contribution tax-deductible, of course, but we stand ready to receive your generosity joyously and use it judiciously to prepare the Vail Interfaith Chapel for the next 50 years. Come join us!

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