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All Faiths Chapel provides sanctuary for community

21 May 2023

Space open to anyone looking to find peace

By: Lisa Wood, Strategic Communications Administrator

Faith and community leaders joined Salem Health leadership and spiritual care staff to consecrate and dedicate Salem Hospital’s All Faiths Chapel in a ceremony on Thursday, May 4.

The All Faiths Chapel is open to anyone looking to find peace. The new space respects the traditions of all faiths and religious communities, as well as for those who do not have a faith background or declare a faith.

“We are honored to have the faith community as well as community and state leaders take part in this ceremony,” said Cheryl Nester Wolfe, RN, president and CEO. “We know what an important role our previous meditation and reflection space has provided. People need a place to find peace, rest, comfort and to reflect during what may be a very difficult time. The new space is a sacred place of worship and peace for people of many faiths and represents our respect for patients and their families and friends. All are welcome here.”

Lane P. Shetterly, JD, Salem Health Board of Trustees Chair, and Darla Tillman-Samuelson, Salem Health Interfaith Staff Chaplain also shared remarks.

Greetings were offered by:

  • The Honorable Deb Patterson, Oregon State Senator
  • Cheryle A. Kennedy, Chairwoman, Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde
  • Adarino Petrus, Director of Outreach and Programs, Micronesian Islander Community
  • Rev. Ineda P. Adesanya, Chaplain and Director of Spiritual and Religious Life, Willamette University
  • Rabbi Eli Herb, Temple Beth Sholom

Each lit a candle and said a blessing to consecrate the space as a sanctuary for every person.

The All Faiths Chapel is part of Salem Hospital’s expansion project, which opened in July 2022 and connects with the tranquil respite garden. The wooden paneling and furniture in the chapel face the geometric windows that look directly into the garden. The two sides of the indoor chapel meet at the garden door, helping visitors also find solace in the open air.

The garden is next to the Emergency Department patient drop-off area. Plants create a textural variety and visual interest as they screen the perimeter of the space for a calming environment. At night, visitors will see a color-changing LED light edge on the garden benches, which creates a river-like theme.

This space was made possible by generous support from local family foundations, businesses and individuals through Salem Health Foundation’s Families Matter Project.