For many years, the Fuller community has retreated to the Prayer garden for quiet reflection. The space has been used most often for individual prayer, but also for memorial services and art events.
“When I had my first tour of Fuller's Pasadena campus as a prospective student, our guide walked us by the Prayer Garden. She pointed at its cement walls covered in ivy and said that many students find the growing, dying, and returning of the ivy to be an apt metaphor for the changing seasons in their academic careers at Fuller.
Over the next three years as a residential MDiv student, her comments rang true. I can remember walking through campus from our apartment on North Oakland, coming and going from classes, and passing the Prayer Garden, seeing the ivy dry and brown as fall became winter (such as it was in Pasadena), and feeling resonance with my spirit as I was struggling with new and challenging learning. I can also remember walking by with a bounce in my step from the exhilaration of renewed faith and seeing the ivy surrounding the Prayer Garden a lush and vibrant green.
Perhaps the most memorable and evocative image is entering into the Prayer Garden's sacred space, through ivy-draped doorways, in both dry and vibrant seasons, sitting on the cool concrete and watching the light play through the stained-glass cross, and listening to God in the silence, or filling the space with harmony as I participated in one of the many Taizé services we held in that space. It reminded me to turn toward God, who was always near and faithful to me in every season.”
– Luke Hyder (MDiv ’06)
“Toward the end of my MDiv, I was seriously dating a guy. We were talking and praying about whether we should marry. I would often go to the Prayer Garden. It was a rich time of seeking God's wisdom but also frustrating. At that time, I journaled my prayers; I filled notebook after notebook with my prayers. ‘Please tell me: yes or no? Marry Ed or don't marry Ed?’
One day, walking to my car from a session in the Prayer Garden (I can take you to the spot on the sidewalk to this day!), I felt God say to me, ‘You want to know so you can be in control.’ God was more interested in my daily attentiveness and responsiveness than in my ‘knowing’ the ‘right’ answer.
That was 1996. Edward and I have been married for 21 years.”
– Susan Maros (MDiv ’99)
“Fuller has been a beautiful campus. I particularly enjoyed the chapel and use of the library. Served as an oasis in the midst of a growing city.”
– Carlyle Castle (’92)
Submit Your Story
As you share your memory, be as specific as possible: What building were you in? Who were you with? What geographic details still stick with you today? The more concrete and descriptive the memory you share, the more the Fuller community can enjoy this moment with you.