Archive for December, 2010

As the holiday season approaches, I am reminded of the interfaith holidays that the Interfaith Youth Core, Interfaith Forum, and UIndy celebrated this semester.

At UIndy, the campaign started with the first meeting of the Interfaith Forum on September 7.  Twenty-three students attended the meeting to hear about the interfaith movement and enjoy scrumptious international food.  For the rest of the semester, the Interfaith Forum would have exciting meeting topics that were educational and occasionally funny.  We had a lively debate when discussing the “Ground Zero Mosque” situation that came to no conclusion but upheld the First Amendment rights regardless.  We then hosted mock interfaith dialogues that had everyone laughing to the point of falling from their seats.  Lastly, our meeting about food and fasting was very informational and made an impact on our outlook on different faiths.

The Interfaith Forum also performed multiple service and social action efforts that were influential through the semester.  First, members of the Forum hosted a block party at the Interfaith Hospitality Network for homeless families that including delicious food and fun activities in September.  We then traveled to Gleaner’s Food Bank in October and made 700 food bags for the hungry in Indianapolis.  In November, UIndy students fed free pancakes to 30 people while raising $50 for Gleaner’s Food Bank.  Lastly, in December we coordinated with the Peak and Salt & Light Christian Ministries to make no-sew blankets for the Linus Project and sent materials of support to the IU Hillel after the vandalism they endured.

Through Interfaith Youth Core involvement, UIndy also hosted the first installment of the Better Together Campaign through the “What IF?” Speak-In Event.  After months of preparation, the Forum and CPB provided a no-sew blanket service project, a panel of speakers from the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN), and an interfaith dialogue that engaged people of different faiths.  First, the blanket project made 25 blankets for the homeless that IHN assist.  Next, the speakers gave words of wisdom to the attendants, including Mitch Katz from the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation that wished to ask “why not interfaith?” instead of “what if interfaith?” because he saw it as a necessity.  Lastly, we hosted a 30-minute interfaith dialogue that asked the participants about service they had accomplished in the past and its effect on their faith.  Overall, everyone learned more about different faiths and made new friendships after the event had finished.

We have completed the first semester, but another one is looming in the distance.  We have some great events planned, including the Better Together Large-Scale Service Project, the Better Together Banquet, an Interfaith Peace Service, the Thirst Project Benefit Concert, a possible weekly interfaith service project with Fletcher Place Community Center, and multiple discussions and service projects through the Interfaith Forum to come.  The interfaith movement has made great strides in its first semester at UIndy.  Let’s carry the momentum further and show we are better together.

 

Mark Wolfe

IFYC Fellow 2010-2011

President of the Interfaith Forum

UIndy Class of 2013

 

Mike McGrath

Posted: December 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

Sophomore Christian student and big-time Interfaith Forum member Mike McGrath talks about his interfaith experience at UIndy.

Mitch Green

Posted: December 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

IFSC and Americorps service leader Mitch Green talks about his interfaith experiences at UIndy.

( This blog was written by Bryan Sullivan, a freshman Christian student at UIndy.)

What is Interfaith Forum to me? This question has produced multiple answers for me over my few short months at UIndy. I was very open to the idea at first, which then led to some sort of resentment where I couldn’t find the means to really participate in the activities on the Interfaith Forum agenda. Now today I have come to realize that interfaith service is exactly what God is calling myself, a follower of the Christian faith, to do.

I was first discouraged with Interfaith Forum when I realized it was definitely not an environment to attempt to convert people to the Christian faith. With my evangelistic approach to the Gospel I found this difficult and even conflicting to my faith. These ideas were fortunately pushed to the curb in a simple reading of the Bible, and seeing examples of Christian faithfulness in my friends who were surrounded around the Interfaith Forum. I came to the realization that Christian tolerance of other faith traditions and exemplification of the love of God to the world is exactly what Interfaith Forum can allow me to do.

Christians are often viewed as arrogant when dealing with interfaith issues. This, I can say is unfortunately true at many times. I myself can all too easily get caught up in how correct I believe my faith to be, that I forget to actually live out what Jesus calls me to do. Jesus told us that the second of the greatest commandments is to love your neighbor as yourself, only second to loving the Lord. Jesus’ life was an example of the ultimate love. Besides from dying on the cross for everyone’s sins, he lived a life of servitude towards others and commands his followers to do the same.

With Interfaith Forum I can live out my Christian calling by having love for my neighbors and serving the community at the same time. I learned to not only be accepting of other’s ideas but to honor their faith traditions and what one’s faith means to them. By being open to interfaith activities, I hope that others may see the light of Christ in me. I am convinced that we are truly “Better Together!”

 

Peace,

Bryan Sullivan