CSU class hosts interfaith Thanksgiving celebration

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A CSU class spearheaded an interfaith Thanksgiving event last week intended to celebrate and learn about the various spiritual belief systems and religions represented on campus.

The Key Community’s Exploring Civic Interfaith Connections course, in cooperation with Hillel, Lutheran Campus Ministries, Unitarian Universalist Campus Ministry and the Geller Center, gathered at Everyday Joe’s on Nov. 11 for the second annual “Bridging Our Beliefs” celebration. More than 160 people from various religious and spiritual groups around the CSU community came together to converse about gratitude and spirituality while sharing a meal.

12244013_10207255314434322_134437423_nThe menu featured kosher, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options, and the meal was cooked by the students. Preparation of the food began a week in advance, and many dishes represented different religions.

Prayers and blessings

The event also featured a variety of prayers and blessings from religions that ranged from Judaism to Christianity to Baha’i. Activities included large poster boards on which attendees were asked to write down what they are thankful for.

“Everyone was very open,” said student Anarely Marquez. “There was no fear of asking something wrong, because we all knew the purpose of being there was to learn.”

In addition, representatives from the organization Gift of Life were on hand to sign up volunteers willing to be listed in a registry as prospective bone marrow donors.

Senior Special Instructor Elizabeth Sink of CSU’s Department of Communication Studies, who is teaching the course, said there are talks on campus about creating a center for spirituality in the future.

“We’re using this as a springboard event,” she said. “This is a cooperative effort across student organizations, academic classes and departments across the entire campus. That’s what makes me so proud of it, it’s not a turf war.”