Understanding Differences: Interfaith Ally Retreat

By Ghada Tafesh

Chaplain Emily Morgan plans an organized Interfaith Ally Retreat over Fall Break, from Oct. 9 to Oct. 11. The retreat will take place at the Presbyterian Krislund Camp in Howard, Pa.

The Chaplain’s Office received an anonymous grant to fund a series of retreats throughout the year as well as the newly founded Sarah’s Cupboard, a food pantry for students in need. With the fast growth of incoming students, Chaplain Emily wants to focus on creating an interfaith dialogue on campus and teaching the basics of it to help students understand and appreciate each other as individuals. Along with learning about everyone’s traditions, she sees the Interfaith Ally Retreat as an opportunity to address some of the issues people have concerning faith, including the role of the non-religious and the basics of world religions.

The retreat’s goal promises to help individuals find their own story while learning how to engage with people from different faiths. The event will also include fun activities such as a low ropes course, hiking, roasting marshmallows, games, and optional meditation. Students from different faiths will have the chance to share their traditions through presentations or leading meditation. Whether it is through sending emails that recognize different religious holidays or asking students from different backgrounds to participate in Chapel services, Chaplain Emily has actively promoted awareness of other faiths and groups on campus.

“We are living in a more globalized world, and Generation Z is the most religiously and racially diverse generation the U.S. has ever seen,” Morgan states. “So, part of being a good American and global citizen is understanding people of different faiths.”

Chaplain Emily hopes to form an interfaith group or student club that enables students to share stories, learn, and grow as they recognize a different twenty-first century Wilson: an affirming institution that speaks to a diverse population and prepares better, equipped leaders. The series of retreats this includes: Food Justice Retreat on Nov. 19, 2016, Senior Transition Retreat Jan. 20 to Jan. 21, 2017, Community Service Day Retreat on Feb. 28, 2017, and Set the World on Fire Retreat April 1 to April 2, 2017.

Deadline for sign up is this Friday, September 23, 2016. If interested, please contact Chaplain Emily Morgan at emily.morgan@wilson.edu or chaplain@wilson.edu.

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