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July 14, 2014  |  About the Berkley Center  |  Directions to the Center  |  Subscribe
 
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Deven Comen Deven Comen graduated from Georgetown College in 2012 with a major in Government. Deven worked as a research assistant for Professor Katherine Marshall on the religion and global development...
This blog features an ongoing conversation among Georgetown students, staff, and faculty involved in interfaith service, as well as their efforts to further interreligious understanding engagement with communities in the Washington DC, area. Older posts detail the university's participation in the 2011-2012 President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, an invitation to institutions of higher education to commit to a year of interfaith and community service programming on campus. Read more about interfaith service at Georgetown here.

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The Summit for Radical Egalitarianism

June 25, 2014

Alternative Spring Break 2014: A Native Experience

June 5, 2014

Learning about the World Through International Model UN

May 20, 2014

An Opportunity to Lead

May 5, 2014

Is Religion a Stalemate in International Debate?

April 30, 2014

The Courtyard of the Gentiles and Better Together Day

April 29, 2014

Acting for the Right and Wrong Reasons

April 23, 2014

Hip-Hop Heals

April 23, 2014

Different Faiths, One Practice: Interfaith Meditation

April 22, 2014

Rediscovering the Festival of Colors: Holi 2014

April 15, 2014

Lingering Questions on Interfaith Marriage in America

April 15, 2014

Learning to Engage with Religious Diversity

April 14, 2014

The Power of Dialogue: Alternative Spring Break 2014

April 8, 2014

1525 Lesseps Street: Alternative Spring Break 2014

April 7, 2014

A Religious Experience on the Peaks of Aspen Grove

March 26, 2014

What They Forgot to Teach in Kindergarten: The Problem of Religious Illiteracy

March 24, 2014

Building Interfaith Bridges Both in Policy and Interpersonally

March 21, 2014


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Gratitude and Service

February 3, 2012

“God sent you here. I didn’t even ask him to, but I know he did”.

Between instructing three Georgetown student volunteers on how to arrange her dishes or where the vacuum cleaner was located, a Carver 2000 Senior Mansion resident took a moment to praise God for sending her these “heavenly angels”.

With hopes to spark intellectual and spiritual dialogue among the Georgetown community and beyond, Georgetown’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration was observed January 17th to the 21st this year. The annual Let Freedom Ring concert, sponsored by Georgetown and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, kicked off the university's week of events celebrating the life of King Jr. After a series of academic, artistic and extracurricular programs, a day of community service in D.C.’s Ward 7 on January 21st concluded the week of reflection. Members of the university community including students and staff spent time working for and among local community members and organizations.

Feeling more disconnected from direct service work than years past, I signed up to be a site leader for the MLK Day of service. My fellow students and I traveled to Ward 7 to visit Carver 2000 Senior Mansion, an apartment building located near Benning Road Metro Station. We were divided into groups of three to perform various cleaning tasks ranging from dusting, vacuuming, and arranging. One of my colleagues essentially played a game of Tetris with a pantry while another re-arranged the many hats of our resident.

Besides the satisfaction from the physical labor than we performed, we agreed in a post-service roundtable that we felt fortunate to share a conversation with a born-and-raised-DC resident. Her vivacious character was illustrated by her joking self-deprecation, eccentric fashion collection, and her collection of tigers and many other figurines covering her apartment. Her personality could only be trumped by her gratitude; she even felt compelled to play King James Bible verses on CD while we worked so we could all “be grateful for God bringing us together”. Our resident was glad to talk to us three strangers about her grandchildren, explain photographs of her family history, and curiously ask us questions about our lives as well.

Georgetown hopes to cultivate “contemplatives in action” who respond creatively and concretely to the pressing needs of our world in the Jesuit educational tradition. In the tradition of forming men and women for others who wish to create a more just world for all, community based events like this bring us closer to our DC neighbors, some of whom seemed quite lonely. Even if it was just one day, I hope that those who participated in the MLK Day of Service were touched to remember King’s legacy, widen their perspective of our DC community, and maybe if they were as lucky as I was, feel a bit of gratitude for relationships and companionship in our busy, Hoya lives.

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