Thanksgiving is very unifying because everybody, no matter what background or belief system, has things to be thankful for. I think that is why the interfaith Thanksgiving prayer service was such a great way to celebrate the holiday.
The service was set up in a very unique way. The chairs were arranged in a circle with a table of fall decorations and refreshments in the middle and the people presenting in the first row. The circle represented unity and really did contribute to a feeling of togetherness. I got to read a verse from the Book of Mormon and sing a hymn with my friends in the Latter-Day Saints Student Association (LDSSA). I was touched by the prayers and songs from the other groups that included Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim, Protestant, Hindu, Jewish, and Orthodox Christian students. One agnostic student participated, too, reading a great Robert Frost poem.
One thing that I love about these interfaith events is the sincerity of everyone participating. You can tell how much their faith means to each of them and really feel the importance of their prayers. I believe we are all children of God and that He wants us to communicate with Him. I believe that one of the most important things we can do in our prayers is to express thanks for what He has given us. The more we express our gratitude, I think, the more we realize how blessed we really are.
After the service was over we all stayed to enjoy the refreshments and talk. The cupcakes, pie, cake, cider, and hot chocolate were delicious. It was nice to get to know people a little better and we had some great conversations. Everyone there was super nice.
I have been very involved with the LDSSA my whole time at Georgetown but before this semester I haven't really been a part of the interfaith community. I went to the September 11th 10th anniversary prayer service earlier this year and was really moved by everyone coming together to cope with tragedy. As people of different faiths come together to worship we can benefit from our similarities and differences and strengthen each other. The Student Interfaith Council and the Office of Campus Ministry are doing a great job promoting interfaith dialogue and I'm excited to be a part of that in the future.
The Thanksgiving Prayer Service was a great success and I'm glad I got to participate in it.