Students listened to representatives of four different religions while decorating cookies at the Decorate Your Faith Interfaith event in Dirlam Lounge on Thursday.
Students split into groups and had fifteen minutes to talk to the followers of the Church of Latter Day Saints, Bahá’í, Unitarian Universalist and Pagan religions. The followers explained their faiths and what drew them to become members.
Junior and Interfaith intern MacKenzie Bills enjoyed a great turnout of interested students.
“People seemed very interested in what people from various faiths had to say. I know people said they learned a lot and they want to see it happen again and they would like to learn about more faiths.”
Interfaith is a sector of Simpson College’s Religious Life Community that allows students to come together and openly discuss their faiths and beliefs with students of different religions.
Sophomore Virginia Atwell, a religion major who frequents Interfaith events, said, “I think [Interfaith] promotes acceptance and understanding. It dispels the myths about different faiths. People can get along better and understand where everyone is coming from.”
Interfaith is important to have in the world to help understand where people are coming from and why they do what they do.
“Specifically coming from Simpson College in Iowa, where we’re a predominantly white Christian school, it’s important to open our eyes to the world and what else is out there. It can help us to better understand global issues, social issues, why or why not something is happening,” said Bills.
Interfaith can be a way to help further dissect events that are occurring in the world today.
“Learning about Islam and understanding it can help understand the situation with ISIS or ISIL, Islamic State in the Middle East. Understanding Judaism can help people understand why Israel is a nation state today,” said Bills.
Asking questions about each other’s faiths and backgrounds is just the beginning to understanding each other and working toward a more peaceful world, and Interfaith is a great place to start.
Atwell urges everyone to become involved in Interfaith.
“I think advertising Interfaith events more would be awesome and as more people become interested to just open up and have groups go into different services for different religions and just have more of a conversation about it,” Atwell said.
Interfaith meets at 7:30 p.m. every second and fourth Thursday of the month in Dirlam Lounge.