March 11-17 I am spending my days and evenings with students and faculty from Jefferson University and Ohio Wesleyan University as part of the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia’s Interfaith Encounters Alternative Break program. The two groups represent various traditions, including but not limited to: Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Secular. The Ohio Wesleyan students range from sophomores to seniors, with an eclectic mix of majors and minors in their study portfolios; they are accompanied by a psychology professor who is also Associate Dean for Academic Performance; and also joining in is the Director of Media and Community Relations. The Jefferson group is made up of 3 graduate students, all with intriguing academic goals, and their Spiritual Development Coordinator who works in the office of Student Engagement.
The idea is simple enough: we visit 5 different religious communities, participate in/experience what they do, meet people of other faith traditions, ask questions, and learn. Also, we participate in 4 service-learning projects with different non-profits engaged in work for the common good of all. And we do this in Philadelphia.
I’ll be blogging all week and sharing my experiences with the two groups. Feel free to stop by and check out the pictures and reflections. As always, I’ll be sharing links about the different faith traditions and communities, as well as the service-learning partners, so you can learn more at your own leisure. So let’s go!