Interfaith Prayer Book Calls for Submissions

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Interfaith Prayer Book Calls for Submissions

TARYN OKAMOTO • THE SPECTATOR

TARYN OKAMOTO • THE SPECTATOR

TARYN OKAMOTO • THE SPECTATOR

TARYN OKAMOTO • THE SPECTATOR

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Though Seattle University is a historically Catholic institution, through the years it has become an increasingly diverse campus with students from many religious and spiritual backgrounds. With this in mind, Seattle U Campus Ministry has been working on putting together an interfaith prayer book, as a way to inspire students no matter what their faith backgrounds are.

TARYN OKAMOTO • THE SPECTATOR
TARYN OKAMOTO • THE SPECTATOR

Campus Ministry hopes that with this book students will be able to live a more spiritually connected life during their time at Seattle U, as a part of the university’s mission of educating the soul as well as the mind and body. The team, made up of Victoria Carr-Ware, a campus minister, as well as Fourth- Year Public Affairs major Anab Nur and Fourth-Year Biology major Julia Gmeiner, will edit the submissions they receive over the next few weeks.
Students can submit anything that they feel religiously or spiritually connected to, whether that is prayers that they learned through their faith or culture, or images that have a significance to them. Students can also include other forms of art as a part of their submission.

Gmeiner thinks that having a varied and vast collection of religious material is important as the more they have the more likely they are to be able to help people connect to their spirituality.

“I think everyone has ideas that mean a lot to them, either through prayers, poems, artwork, and I think other students can benefit from that word or art to help them make meaning in the world,” Gmeiner said. “I encourage people to submit the stuff that means a lot to them because it can help make a difference in someone else’s life.”

This is not the first prayer book that has been released by Campus Ministry, but it is the school’s first attempt at an interfaith prayer book. The program is a student-led project that is being headed by Nur, who is also a student minister, who is working with the team to get the book published.

“We had a prayer book before but it wasn’t interfaith, but it was helpful in reflection spaces and campus ministry events,” Nur said. “We had the idea last year to do an interfaith prayer book…the purpose of this was so that in following years people can use this material to reflect and use in events.”

Gmeiner said that Campus Ministry is looking for a variety of materials so that pieces from all cultures on campus can be represented.

“Our campus has a lot of different people who practice different faiths, so especially for new students I think it’s important to incorporate aspects of different faiths, having something there for everyone to relate to,” Gmeiner said. “It doesn’t have to be a faith-based, but it can be spiritual, however people find meaning in the world.”

As a part of looking for student submissions for the prayer book, Nur called on the different cultural clubs that make up Seattle U’s diverse student body. The book not only looks for prayers and images from different faiths, but also from different parts of the world, as a way to represent the entire spiritual makeup of the campus.

The team that is putting together the book is looking for submissions that fall along into their six themes: justice, purpose, community, the sacred, contemplation, and love. These themes were chosen by Nur because of their importance to the college environment.

“I thought of the themes based on what I felt Campus Ministry programs and events helps students reflect on and I wanted the book to reflect that so I chose those themes,” Nur said.

Karina Cole,a third year humanities for teaching major, thinks that the interfaith prayer book is a good step in making an inclusive community at Seattle U.

“I think that the Interfaith Prayer book is an amazing idea,” Cole said. “With so much violent hateful and divisive speech in media and within even casual, day-to-day conversation, I think this is an exemplary model of the strong light, love and peace which we all seek, amidst our perceived differences.”

The team will continue working to put together a resource for the diverse student community that exists at Seattle U. The interfaith prayer book will be published in spring quarter.

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