By Anu Gorukanti
Anu is one of the founding members of the Interfaith Alliance (IFA). She majoring in Neuroscience.
The InterFaith Alliance Fourth Annual Prayer service was one of the first events of ATLAS week and an excellent starting point for a week dedicated to international justice and service. I have been involved with IFA since it’s creation four years ago and the annual Interfaith prayer service is one of my favorite events. There is something genuinely meaningful in the ability to pray and learn with people of different faith traditions. In the past years, we invited students in the SLU community to share a piece of their faith tradition- a prayer, song, a scripture. This year, we were able to host the event in College Church, a symbol of faith on our campus, and invite members from the SLU community to join in our service.
The atmosphere of an interfaith prayer service is always unique but in particular, it was exciting to see a Baha’i , Muslim, Hindu, and Christian all sit in the front row of College church. Hearing the prayers and songs shared by different community members and SLU students is always a great learning experience. Every faith has a unique way of worshiping and praying and it’s always a privilege to witness. But what I always find more compelling is the feeling of serenity and peace that transcends the differences in tradition and the call to justice for all people. Even though I did not share the faith of many of the presenters, I felt at peace hearing about the ways they prayed and was inspired by their call to action. The role of interfaith in our lives goes deeper than learning about the tenants of each faith; it is about celebrating the diversity in our different traditions and recognizing how we can all learn from one another.