Interfaith Scholars Present in Washington, D.C.
Jul 12, 2012Concordia College's interfaith movement is top-notch, according to the White House. Concordia was one of only 40 schools that presented at the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge Summer Gathering July 9-10.
"We were selected out of the 270 participating schools for having done some things that were labeled best national practices," says Dr. Jacqueline Bussie, director of the Forum on Faith and Life and associate professor of religion.
Bussie accompanied Concordia's first interfaith scholars, Anastasia Young '13, Butte, Mont., and Sarah Funkhouser '13, Beulah, N.D., to represent Concordia at the conference in Washington, D.C.
They met representatives from other schools and leaders of the national movement, including the Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell, director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Education. Girton-Mitchell runs the President's Challenge.
Young presented the accomplishments of Concordia's movement known on campus as Better Together. In addition to improving understanding between various faith traditions on campus, two of their projects improved the Fargo-Moorhead community. They removed 100 gallons of debris from the Red River in cooperation with River Keepers. They also worked with the Student Environmental Alliance to build a community garden and beautify the green space at the Gladys Ray Homeless Shelter, Fargo, N.D.
The movement has increased dialogue between a plethora of religious backgrounds, including Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, Jews and those of the Baha'i faith.
"Diverse people coming together around the common goal of community service has sparked a flame of interfaith cooperation and work," says Young.