Interfaith Harmony week promotes understanding

In News by Staff

Students will come together to celebrate religious understanding and harmony

FEBRUARY 5, 2013 by CAROLYN NEFF

Events celebrating the second annual World Interfaith Harmony week will be held throughout this week on campus, lasting Feb. 1-7, which is headed by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.

Heading the events is University Chaplain Gary R. Brower.

“My role as the University Chaplain is to provide opportunities for students, faculty and staff to encounter different points of view and appreciate religious differences,” said Brower. “Interfaith Harmony Week is an example of this, of mutual understanding and dialogue.”

According to Brower, World Interfaith Harmony week was proclaimed by the United Nation’s General Assembly in a resolution adopted in late 2010.

“It is now a nationally observed event during the first week of February that came out of Jordan and was first observed in 2011,” said Brower.

According to University Chaplain Rev. Gary R. Brower, last year’s first-observed World Interfaith Harmony Week was very well-received on campus.

According to Brower, it is hard to estimate how many students and faculty participated in spreading the message of harmony and goodwill, as there are many different groups on campus.

“Last year we had posters around campus, but there was not one single event where everyone gathered,” said Brower.

Brower also said that this year the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life will be working with the Wellness Living and Learning Community to provide a platform in which all interfaith and goodwill groups on campus can become aware of each other and strengthen their relationships. What are some examples of goodwill and interfaith on campus?

“The week will culminate in an Interfaith Fiesta, which the Wellness Living and Learning Community has helped organize,” said Brower.

According to Brower, the Interfaith Fiesta is sponsored by DU Interfaith Advocates and will be held Thursday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the JMAC Lounge.

Brower said that the event will feature speed faith-learning, which is like speed-dating but in the spirit of interfaith harmony.

“It is all about dialogue and engaging the students, making them aware of differences,” said Brower.

According to Brower, religious differences should not be a matter of conflict.

“It should not be a ‘we’re different and you’ve got to be like us’ situation,” said Brower.

Brower said that he hopes that this initiative provides a way for students and faculty to recognize common values and strive for understanding in the community.

“Interfaith Harmony Week advocates a coming together,” said Brower. “While I do not know about any particular events related to the week in the Denver area, the week is being observed worldwide.”

In addition to this week’s national observance of World Interfaith Harmony, Brower said that the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life are on the Driscoll Bridge every month to promote religious dialogue.

For students and faculty who are interested in participating in World Interfaith Harmony Week or any other events related to religious and spiritual life can visit the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life in the Driscoll Student Center, Suite 29.