The Religious Roundtable group assembled 500 hygiene kits from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20, as part of the Interfaith Service Project in Hirst Lounge in Wilson Commons. The kits each contained two combs, four toothbrushes, one tube of toothpaste, two bars of soap and two hand towels. Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Services distributed these kits to needy communities around the world. The event started with an introduction by senior and student Interfaith Fellow at UR’s Interfaith Chapel Karen Taylor, and a service with presentations from the several participating religious groups: the Baha’I, Buddhism, Catholicism, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Protestantism, and Sikhism. Taylor was glad with the turnout that was able to assemble all the kits in time for delivery. “I thought things went really well,” Taylor said. “We assembled 500 hygiene kits that will be distributed to countries [that] are in need, because of natural disasters, wars, etc. The kits were sent out on Saturday.”Displays and scripture passages provided, revealed information about each religion’s commitment to service. In addition to being a charitable event, the project demonstrated the teachings on serving others that are common to all religious traditions. The Religious Roundtable represents the various religions observed in the UR community. This diverse group, formed as a response to the September 11 attacks, sponsors events and discussions promoting the examination of religious issues. This is the first event sponsored by the group that featured a similarity between the distinct religions. As Taylor explained, “Many of our past programs, have focused on the differences between each religious tradition, but this one was designed to celebrate one of the common threads that ran through every faith group represented on the roundtable – service to others.””Each roundtable member came to the activity because he/she believes in serving others as part of his/her religious teaching. We all represent different faiths, but we all hold this belief in common. Many times, we focus on the ways we are different from someone else, but there are so many things we actually have in common. Knowing that really made the event a reaffirming experience for me,” Taylor added. This collection of multiple faiths represents the diversity of the student body at UR, and events like this demonstrate that the universality of charity can strengthen the relationships of any larger community. By serving others, one is not only able to enhance the relationship with God, but also enhance one’s relationship with fellow people. “I am grateful to the university for encouraging such programming. Not only were we learning from each other, but we were turning those words into action by providing a service for someone else. I think events like this are important for the UR community because it shows that we really can co-exist and work together.”



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