The Words of the Haider Family

The "Women of Faith" Interfaith Panel Explores Family in Religion

Dawn Haider
April 3, 2009

The month of April welcomed spring, and April 3rd brought a Women of Faith program sponsored by Service for Peace (SFP) and cosponsored by the Women's Federation for World Peace to Montclair State Univerisity located in Montclair, New Jersey. Inspired by the SFP students at the university, the event was an opportunity for students to share the beauty of their own religions and understand the beauty of others. Each member of a panel of female students from various religious groups on campus spoke for 10 minutes and then participated in a QandA session that was open to audience members. The event also collected canned food for a local pantry in order to offer something to the larger community.

The panel addressed the topic "The Role of Family in Religion." Julie Tsinring spoke on Judaism and stressed that one had to be sure of one’s personal faith before being able to bequeath it to the next generation. The Roman Catholic representative, Pru Welch, spoke on the importance of faith, hope, and prayer, as well as understanding that your children are God's children. Emine Elif Kasapoglu represented the Islamic view very well in her explanation of the roles of each member of the family and the importance of tradition. The Unification perspective was addressed by Amerika Coryell, who expressed the belief that faith begins at home and that all individuals must travel through various stages of faith before they mature into good parents.

The Inter-Religious Studies Department, as well as a variety of clubs and groups, were represented in the audience. The panelists were natural and relaxed as they deeply shared their heart of faith. The concluding Toast to World Peace and fellowship afterward added to a respectful and profound experience for all. This Women of Faith Event was marvelous and left those that participated hoping for more opportunities to hear from other faiths in the future.

Written by Dawn Haider, university student and founder of the Service for Peace student organization on campus 

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