River-Crossing: Storytelling and Interfaith Leadership Conference was a bonding experience for the tri-states. Students and faculty from Marquette, St. Ambrose, St. Mary of Winona, University of Dubuque, Loras College and Clarke University gathered together to learn and experience interfaith. Over 60 people attended the event incorporating nine different faiths, non-religions, and spiritual groups.
The event took place in the Loras College ballrooms and helped individuals break down walls which prevented them from sharing their beliefs with others. It helped individuals to unit for the sake of peace and service. As part of the day, the attendees worked together to build 2,000 meals for Kids Against Hunger. These meals are starvation reversing packets that create six servings each. They are sent to countries all over the world.
“I learned a few things,” UD freshman AJ Day said. “Some people don’t have religions yet are willing to support other religious backgrounds. Some people receive a lot of hate because they have the same religion as terrorists even if they do not have similar views. Overall, the experience was very pleasant.”
A group from Marquette expressed an interest in creating solidarity between religious and non-religious groups at their school, too. They received tips on how to create interfaith on their campus by hearing stories from faculty and staff. They plan to start a Better Together group on their campus as well.
The planning committee for this event was pleased with the day’s success, and they plan to do more in the following years.