Interfaith Prayer Service Unites

The annual Thanksgiving Interfaith Prayer Service benefits Keeler Women’s Center.

Paula Sweeny, Reporter

The Interfaith club hosted the annual Thanksgiving Interfaith Prayer Service in the gym Nov. 21. 

The interfaith club puts on the annual service to showcase different religions including Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and Judaism. The club also hosted a civvies day for five dollars to raise money for the Keeler Women’s Center which serves women in the greater Kansas City area through education, support and counseling. 

“I think the prayer service went really well,” Interfaith club president senior Inaya Khan said.

Sr. Suzanne Fitzmaurice from the women’s center attended the interfaith service and spoke about what the donated money provides for the women. This includes grocery cards and counseling, as well as acupuncture, haircuts and manicures for over 4,000 women. The school raised over $1,152 for the center. 

“If you’re from the urban core and you can’t afford someone to pamper you,” Fitzmaurice said. “This is huge.”

I wanted to create a comfortable environment and a respectful environment.”

— Interfaith club president senior Inaya Khan

The service included six speakers including one eighth-grader from the lower school. Junior Rajitha Velakaturi spoke about her Hindu faith and her time serving at Micah Ministry, senior Lauren Mead explained what Judaism meant to her and how working at the Jewish Community Center helped her grow in her faith. Eighth-grader Ava Levin also spoke about Judaism and how her passion for service combined with her hobby of knitting led to her service project of knitting hats and scarves for the homeless. Junior Ana Colliton explained how her love of gardening can be related to her Lutheran faith and teachings through Sunday school. Junior Grace J. Riley made a video about her involvement with her Catholic faith and her service with Uplift. Senior and Khan recited two original poems, “The World Goes Round” and “Painted Girl” that were influenced by her experience with Islam. 

“I wanted to create a comfortable environment and a respectful environment where students could share their experiences and be heard while others are also being educated,” Khan said. 

The club also had an activity where students were invited to write their desires and passions and how that serves a world need on a slip of paper. These were collected and will be put around the school for students and faculty to see. 

“The intentions for the prayer service was allowing the students to organize it,” club sponsor Mrs. Pino-Dressman said, “and secondly, making sure everyone in the gym felt apart or felt included in some way.”