BY JASMINE KAPOOR
As shared in an article by Maija Shea, MDHS held Faces of Faith on Tuesday, November 14th. As opposed to repeating what was said in another article, I will be sharing the impressions of those involved in Faces of Faith.
I was personally involved in the event as a leader with a faith representative-something rather rare for a grade 12 student, as the leaders are often members of the grade 11 World Religion course. This year, said course will be taking place second semester, so the students of Mr. Walker’s grade 12 Interdisciplinary Studies class had the privilege of being involved with Faces of Faith. Pairs of grade 12 students stayed with the leaders for the duration of the event, and lead them to the various classrooms they would speak in. It was a wonderful experience for the grade 12s in my opinion, since I was able to gain a deeper understanding of a faith because of all the time spent with the faith’s representative. I was with Rev. Jeff Ward of the Anglican Church, and not only was he extremely informative about his denomination of Christianity, he was also kind and overall a wonderful person. He explained Christianity as a whole, and answered questions that students had about the faith.
Lunch was a wonderful time with delicious food and enriching conversations with all the speakers. I was honoured to speak to many of the faith representatives, not only about how they felt the day went, but also about themselves. For example, the Indigenous representative showed me some of his artwork and we spoke about the environment. Also, the Hindu representative told me that November was Hindu Heritage Month; I am Hindu but was not aware of that! As I spoke with them, I could not help but reflect on how important it is to be able to have conversations with members of our community because every person we meet is able to teach us something we can treasure, as long as we take advantage of these opportunities.
There are some staff members in particular that helped make Faces of Faith possible; I asked some of them to share any thoughts they had about the day:
“The purpose of our conference was to expose our students to the religions/faiths and beliefs of others. We feel that education can help in our understanding and acceptance of others whose beliefs are different from our own. Our hope is that the conference is an opportunity for students to ask questions and find answers to ideas and assumptions that they may have or wonder about.”
“A quote that I would like to share with you is by Audre Lorde, an African American poet. She says that ‘It is not our differences that divide us, it is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences’. It is my hope that through faces of face, we can continue to explore our differences and use them in a way on our journey towards inclusivity and in a way that will help enrich the environment for everyone.”
Overall, Faces of Faith was a memorable day for everyone involved. The staff who coordinated the event, the faith representatives who educated the students, and the grade 11 and 12 students who listened to and helped out the representatives respectively.