Habitat for Humanity event sparks interfaith interactions

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People from various religions across Utah County filled the Provo Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sunday, Sept. 15 for Habitat For Humanity’s International Day of Prayer and Action.

For many of the attendees, the event created opportunities to interact with those of other faiths who they might not usually connect with.

“It helps to build bridges (and) it shows we have common ground as we work toward a common goal. It helps us establish better relationships with different faiths,” Truman Davidson, executive director of BYU’s Y-Serve Habitat for Humanity, said.

Attendees listened to scripture readings of different faiths, including a reading of the Bible by James Slaughter, assistant dean to student life and the university chaplain, and a reading of the Quran by UVU professor of microbiology and molecular biology Ruhul Kuddus.

“It was cool to hear the Quran reading,” said Heber Cook, a BYU student studying Middle Eastern studies.

Presenters listen to Linda Walton, a member of the Provo Seventh Day Adventist Church at Habitat For Humanity’s International Day of Prayer and Action on Sunday, Sept. 15. (LeAnn Hillam)

The event also united attendees by focusing on a central theme of service done through Habitat for Humanity and encouraging individuals to help those in need of a home.

MaryKae Blair, whose home was built by Habitat for Humanity, spoke about her experience gaining a home and how it impacted her son.

“Moving to our home changed his life forever,” she said.

Habitat for Humanity board member Tara Riddle addressed the importance of answering the needs of all those in need of shelter and belonging and invited all attendees to take action.

“Faith without works is dead,” Riddle said adding that there are many ways to take action ranging from giving time as a volunteer to donating money and resources. 

The program concluded with a prayer by Caru Das, the co-founder and director of the Krishna Temples in Spanish Fork and Salt Lake City.

Das rapped a prayer and invited the audience to join in each verse and repeat the words: “Always remember and never forget, what we give is what we get, if you want love, you got to give love away. Give love. Give love away.”

Chaplain Linda Walton echoed Das’s words about love as she expressed the need to be united across different faiths.

“I think we should rally together to take care of problems together,” she said.

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