On March 29th, the students of UKirk UTK and Vol Catholic joined together at St. John XXIII for a Moravian Love Feast, a time of fellowship and full bellies that centered on our faith communities’ unity in our mutual love of God. At first, it was nerve racking to consider two totally different religions to meet and mingle. How would we address touchy subjects where obvious disagreements were at stake? How would we open our minds to other beliefs? How would it all work? As a student and UKirk intern myself, my mind raced on and on. All questions and all feelings of separation vanished the second we walked through the doors of St. John XXIII; not only did it vanish because the students and faculty of Saint John XXIII were so welcoming, but they, too, felt some of the same feelings of anxiety as me. And what better way to mend separation than by loving one another while asking questions and cracking jokes? So, we did and we grew closer.
As the night went on, Fr. Donald and Rev. Andy joined us together for a night of worship and fellowship. The conversations, questions, and laughs were all holy to be a part of. The best part of the evening was to look across the sea of students and see everyone come together; a group of students from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and religious traditions coming together as one to worship the God we have in common. Our love of God brought us together. The floodgates opened, and my mind and heart began to overflow. If a group of students from various ages, religions, and upbringings could come together through love to converse and build friendships, what is stopping the rest of the world? Within a society full of hot-headed debates, disagreements, and dysfunction, wouldn’t it be amazing if we could all just pause, recognize our similarities and be unified through love? The chaos of our lives can be calmed with even an ounce of love from another if we’re in the embrace of true community.