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Interfaith Peace Walk will be held on Friday

Annual event brings all religions together

Better Together at Ohio University will gather people of all faith traditions and all ethical and philosophical orientations for the fifth annual 9/11 Interfaith Peace Walk. Campus Organizers Mara Siegel and Mailé! Orr are calling on everyone to come out to take a stand by taking a walk.

"The Peace Walk unites us as an Athens community," says Orr. "It's important for people of different faiths and beliefs to walk together not only because it's symbolic, but because it's an act of unity. Instead of letting the tragedy of 9/11 continue to divide us, the Peace Walk brings us together."

Rev. Evan Young, campus minister at United Campus Ministry, says the Peace Walk continues to move and inspire him.

"It's easy for people who give a lot to working for peace and justice to feel like they're doing it alone," Young said. "When they can come together like this, bridging the gaps between their beliefs and their traditions through their devotion to a common concern and goal, we're all reminded of the power and beauty of our shared vision and the potential of our concerted action."

To bring as many people together as possible for this event, UCM sent out the call to dozens of local faith communities, student organizations, and administrative offices around the Ohio University and Athens communities.

Co-sponsors of this year's Peace Walk include: United Campus Ministry, Athens First Presbyterian Church, Athens Friends Meeting, Christ Lutheran Church, the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), First United Methodist Church, Hillel at Ohio University, the Muslim Student Association, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, the Appalachian Peace and Justice Network, the International Student Union, and the Comparative Religion Club.

The walk will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd on University Terrace. It will end with a candlelight vigil and song at the Islamic Center on Stewart Street. The walk will thread through the Athens campus and uptown Athens, passing many of the faith communities that co-sponsor the walk. Faith communities are bringing some candles to share at the end of the walk, Siegel said, but participants are encouraged to bring their own candles to the vigil.

Siegel said the march also marks the start of this year's Better Together campaign at Ohio University. It's a student-led effort to build community among college students from different faith/belief backgrounds by doing community service together and reflecting on the similar beliefs and commitments that lead them to serve.

This year's Better Together campaign will also include a watershed cleanup on Oct. 4 and other program and fundraising efforts currently in the planning stages. Students interested in working on the campaign should "like" the Better Together at the Ohio University Facebook page, or come to the Better Together weekly meeting, which is held at 5 p.m. Tuesdays at UCM, 18 N. College Street).

For more information on upcoming interfaith service events, including opportunities to get involved with the Better Together campaign, email Rev. Young at evan@ucmathens.org.

UCM’s mission is to engage the Ohio University and Athens Communities in spiritual growth, work for social justice and community service guided by socially progressive and interfaith values.