Earth Day interfaith prayer celebrates wonders of divine creation


Tom Canuel ‘24 and Concetta Archambault ‘24 prepare to lead praise and worship together. (Courtesy / Concetta Archambault)

Mariana Stauble, Crier Staff

This past Wednesday Campus Ministry hosted an Earth Day Interreligious prayer service in the lower church of the Abbey. This is the first time the college has hosted a specific event like this for Earth Day; it brought together students of many religions. Peer minister Kathryn Williams ’24 says, “the goal of this event is to help facilitate opportunities for people of different backgrounds to learn from one another and grow in appreciation of the diversity of the faith community on campus.” The service had readings from the Hebrew bible, the Quran, and the New Testament. This event was just one way the college is trying to unite students of all backgrounds to share in the faith community here on campus. 

Campus Minister Antony Abi Awad and peer minister Kathryn Williams have been working to find ways to engage in multifaith ministry. Kathryn went on to say, “Through our conversations and some educational resources that Antony shared, I thought a prayer service would be a beautiful way to bring people of different faiths together to learn and share their experiences with the divine.”  There are many different faiths on campus and this was a nice way for each student to feel included.  The service was focused on each person’s connection with the divine through nature, which is relevant given its connection to Earth Day. Every person has different things that they believe but we can all be united through the admiration of God’s creation of the Earth and its beauty. 

The service started with a meditation/opening prayer led by Kathryn and Antony, then the three readings from different religious texts. The service continued with a reflection from Anna Gaby ’26 on the tree of life. Gaby said, “My reflection surrounded the Tree of Life, a prominent symbol in the Jewish religion. I reflected on the idea that the Tree of Life represents connection, whether that be to God, to knowledge, or to others.”


Youssef Elshaarawy ’23 led a small group reflection, which gave each student there a chance to share their thoughts on the beauty of nature and God’s creation and how it helped them grow in their faith. The service ended with Concetta Archambault ’24 and Tom Canuel ’24 leading the group in praise and worship, singing the song Oceans.  

Gaby stated, “Connection and conversation are so important, and it was very rewarding to come away from the prayer service with some new perspectives.”

 Kathryn Williams ‘24 says, “My favorite part of the prayer service was how inspiring all of the participants were to one another. We each left the space feeling spiritually nourished with new perspectives. Anna’s reflection on the tree of life really resonated with all of us in a very unique way. Personally, I was moved to a deeper appreciation of God’s power by discussions of the moon and stars with Youssef and Antony.”  

Gaby’s reflection concluded with the statement, “Earth Day both celebrates the world and encourages active change to make it a better place. Similarly, we are here to thank and praise God for our many blessings, as well as work towards bettering His Kingdom. Nature is living proof of the wonderful gifts that God has to offer. It is a Tree of Life to those who hold fast to it. Whatever the Tree of Life means to you; connection with God, connection to knowledge, connection with others, hold fast to it, and use it for good.”