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Finding the Faith Gives Students Sense of Community

With the promise of free ice cream, the Center for Multicultural Education delivered information on faith to all those curious on Monday, Sept. 12.

Finding the Faith is an annual Missouri Western event that brings communities together to expose students to religion and help them find a sense of support during any rough transitions to college life.

The Center for Multicultural Education welcomed students in the Blum Lobby with free ice cream as they discussed the many important aspects of various faiths.

Students then went from table to table gathering toppings from each religious community. They were given the opportunity to learn more about faith and meet some of the religious figures of St. Joseph.

There were a wide variety of Christian based communities present, such as the Zion United Church of Christ and St. Francis Baptist. Other places of worship, like the Islamic Center, were also represented on campus.

The Baptist Student Union and The Newman Center, as well as other on campus youth ministries, were present for the event. The event was free and open to the public for anyone curious about places of worship.

Program assistant, Mariatul Dianah Hidzih, or ‘Dena’, had a big role in choosing which communities were present. Hidzih explained that any event happening outside of a classroom is largely organized by the CME.

Finding the Faith is special to Hidzih, though, because she first attended the event her freshman year when it was hard for her to feel a sense of community. Being the only Malaysian Muslim student at Missouri Western, she didn’t know whether her religion truly existed here. By getting involved with a community she felt comforted.

“I think it’s important, first of all, for students to have a sense of purpose,” Hidzih said. “I don’t believe we go to college just to please our parents. That’s not it. I traveled from Malaysia to get new experiences. Not only is it important to have a strong connection with people, but also our God as well.”

Through her religious organization, Hidzih was given the opportunity to socialize with other people, as well as members of her community.

Worship Leader and Hospitality Officer Gayla Hayez believes students especially need faith because the sense of community and support is helpful for students far from home. Hayez’s home church is Trinity Missionary Full Gospel Church, one of the communities represented on Monday.

Joshua Doan came to Finding the Faith because he knew there would be free ice cream, but faith is just as important to him.

“If you are centered in your soul, you’ll be centered in your studies,” Doan said.

Doan also went on to discuss the importance of faith by saying that it gives him direction in life.

This event is important to many students in various ways. Finding faith and religion on campus can help some students connect to others who share their same beliefs and create friendships and purpose.

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