Chaplains' Interfaith Service Team

“This work helps us engage beyond ourselves and our community and examine social change off the Williams campus by engaging with individuals affected by the civil rights movement and the communities that remain.”

Destination: Tuscaloosa, AL

Trip Organizers: Chaplain Rick Spalding ([email protected]) & Nancy Luczynski ([email protected])

The Experience

The Chaplains’ Interfaith Trip of 2015 was their 4th annual spring break experiment in interfaith service and dialogue. All four of the Chaplains took part, along with students from a diversity of religious backgrounds. During the weekdays, participants worked with the Tuscaloosa chapter of Habitat for Humanity, rebuilding homes lost during a devastating tornado in the spring of 2011. In the evenings, they talked about their work (and much more!) from the vantage point of the different faith/spiritual perspectives represented in the group. Participants also had the opportunity to visit the family whose home was worked on by last year’s 2014 BOT group. In addition to all of these enriching experiences, trip members also visited Jewish, Muslim, Catholic and Protestant communities.

Participant Quotes

  • “I got to meet so many amazing people and had the chance to have a lot to great deep conversations with them.”
  • “I do believe the best way to learn is experiencing through it. I am very proud of the construction work we accomplished as as a group.”
  • “Knowledge acquisition can be passive, but I think the work I did helped me appreciate that deeply absorbing, learning new beliefs and behaviors, is more a product of experience.”
  • “I began to see even my little efforts having effect beyond the individual to whom they were directed.”
  • “I questioned my previous conception of ‘service’ and struggled to understand what it means to love and help a stranger.”
  • “I returned invigorated and renewed; the discussions we had about what we were doing left me more committed to being present and loving others.”