Where Faith Intersects Skagit Students Participate in Interfaith Summit

What do you get when you mix a Christian, a Muslim and a Jew? It sounds like a joke, but this was a reality for students from the Skagit Adventist School in Burlington, Wash.

Ten students ages 13 to 15 experienced the reality of various faith groups mixing together in August. Along with chaperones Dan and Wendy Siapco and Tim Williams, North Cascade youth pastor, the group attended Camp Brotherhood in Mount Vernon, Wash., for the Interfaith Youth Summit.

"We seem to have a mental picture of each religion, and with what we hear on the news, we judge," says Carla van Rooyen, when asked why she chose to participate. "I wanted to learn for myself who they really are." Other students also wanted to learn more about their faith as Seventh-day Adventists.

The summit brought together Muslims, Jews, Mormons, Lutherans, Catholics and Seventh-day Adventists. It included more than 50 people from all the faith groups.

Youth spent time working through challenges as a team, sharing their beliefs, learning about other faith groups, discussing what their faith means to them and addressing specific stereotypes. Many were surprised at how similar all the Abrahamic faiths were to each other. Youth walked away with better understanding and new friends from other faiths.

November 01, 2009 / Washington Conference