Interfaith group to prepare community garden

Senior Divya Srinath, the 2008-09 WUSTL Interfaith Youth Core Fellow, will lead a group of WUSTL students and students from Saint Louis University and Maryville University in a national day of interfaith youth service March 29.

Nationally, this event is planned and run by hundreds of local student leaders, college chaplains, congregational youth leaders and interfaith organizers.

Focusing on the topic of faith and the environment, the group, made up of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, Episcopal and Methodist students, will meet at 1 p.m. to prepare community garden beds at Clark Elementary School to get them ready for spring planting.

The Interfaith Youth Core Fellows program aims to nurture a lifelong commitment to interfaith service work among top student leaders in the United States. In addition to Srinath, there are 18 fellows from various religious backgrounds at universities around the nation, including Amherst College, Northwestern University and the University of Michigan.

After the service project, students will gather to reflect on their experience and on the broader issue of engaging together to protect the environment. Students will watch a portion of the film “Renewal,” a documentary on stories of the emerging movement of religious environmentalism across the United States.

Ursula Goodenough, Ph.D., professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, will lead a discussion on religious naturalism and how, no matter what people’s religious beliefs, they can come together to protect the earth.

Leslie Limbaugh, Baptist student minister, has participated in the national day of service several times. “I have found the event both fun and meaningful,” Limbaugh said. “Although I did not know anything about Bahai and very little about Islam, by working alongside one another, the three of us got the same kind of scrapes and scratches and carried similar bags of trash. The common experience of the day helped us discover other things we have in common. After the labor, our conversation turned to what our various faith traditions teach us about service.”

For more information, e-mail Srinath at