EAC hosts interfaith service to facilitate engagement, dialogue

Kris McBride Photo/EAC: Members of the Gila Valley Ministerial Association who took part included, back row, from left, Fr. Devin Gillespie, Vicar, All Saints Episcopal Church; Paul David, Graham County supervisor; Reverend David Alford, Safford Church of God; Pastor David Hakes, Safford Seventh Day Adventist, and Keith Alexander, EAC special assistant to the president, community and government relations; front row, from left, Reverend Sherry Brady, First United Methodist Church; Reverend Stella Manuel, Safford Church of God; Pastor Corby Johnson, First United Methodist Church; Allie Frost, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and LaWynn Brown, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

By Kris McBride/EAC

THATCHER — In conjunction with the Gila Valley Ministerial Association, Eastern Arizona College hosted a Good Friday service to facilitate interfaith engagement and dialogue. The event was organized and under the direction of the association chair, the Reverend Sherry Brady with the First United Methodist Church. The service was led by Graham County Supervisor Paul David and included representatives from All Saints Episcopal Church, the First United Methodist Church, the Safford Church of God, Safford Seventh Day Adventist Church, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“EAC welcomes people of faith to share in dialogue, worship, and interfaith education,” said Keith Alexander, EAC special assistant to the president, government, and community relations. “The world beyond our campus requires knowledge of many religions, and events like this show students how faith intersects all areas of life.”

The service featured a reading of the “Seven Last Words of Christ” adapted from a liturgy by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, director of the Joyful Heart Renewal Ministries. The cantor for this event was Allie Frost with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Frost was accompanied by Reverend Sherry Brady. Throughout the reading, the audience meditated on the depth of Jesus’ sacrifice before rushing into the good news of Easter and new life. The reading provided a moving account of Jesus’ dying words, ending with His proclamation, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!”

“It was an honor to host these distinguished guests. Interfaith education and engagement can help bridge gaps between different groups, especially during this time when the world is more divided than ever.”

For more information about diversity and inclusion on EAC’s campuses, please contact Dr. Aaron Westerfield at (928) 428-8342.

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