It was such a privilege to participate in the Interfaith Trolley Tour! This was a great way to start meeting other people in the area who care about interfaith engagement. The novelty of the trolleys acted as a kind of icebreaker, creating a fun and informal environment as we met our co-travelers. We had people from so many walks of life and from so many areas of the city come together for this special experience.

The trip also facilitated so much learning. We got a taste of the rich religious diversity within Hyde Park as we visited various nooks of the neighborhood, stepped into architecturally memorable spaces, and listened to short presentations from people of various faith communities. And all this in just a few short hours!

I cherished hearing individuals’ descriptions of their faith communities and of the most recent holiday their religious community was celebrating. There were of course many moments of, “oh, that sounds similar to something I’m familiar with!” But perhaps more meaningful were the moments where unique particularities of practice, belief, and history were illuminated. These particularities unfolded like invitations for me, reminding me to stay curious and to keep learning from the many people and traditions that make up my community.

For me, there was a real sense of festive companionship, genuine curiosity, and shared celebration across the event. It was humbling and heartwarming to learn about the number of profound holidays being celebrated all around the same time, and of which I had known so little before. I’m very thankful to all the organizers, sponsors, and participants for such a wonderful experience.