N.C. Central University students, faculty, and staff of all religious backgrounds gathered in the Library Bowl for a Campus-Wide Day of Prayer gathering on Friday, Feb. 8.
Those present gathered in a circle with bowed heads and prayed for their peers, NCCU chancellor Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye, and university faculty and staff while student Jammie Taylor played piano through the solemn silence. Two tables were set up near the gazebo with Himalayan singing bowls, symbols, and several flutes to offer other forms of music and energetic healing for attendees.
The event was hosted by NCCU’s Office of Spiritual Development and Dialogue (SDD) Weekend Warrior Outreach program in collaboration with NCCU Wesley Campus Ministry and several Durham congregations. During its promotion, the Day of Prayer was advertised with three main tenets of SDD: unity, interfaith (in beliefs), and prayer.
“We are truly inter-religious,”Office of Spiritual Development and Dialogue director Pastor Gloria Winston-Harris explained. “We have Muslims, Christians, and other religions represented strongly on our campus.”
That religious diversity especially shone through when language and literature professor Kuldip Kutahara gave words of encouragement from the Eastern Meditation.
Local church and campus community members stood at the podium and shared scriptures, prayers, and words of encouragement with the small crowd.
Elementary education junior Charity Brown read the lyrics of the Sarah McLachlan song “Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi,” a piece derived from a Christian text that asks for faith, peace, and hope. She was followed by a second prayer for healing and peace from senior computer science and business major and Office of Spiritual Development and Dialogue leader Joshua McLaurin.
NCCU student affairs public communications specialist Jossan Robinson read Jeremiah 29:11, a piece of scripture that discusses trusting in God in difficult times and God’s plan for you.
“Your purpose predates you,” Robinson said.
At the event’s conclusion, Friendship Chapel Baptist Church associate minister Dr. Dena Moss Moten read an excerpt from a book of prayers by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. entitled “Thou, Dear God: Prayers that Opens Hearts and Spirits.”