Karsten Rynearson ’22 slammed his hand against the buzzer. “C-E-M-E-T-E-R-Y!” he spelled. His correct response earned him 200 dollars and a roaring cheer from the audience, which gathered in Kemper Auditorium for the Interfaith Gameshow. The event was made possible by an Abbot Academy grant and organized by Zach Moynihan ’21, President of Catholic Student Fellowship, in partnership with Jewish Student Union, Muslim Students Association, and Christian Student Fellowship.
The game show, held on Saturday night, aimed to commemorate Interfaith Week, a period of time which celebrates the different religions of the world. Katie Wimmer ’21, Vice President of the Catholic Student Fellowship, thought that the event was a good bonding opportunity for students of faith at Andover.
“Interfaith Week is just a week to celebrate all the different religions of the world and the peace that can come between them. So, this was just such a good way to bring people of different faiths and then bond over something together,” said Wimmer.
Attendee Maggie Kalkstein ’23 also voiced her appreciation for the opportunity, specifically appreciating that the religious event was open to the whole school.
“I thought it was a good way to get different faith communities involved on campus and [at] Andover where we don’t like to talk about faith a lot, or religion. [So it was good] to make [faith] the purpose of an event, but still have fun,” said Kalkstein.
At the end of the night, the top four teams chose a representative to compete in the final round. Rynearson was among four finalists who competed for the ultimate prize. He expressed how surprised he was by the sense of community he was able to form with his teammates.
“Obviously, my teammates are really cool people, but I didn’t know them as well at the beginning of the night. But by the end, we were all just screaming and going crazy as we threw our $200 into the air,” said Rynearson. “The community that we formed—I think that’s what I wasn’t expecting.”
Sylvie Archer ’23, another finalist, learned about world religions through the trivia.
“I’ve never been extremely religious, but I’ve also never been opposed to learning about other people’s religions. I walked into the event wanting to learn something about different beliefs around the world, and this event definitely fulfilled that,” said Archer in an email to The Phillipian.
Newaz Rahman ’20, Co-President of the Muslim Student Association, believed that the event was meant to provide all participants with new knowledge and considerations, regardless of personal faith.
“Especially in a place as diverse as Andover, [interfaith] really means an appreciation of the world’s religions and the world’s faiths. And also, it’s an opportunity during this week to learn more about different religions and deconstruct different misconceptions you might have about each religion,” said Rahman.
Editor’s Note: Zach Moynihan is the Executive Editor of The Phillipian.