Contributed by Gregory Breland
In the spirit of the season of Halloween and the increased interest in the “Other World,” CARP at the University of Bridgeport (UB) supported the Unification Campus Ministry to sponsor an Interfaith Forum of the Afterlife (Life after Life) on October 29 at UB campus. Together with the Muslim Student Association, Indian Student Association, CARP and Unification Campus Ministry, almost 50 people attended the event.
Rev. Gregory Breland, the Unification Campus Minister at UB, served as MC and shared his own experience with the spirit world when he joined the Unification Church while a graduate student at Georgia Institute of Technology.
The first panelist was Mr. Zain Seyal of the Muslim Youth of Connecticut (CT) who explained that 70% of the Koran deals with the spirit world. He emphasized that paradise awaits those Muslims who live a good and righteous life and that the reward is greater than anything we could experience here on earth. He also stated there is a misconception that Muslims worship the graves of their ancestors.
Next, Rev. Glenn Pettway of Friendship Baptist Church in Stratford explained that in Christianity Adam and Eve’s sin separated them from God and the spirit world. It is God’s plan to reconnect God to man through Christ.
Mr. Thiru Raman of the Mandir Hindu Temple in Wilton, CT then spoke on Hinduism. He explained that souls are recycled from one body to the next, also known as reincarnation. He also touched on Karma and how we act now will have an effect on us later.
Lastly, Mrs. Nora Spurgin of the Family Church of CT presented the Unification view of spirit world. She explained that our spirits grow while we are on earth in conjunction with the good deeds we do. This will determine the level we reach in the Afterlife, which is a world of love. She mentioned that angels are spiritual entities created by God without physical bodies and are here to help us.
The panel presentations were followed by a Question and Answer Session. One question was if the Prophet Mohammed grants us access to Paradise. Zain explained that our place in heaven is determined by our deeds on earth. Another question dealt with our inability to communicate with the spirit world. Mrs. Spurgin opined that, since the spirit world reflects the physical world, until our world is made orderly and loving, it is probably best that we don’t have open, frequent communication with the other side.
In the spirit of Halloween and to lighten everyone’s mood, we had a guest appearance of the Grim Reaper (Kent Hoffman). Just in case anyone wanted to get the inside scoop on when they could expect to be checking out! All done with an attitude of good fun.
The program ended with Refreshment and discussion on the assigned topic, “Have you ever had a spiritual experience?”
Comments were that the program was good and that it was enlightening to see different faiths coming together to understand and appreciate each other. Special thanks to all the CARP members who served as staff: Ricky de Sena, Danny da Silva, Sungkeel Yamada, and Iasmin Lumibao.
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