Since I have arrived at UW-Madison, I have had the unbelievable opportunity to attend the Navigators bible study. I have also expanded my horizons in attending a Catholic Church, St. Paul’s, on Sundays with some friends. Where as at home I attend a Lutheran Church. So, obviously attending a church where I am unfamiliar their traditions were extremely uncomfortable for me, but as the weeks have gone on I have adapted to the traditions and rituals of a Catholic Church. My friends have made learning their faith and ways easy and without making me feel like I am being judged. In comparison with Navs, I have been able to feel comfortable ever since joining. Everyone within the program is extremely welcoming, warm, and accepting to new members.
Involving myself in these opportunities has changed my views on a number of things. First of all, I was always hesitant to attend a different church instead of my home church. But upon finding this church, even though it is not the same as all of my beliefs, I have discovered that diversity within my beliefs is better for my soul. By attending this Catholic Church, I have been able to pick out and listen more closely to see if my beliefs match theirs. In doing this, I have grown stronger in my faith but I remain open to new concepts and ideas that seem to fit my religion. It is the same within my bible study. Everyone feels free to share their own opinions, and by being open to those new ideas I have been able to accept and add new concepts to my life and religion. It has really shaped me more as a Christian.
Having these two events weekly really impacts my Wisconsin Experience. Through them, I have met a number of people who I know will be life-long friends and have and will continue to help me in my beliefs. It is nice to know that the campus is here to support any kind of beliefs and person. With the wide spread of diversity, social, and academic programs it has been easy to find some that fit me the best. Overall the Passport Assignments has helped me tremendously in realizing that even more.