Roger Williams University freshman help clean Cathedral spaces for Center for Reconciliation

On August 28 fifty freshmen from Roger Williams University (RWU) in Bristol descended on the Cathedral of St. John to help clean the interior so that the Center for Reconciliation can begin holding programs in some of the spaces. The work day was part of the RWU Community Connections program held each year during new student orientation, giving new students a chance to connect with and serve their adopted community.

“The Roger Williams students really rolled up their sleeves and offered enormous service by cleaning, tossing out, and hauling away, as well as some helping Joanne Pope Melish and Elon Cook with CFR research projects. I was moved by all this activity, as a former member of the Cathedral.

“I am grateful during lunch that they had a chance to see the film Traces of the Trade and to engage in discussion afterward. It was a good break in the day. And because of this experience, we were able to start planting the seeds for this year’s RWU common reading theme of Race, Gender, and Power. Most important, they had historical context for the Community Connections site and for their new locale as RWU students — Bristol.”

–the Rev. Nancy Hamlin Soukup, University Multifaith Chaplain, and Director, Office of Spiritual Life, Roger Wiliams University