The term “Friendsgiving” first appeared back in 2007 but didn’t gain national popularity until around 2011. Even the Colorado State University community has its very own Interfaith Friendsgiving spearheaded by Hillel at CSU.
In addition, the Fort Collins Interfaith Council, the Associated Students of CSU’s Multi-Faith and Belief Council and Lutheran Campus Ministry are co-hosting the event, with sponsorship from Coca-Cola and Everyday Joe’s Coffee House.
The event is intended to bring together community members of various faiths for conversation and community-building.
Linzy Upton Spatz, a senior double-majoring in journalism and business and president of Hillel at CSU, said this will be their fifth-annual Interfaith Friendsgiving.
CSU’s first Interfaith Friendsgiving, originally held in the Hillel house, ended up drawing a much larger crowd than anticipated, Upton Spatz said.
“We thought there would be around 30 to 40 people,” Upton Spatz said. “We ended up having over 100 people, so now we don’t host it there.”
This year, students, faculty and staff are invited to Everyday Joe’s Coffee House located at 144 S. Mason St. Upton Spatz said that all food will be provided at no cost to guests and that the dinner will cater to dietary restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free options. All food will be completely Kosher. Students are encouraged to assist with preparations at the Hillel house.
“The event is free, and we really try to encourage students to help out and join and cook together,” said Atlas Tanudjaja, a spiritual care resident at CSU with Health Education and Prevention Services.
Tanudjaja said that the process of cooking all the food necessary begins a few days prior, and students may sign up by reaching out to the Hillel or visiting their planning spreadsheet.
Tanudjaja said they were personally excited for the conversational aspect of this event, seeing as it is centered around forging interfaith connections and dialogue.
“I’m really excited to meet people from different faiths, especially because apparently a lot of people attend,” Tanudjaja said.
Upton Spatz said Friendsgiving expects to see over 150 people this year. The event is open to the public, but most attendees are students, Spatz said.
“We usually get a good number of students and faculty, but anyone is welcome,” Upton Spatz said. “A lot of the time, people will be walking by and see that something is going on, so they’ll just come in and check it out.”
The event will be held from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Nov. 7. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.
Audrey Weiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Audkward.