Forms of faith in Prescott: three voice their beliefs

Angela Marcinik

Staff Writer

There are over 40 places of worship within the city of Prescott, roughly one for every thousand Prescottonians. Three young residents share how their belief systems affect their lives.

Josh Kelly is a Prescott College student studying adventure education and outdoor leadership. He plays poker regularly and laughs easily. He is Jewish and moved to Prescott from California this past fall.

Milo Tiberius Rex is a certified massage therapist, Quaker and Prescott College student. Rex has bright red shaggy hair and has been known to sing with gusto while washing dishes at the Crossroads Cafe.

For The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints, Luke Haddad is preparing to do the traditional two-year missionary service; his posting is in Ukraine. Haddad has an earnest demeanor and compassionate eyes. Haddad graduated in 2011 from Bradshaw Mountain High School in Prescott Valley.

 

The Raven Review: Have you experienced any judgment in Prescott, being Mormon?

L.H: Of course. People are going to judge. The important thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter what others think if you know it is right.

 

R.R: How do you incorporate your beliefs into your daily life?

M.T.R: In the Quaker meetings, it is believed that everyone, anyone can present a sermon. Everyone has a connection to something within themselves [and everything], and that is what I consider a greater power — that connects everything.

L.H: It affects every minute of every day. We believe that faith in Christ is not simply believing in Christ, [it must] lead to action. As followers of Christ we try to build Christ-like attributes in ourselves and strive to live as He did to love and serve our fellow men.

 

R.R: In what ways has your religion helped or hindered your life experiences? Could you give a specific example of either or both?

J.K: It has definitely helped me. I don’t know how directly, but growing up in a Jewish household was really useful for me. Judaism was how my family got together, bonded. [I grew] up in a household that was really supportive of me . . . If Judaism was part of why that happened then . . . that was useful. There is also a lot I have learned from Judaism about gratitude and ritual.

 

R.R: Is it important for you to have a relationship with a higher power?

J.K: I’m not sure if it’s important to me. I would say I believe in God but not as a bearded dude in the sky. I definitely believe in some kind of higher power, I don’t believe that we are the most powerful . . . forces on earth. At times in my life I have explored that relationship and at times it does provide comfort.

I think it is a useful tool for letting go . . . I think it is so important to be able to let go in our lives . . . I think that … most people, especially people at Prescott [College], have a relationship with a higher power. They just probably wouldn’t call it that because of the stigma around religion. I think most of us have ways of letting go, of letting your problem be not your problem anymore. ‘It will work itself out’ kind of deal, that’s essentially a relationship with a higher power, just saying it’s going to work itself out, you’re giving it up to a higher power.

 

R.R: What are people’s reactions when they find out your religion?

J.K: Most people don’t seem to react too much. I think Judaism used to be more of a fad, in the ’90s around the turn of the 21st century it was definitely much more of a fad. People were really into it and would be really interested in it. I was kind of too young to really experience that  directly. There was definitely an ‘Oh cool, you’re Jewish,’ and now it has become much less of a thing. There is the whole political situation in Israel as well. I guess people don’t react very much, I guess I haven’t really told a lot of people in a direct way.

M.T.R: Mostly people are just curious, or they confuse Quakers with the Amish. There are a lot of misconceptions about Quakers.

L.H: Good question! Usually they say something like, ‘Really? I have a friend/relative who is a Mormon!’ People often say that others they know who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are good people, and want to know why [that is]. I invite them to come to church and feel our Savior’s love for them. Then they will understand.

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