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Monday, Sept. 10, 2007


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Faith and Fellowship Center offers religious diversity BY DEvIN FELIx staff writer

In an inconspicuous building just east of USU campus, a religious congregation meets each Sunday afternoon. This week they're discussing the indigenous religious tradition of shamanism. The week before they learned about God and prayer. In coming weeks they'll focus on Jainism, rebirth, morals from the world's religions and many other topics. This is a group that might answer "all of the above" when asked about their religion. The building is the Faith and Fellowship Center, a small house on 700 East that has been con-

verted into a nondenominational religious gathering place. The people are an Interfaith congregation, a group that wants to learn and celebrate the universal teachings of the world's religions. The Faith and Fellowship Center is a fitting place to do so. "The purpose of Interfaith, like the purpose of the center, is to provide a place where people, especially students, can come worship and feel at home," said the Rev. Hannah Thomsen, who leads the weekly Interfaith services. Relatively few students attend the services, though Thomsen said she hopes that will change. She wants to provide a place

an interfaith groUp meets at the Faith and Fellowship Center every week and is open to everyone no matter the religion. GIDEON OAKES photo

One more way to be true blue BY BrITTNY GOODSELL JONES assistant features editor

where students can deal with religious issues, especially after leaving home for the first time to attend college. In addition to the Interfaith group, the center is used by a variety of groups, including Buddhists and Christians. A chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous also meets there, Thomsen said. The center is governed by a board of people affiliated with several local religious groups, including Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians, Thomsen said. From the outside, the Faith and Fellowship Center is tough to pick out. A small, one-story house several decades old, it would be indistinguishable from the homes around it if not for the sign in the lawn with its name. Its interior is just as unassuming. An open kitchen and a living room area with couches, chairs and a TV make up most of its space. The house's backyard is a peace garden, with trees, plants, gravel walkways and a "peace totem pole," a wooden pole about 6 feet high inscribed with words promoting peace. A young family lives in an apartment in the house's basement, and the rent they pay helps fund the center, Thomsen said. Sunday's service included prayers from Earth-based religious traditions, an "Apache honoring song," and songs of

thanksgiving (accompanied by Thomsen's guitar). Thomsen's husband Ed, who tells a story for the children each week from various traditions, told the story of baby Moses (as written in ancient Jewish scripture rather than the more commonly-known Bible version). Becky Shreeve, who practices shamanism, then spoke about her religion, which she described as a "connection between the physical world and the spiritual world." She also displayed stones, liquids and other objects she said she uses as a shaman. Carol Nielson, who regularly attends the Interfaith services with her husband and three kids, said she enjoys the services because of how much her family learns about world religions. "I think it's a good way to teach kids," Nielson said. "We were searching 3 years for a place where we could come worship and feel comfortable. This has been a really good thing" In addition to the Interfaith services, Alpha Course, a program designed to introduce people to Christianity, has also started recently at the Center. The program always includes a meal, then a discussion of some aspect of Christianity, said Jay Sambamurthi, who leads the course. The course is designed to promote learning, and no ques-

rev. hannah thomsen ministers at the Faith and Fellowship Center. She said all religions are good and the center's purpose is to provide a place where people can worship and feel at home. GIDEON OAKES photo

tion is off limits, he said. Hopefully, services such as those at the center will build bridges of understanding between people, Thomsen said. "All religions teach good," Thomsen said. "They all teach a moral code, so when people don't

get along, everyone's to blame for not following their religion. The Faith and Fellowship Center is located at 1315 E. 700 North St. in Logan. For more information, call the center at 753-0002.

New York: Let's come together -continued from page 6 Mormon. Blond. Looking around, I saw people of every color and I couldn't even understand our taxi driver. There is something beautiful about walking around Central Park, an African American playing the flute, an Asian woman walking in hand with her child. There was the Dominican who served me a Godiva chocolate shake who was living his own sense of the American dream. We're all the same, right? We're all people striving for something. And it's in our differences that we should celebrate. It's OK to be something else than what people expect and even better when nothing is expected because then you can just be. I may have thought I was going to die that day, but I was most likely being overly dramatic and judgmental. He was just another homeless guy, and I was another tourist in New York City. I'm not saying everyone is trustworthy and every lifestyle is acceptable. But image should be accepted as well as people's choices so long as they are not harming themselves or anyone else. I'm also not saying that we shouldn't care about each other, more so, care about the things that are important. We should be helping each other. Forget the stereotypes and find out who others really are and what they are trying to be. Try to put yourself in situations with people who are different than you and learn as you go. Don't worry about religion or background. Don't worry that someone may never become your best friend and don't begin thinking that person is your enemy. Just live in the moment, take others in and let yourself out. It's in those times when we'll all find some common ground. Manette Newbold is a senior majoring in print journalism. Comments and questions can be sent to manette.n@ aggiemail.usu. edu

Old Ephraim isn't just a legendary grizzly. Now, a smoky-flavored cheese holds the Old Ephraim name. This cheese is sold in the same place on campus as Aggie Ice Cream. And right next to Old Ephraim is Crimson Trail, Old Juniper and Aggiano cheese. "We wanted to pick names that say Cache Valley," Donald McMahon, dairy food professor, said. The names, however, aren't the only creative things. During the Christmas holiday, Lisa Clawson, sophomore in culinary arts, said the shapes can also get unusual. "We take some blocks of cheddar cheese and shape them into a Utah that is blue," Clawson said. A dairy plant located in the Food and Science building on USU campus is where different True Blue Aggie Cheese flavors are made. Every day, a team of researchers help to create, produce and perfect new cheese recipes and tastes for the community to enjoy. Old Ephraim, which McMahon said goes well on hamburgers, is one of the recipes particular to USU. "The challenge is to make the product consistent so it always has the characteristics you want," he said. To teach USU students and the Cache Valley community about how cheese is made, McMahon said a cheese tour has been created which involves

a short film. Students can even taste samples of particular types of cheese afterwards. Part of the Cache Valley Food Tour, this True Blue Aggie Cheese Tour is a way to show people how much work goes into creating a relatively small-sized product. And since it typically takes five hours to make a vat of cheese, McMahon said the sevenminute movie shown helps speed up the process. "You can see more in the movie than in the actual day," McMahon said. With almost a dozen different kinds of cheese, McMahon said a lot of organization goes into cheese production to produce a good product, specifically understanding the process of cheese aging. "We need to have a good technical understanding of cheese so there is strong flavor development," he said. Taylor Rasmussen, graduate research assistant, said it takes about 15 months for a cheese to be aged. Rasmussen, who is over some of the research, said one of his primary concerns is taste and texture of cheese. Jeanette Raisor, junior in nursing, said True Blue Aggie Cheese flavors have such a unique taste. Raisor, who has worked at the Food and Science building for more than two years, said the best part about working with cheese is eating it. "My husband really likes the benefit as well," she said. "Once I tried the Aggiano cheese on pasta, and now I can't go back to parmesan."

from Cheese CUrds to uniquely named Aggiano cheese, the dairy plant on USU campus has quite the variety. PATRICK ODEN photo

McMahon said probiotic cultured research has even been done to improve the health and wellness of the cheese buyer. Squeaky cheese curd, which students can buy, includes probiotics as a main ingredient. "Probiotic is a good bacteria

- See CHEESE, page 14

Cheese sampLes are avaiLaBLe to everyone who takes a tour through the dairy plant located in the Food and Science building on campus. PATRICK ODEN photo

The Utah Statesman - September 10, 2007  

Opinion Features Sports Archives and breaking news always ready for you at A student loses a fender fight. Find out wh...

The Utah Statesman - September 10, 2007  

Opinion Features Sports Archives and breaking news always ready for you at A student loses a fender fight. Find out wh...