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Interfaith Events

An ecumenical study seminar offered at Muslim conventions

Join a group of fellow Christians over Labor Day weekend, August 31-Spetember 2, 2007, to attend the national conventions of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Wareth Deen Mohammed's Mosque Cares movement as they gather in the Chicago area. You will be in the presence of tens of thousands of Muslims with whom you can attend plenaries, workshops, the bazaar, and the unity dinner / reception. On Saturday there will be two sessions with other seminar members, one on the theology of Christian relations with Muslims and the other a conversation with Muslim leaders. The seminar will close on Sunday evening so that participants can be free to have one day of the holiday weekend with family. Study leaders will be Shanta Premawardhana of the NCC and Jay Rock of the PC(USA) together with Mohamed Elsanousi of ISNA. Read about the ISNA convention and the Mosque Cares community online. Download the seminar brochure.

What might interest you at upcoming PC(USA) conferences?

A National Presbyterian Evangelism Conference will convene in Nashville, Tennessee, on August 31-September 3, 2007. It will be looking at the church's responsibility to share good news in the light of shifting demographics and our diverse population, among other things. What workshops might a person interested in interfaith relations want to follow at the conference? Among some possibilities:

  • #32, Understanding Current Dynamics in the Muslim World will look at the social and political impact of Islam on our contemporary world, major differences between Christianity and Islam, and how to communicate effectively with Muslim neighbors.
  • 27, Planning an Evangelism Strategy will talk about determining where people are most receptive to the gospel, based on the Korean experience.
  • 52, Arab Christians and Middle Eastern Conflicts will look at these Christians who have survived isolation and loneliness for centuries.

World Mission '07: A Celebration of Grace will be held in Louisville, Kentucky on October 2-6. It will feature a plenary panel on Faithful Living Among Muslims. Workshops will include one on Peacemaking in Our World and in Our Neighborhoods that will include meeting two International Peacemakers. Registration deadline is August 20.

NCC Interfaith Commission to look again at mission in 2008 consultation

The NCC Interfaith Relations Commission has declared its intention to convene a 2008 consultation to re-think a theology of mission. It has connected this to thinking around the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, commemorated on May 11-13, 2007. Jamestown is seen by many as the starting point for the denigration and loss suffered by both Native Americans and African-American slaves. Shanta Premarwardhana's blog of May 4 recounts history and identifies a papal bull that "essentially declared war against all non-Christians throughout the world," specifically sanctioning "conquest, colonization, and exploitation of non-Christian nations and their territories." The question must be asked, How does this fit our view of Christian mission? How do we view the future in light of our past?

"Building an Interfaith Community" available yearly at Bossey Institute

The Bossey Institute is now offering yearly a month-long program on "Building an Interfaith Community." The 2007 program was held in July, open to young adults 25-35 years of age. It gathered about 30 Christians, Jews, and Muslims from around the world for formal lectures, group visits to places of worship, workshops, group discussions, common living, recreation, and meditation. The posted question for them was, "How can we affirm our identity as Muslims, Jews and Christians not in separation or against each other but in relation to one another?"  A significant report on the event brings promise for good things to come, especially because the encounter is not only of different faiths but of different lived experiences around the world. After one presentation, a Muslim Kenyan spoke about fear of being proselytized while a Christian Pakistani asked how dialogue can happen when "partners are not equal in any sense." The young adults were surprised by their common experience of finding that their religious institutions are so enmeshed with tradition that they cannot meet today's experience. The news story on the the program describes Nicole Wood, an American Methodist, as one of the participants.

Upcoming events

  • NCC Interfaith Relations Commission, September 20-22, 2007, Detroit, Michigan
  • International Day of Prayer for Peace, September 21, 2007
  • Encuentro Interreligioso Mundial del Forum Monterrey 2007, planned by the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions, September 21-24, 2007, Monterrey, Mexico
  • Interfaith Youth Work leader conference: "Crossing the Faith Line," Interfaith Youth Core 5th National Conference, October 28-30, 2007
  • NAINConnect, July 25-29, 2008, San Francisco, California

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