Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Praying for Our Muslim Neighbors During Christmas Week

Yesterday, our pastor launched an interesting initiative.  He's been thinking about how to support our Muslim neighbors who worship down the street in a storefront mosque.  We've worked with them before on multi-faith projects--and more mundane projects like sharing our parking lots when overflow parking is needed--so our reaching out wouldn't be a surprise.

Here's what our ELCA Lutheran church will be doing:

"This Sunday during our time of prayer we will invite people to prayerfully consider committing to pray for the peace and well-being of Shaik Shafayat Mohammed and our Muslim brothers and sisters of the Darul Uloom Institute, our nearby neighbors, and for peace on earth. Those who commit to pray daily for the Christmas week will be offered a praying hand pin as a reminder of their commitment and they will be asked to sign the giant card that we are sending along with a peace lily to them next week."

What a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas! 

We spend time each Advent/Christmas season hearing messages of peace.  Perhaps some of us meditate on peace or pray for it.  And every year brings us more news of violence, more reason to pray for peace.

I like that our initiative will give us both a general and a specific focus for our prayers.  I don't have a sense of a wide anti-Muslim sentiment down here in South Florida--but I know that the fires of hatred can burn through a community before any of us have the awareness of it in enough time to prevent it.  I like being proactive in this way.

And yes, we have plenty of other groups in our community that can use these prayers of peace.  That's another beautiful aspect of this project.  By being aware of one group's need for prayers, we can widen our consciousness to pray for others.

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