The Blessing of Interfaith Collaboration

For years, I've been engaged in interfaith work in a variety of ways. I work for the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi (the Peace of Christ). Through my job, I have helped organize a couple of Fall Assemblies at which we had a panel of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim speakers sharing their faith's teachings on peacemaking. We have also had Christian, Buddhist, and Muslim speakers address the issue of nuclear nonproliferation on the anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We honored Debbie Almontaser as one of our Peacemaker honorees a few years ago for her leadership in interfaith peacebuilding through education and activism. Debbie is a Muslim teacher, speaker, and advocate for interfaith understanding. I've also participated in various interfaith groups, gatherings, and meetings. I've attended Juma at the controversial Park51 near the site of the 9/11/01 attacks and been warmly welcomed with gracious hospitality. Most especially, after joining several Children of Abraham Peace Walks in Brooklyn, I helped initiate a Queens Unity Walk which has given birth to an Interfaith Council of Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Quakers, Unitarian Universalists and more.

I have yet to meet a Muslim who is not among the brightest, kindest, most generous people I know. I am so very grateful for the blessing of this collaboration, which has deeply enriched my life. I can only wish the same for others.

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