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Thursday, July 9, 2015


Last night a group from our congregation at Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church were guests of the Institute of Islamic and Turkish Studies (IITS) at their Iftar dinner, the meal which breaks the daily Ramadan fast.   Each year the IITS invites other faith communities to share this meal with them nearly every day of Ramadan.

We had an educational tour of their mosque, and delicious food, but more so, delightful and insightful conversation with their Imams as well as the people of their community.  Looking around the room everyone sitting around the tables was engaged in animated conversation as they shared bits and pieces about themselves and their faith.

My own table conversation was with a couple who had just move to Fairfax from California and had been a part of IITS for only two months.  They wanted to know all about Presbyterians, while I asked questions about Islam, and Turkish Islam in particular.  And of course it was impossible in an hour's visit for either of us to have no more than a glimpse of the complexities within both traditions.

What did shine through however was something people of different cultures, religions, political parties, races, and nationalities discover time and again when we sit at a meal together and share our lives - we are far more alike than we are different.  We all have similar hopes, dreams, frustrations, fears, love, and joy in our lives.  We really are one human family, the conscious expression of the Eternal Mystery we call God, Allah, Yahweh, Brahman, or no name at all - One Eternal Presence.


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