U-C: What I See

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

interfaith listening project


I'm in Louisville this week for the General Assembly Council meeting. (I'll do another entry about that tonight or tomorrow if you're interested.) We spent quite a bit of time today with the Interfaith Listening Teams. If you don't know about this program, you should. I think it's one of the coolest things that we do, and it's a great partnership between the program staff here in Louisville and participating Presbyteries across the country. Check out their website at http://www.pcusa.org/listeningproject/

The basic idea is that this is a way to get to the heart of Peacemaking. Our staff here in Louisville seek out a Muslim and a Christian who are working in some kind of Interfaith project in their own countries and invite them to travel as a team to interested presbyteries here in the U.S. for the next two weeks. There are ten participating countries (I can't remember them all but they include the Philippines, Egypt, Lebanon, S. Africa, India Pakistan and Niger.) After two days of orientation and preparation here in Louisville, the teams will leave tomorrow morning to be hosted in people's homes, and in churches and presbyteries.

These are smart, faithful, folks who have a great sense of humor and who are doing great work in conflict resolution and peacemaking, working with people with aids, children, women suffering domestic violence. The list of their involvements is impressive and long.

This afternoon, as they discussed the odds against us as we try to be in meaningful, respectful dialogue between Christians and Muslims in a post 9/11 world, one man shared a great saying in Arabic that I want to share with you. He said (something like) this, "If it is the end of all time, the last moment, and you have a seedling - go ahead and plant it.

Find out if your Presbytery is hosting one of the teams, and if they are, don't miss the opportunity to meet this wonderful folks.
I hope this note finds you well, and doing meaningful work for and with our God.