we do our best work when we link arms with others. Parishes and faith-based schools are uniquely positioned to educate, reach out and stand up for peace. The initiatives on this page can come from staff, parishioners or concerned parents. Some efforts are one-time events, while others begin a longterm sustained relationship. Any effort is likely to have a ripple effect, bringing about changes you could never foresee but God can inspire.
Initiate an interfaith service project for adults, youth or families. For inspiration, read about Tapestry Interfaith Women, a trio of Minnesotans who have promoted understanding through volunteering. You can sponsor a food, clothing or blood drive. Contact your local Catholic Charities, Habitat for Humanity, United Way or other service organization for help in getting started. If you're in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org; we'll be glad to try to help..
Host an interfaith Thanksgiving meal, or partner with a mosque or Muslim community center willing to host an interfaith Iftar (breaking the Ramadan fast) meal. Many Muslim communities already open their doors during Ramadan for special events. For several years the Minnesota Council of Churches has promoted these meals, and in 2016 there were 19 events in the Twin Cites area alone.
Initiate an interfaith prayer service. For guidelines and a sample prayer service for peace, click here. Interfaith prayer requires sensitivity on both sides, but holds great opportunity both for learning and for finding our common ground before God.
Each of the steps listed above asks a one-time commitment. For those who are ready for a sustained effort we recommend:
Begin an interfaith-sharing group. Interfaith conversations often center on discussing similarities and differences among the traditions. This clarity is important, for differences are real. But at core we are united before God, and share a common struggle to live in God's light. We recommend a simple format that has been field-tested by millions of Christians across the globe for over 70 years. To our knowledge, we're the first to use it for interfaith conversation. See here for more information.
Develop a sister relationship with a mosque or Muslim community center. We have a long tradition in the U.S. of forming sister pairings between cities, churches and schools. These relationships take different forms but have a common thread of sharing news and concerns and sometimes resources. The diocese of Rochester, NY has a rich array of resources based on their years of experience with parish/mosque pairing.. If you're interested in pairing with a mosque or community center, please let us know if we can help. We'd love to hear from you, and any wisdom you may gain in your process.