The United Church of Christ national leaders and the Pacific Northwest Conference are inviting the wider church to get involved in building bridges between Christians and Muslims in our local communities around the country. Building on the Conference's Ramadan initiative, 'Honoring Sacred Time,' which posted visible signs of welcome, solidarity and support for Muslim Americans in dozens of churches around Washington state, this is a one-church effort to extend the extravagant welcome of the United Church of Christ to all.
"This initiative is very much in line with the spirit of love and compassion that the gospel invites us to bear witness to. While we celebrate this bold, public witness, we also realize that Muslims in America live in fear all the time. It is going to take a concerted, collaborative effort on our part to shift the dialogue and engender feelings of trust, of love, and of mutual support across interfaith lines."
The Rev. John C. Dorhauer, United Church of Christ General Minister and President
"The United Church of Christ is setting an important example of serving God by serving humanity. I was very impressed to see General Minister the Rev. John Dorhauer and PNW Conference Minister the Rev. Mike Denton dedicate so much time and thought into conceiving and rolling out the ‘Honoring Sacred Time’ project. All I can think of are the thousands of American Muslim children growing up across our (Washington) state, and millions across our nation. When they pass by a UCC church on the way to school or to soccer practice and see a sign publicly and vocally telling the public that American Muslims are our neighbors, it tells them that American Muslim children have the right to the same aspirations, hopes and dreams as every other young American. The responses from UCC churches across (the Pacific Northwest Conference) and beyond also really speaks to the values and the character of UCC leaders. They really are showing the country what it means to 'do to others what you would have them do to you.'"
Arsalan Bukhari, Executive Director, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Washington
Photos from the Honoring Sacred Time: An Interfaith Ramadan Campaign Facebook page.
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Synod stands against hostility toward Islam and the Muslim community
The United Church of Christ's Historical Witness
Throughout its history, the witness of the United Church of Christ General Synod has reflected a faithful and prophetic engagement calling to address hostility against the Muslim community.
In 1989 General Synod 17 adopted the resolution "The Relationship Between the United Church of Christ and the Muslim Community," that set the foundation for interfaith support and dialogue between Christians and Muslims.
"Faced with the recognition that history extends forward as well as backwards from the crucifixion (in the words of Pilgrim’s pastor, John Robinson, "God has yet more truth and light to break forth from His word") and that Christians have often ignored and been openly hostile to the revelation of God to Muslims, we ask for open hearts and minds as we as Christians learn about and support Muslims in their faithfulness in affirming the same God and our common prophets, as we discover in Islam a perspective on our beliefs and traditions and we rejoice in sharing with Muslims a hope in the principle of justice and righteousness and a belief in the peace of submission to God."
Most recently, General Synod 28 (2011), passed another resolution, To Counter Actions of Hostility Against Islam and the Muslim Community A Resolution of Witness
This resolution speaks against anti-Muslim hatred and fear — indeed all types of hostility toward other faith groups — which is contradictory to our Christian faith. It also encourages increased learning and interaction between settings of the UCC and members of the Muslim community, in the US and globally.
Our Stillspeaking Voice is a monthly issues-oriented multimedia initiative, created to amplify the bold public voice of the United Church of Christ. Part of General and Minister and President John C. Dorhauer’s first 90-day initiatives, Our Stillspeaking Voice is the product of all the UCC’s national ministries–– the Office of the General Minister and President, Justice and Witness Ministries, Local Church Ministries and Wider Church Ministries –– in partnership with several UCC conferences, around a dozen issues that are part of the church’s DNA.
Previous UCC "Our Stillspeaking Voice" intitiatives.
Faith Beyond Bars Site | Story
Work to End Gun Violence Site | Story
Keep it in the Ground Site | Story
Focus on Israel/Palestine Site | Story
Spotlight (on sexual abuse in churches) Story
Why I Protest Video | Story