As we approach the observance of two special Sundays of the Church calendar — Pentecost Sunday and Holy Trinity Sunday — our congregation will be hosting a unique interfaith event that puts into practice the themes of Pentecost Sunday and Holy Trinity Sunday. This event is the product of our growing relationship with our neighbors at Al Huda Mosque here on Edgerton in Greenfield.
Many of you know that we sent a delegation of our Confirmation students and several adults to Al Huda to learn about their Islamic Faith. As a result of this interfaith sharing event at Al Huda, we have extended to the people of Al Huda this same hospitality and opportunity. We have invited Al Huda to Adoration on Saturday, June 8th, at 2:00 PM to learn about our Christian Faith, and they have accepted the invitation.
True to the Pentecost theme of sharing our faith, I will share with the people of Al Huda the main beliefs of our Christian Faith on that Saturday, June 8th. And, honoring the Holy Trinity of God, I will have at this event the privilege of explaining to them our Trinitarian understanding of the One God of all.
I have learned that a common misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians is the Trinitarian understanding of the One God professed by Christianity. I have learned that many people of religions other than our own (Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, etc.) think that we believe in three gods, rather than the One Universal God. I look forward to this opportunity to share with them about this and other Christian doctrines and practices.
This does not mean that we will agree concerning the things in which we differ, but an event such as this would further promote mutual understanding and deeper friendship between our two Edgerton congregations.
After all, if God (“Allah” in Arabic) had wanted there to be only one religious group in the world, then there would be only one group. However, it is apparent that the will of God is for there to be a wonderful diversity of groups.
“Unto all of you We [God] appointed a different law and way of life. And if God had so willed, He could surely have made you all one single community: but He willed it otherwise in order to test you by means of what He has vouchsafed unto you. Vie, then, with one another in doing good works! Unto God you all must return; and then He will make you truly understand all that on which you were wont to differ.” – (The Quran 5:48)
Several months ago we visited with our 7th and 8th graders, and we all had a very positive experience. (The kids still talk about our visit.) I am especially thankful for the beautiful gift edition Quran they gave me. It is an excellent copy of the Quran, and I really appreciate the interpretive commentary at the bottom of each page. This commentary is very helpful.
For me, the things that I like the most about their branch of religion (called Islam) are the following:  the emphasis on being God-conscious at all times,  the emphasis on the infinite nature and absolute sovereignty of God, and  the emphasis on seeking to be a balanced person in all things according to God’s grace and guidance.
This special edition Quran will remain a cherished treasure in my personal reference library. In addition, this Quran and the other documents I have received from Al Huda have helped me realize that the Prophet Muhammad was a truly remarkable human being and a teacher of holy wisdom.
Be that as it may, I am a Trinitarian Christian, and our branch of religion has much to offer as well. And, as Trinitarian Christians, it is our privilege and responsibility to be ready to share our Christian Faith with all people in a neighborly spirit of understanding, hospitality and friendship.
“In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” — (The Holy Bible, First Peter 3:15)
Shalom, Salam, Irini, Peace!