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Interfaith Open House:
An Invitation to You and Your Congregation

We invite you to open the doors of your church and extend an “Open House” welcome to neighboring Muslims at a time you designate in early September this year, as a way to commemorate September 11, 2001.

In the days following the tragic events of last September, the doors of many of our houses of worship were opened, as people who were looking for comfort and meaning sought out places to reflect and to gather with others to pray. During those days, responsible leaders reminded us that it was a group of Islamist terrorists, and not Islam nor ordinary American Muslims, that had attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Interfaith services and public programs were held. Many mosques and Islamic centers around the country held Open Houses, inviting the wider community to come to know them. 

It is fitting for Christians to commemorate September 11th by once again opening places of worship and hospitality. This simple act, extended to Muslims living in or near our communities, can begin building understanding and peace, which is a strong Christian response to terrorist acts designed to sow fear and division.

Is This a Project for Your Congregation?

As you decide whether to hold an Open House, "take the pulse" of  your congregation, and determine if this particular expression of hospitality fits within your educational and mission priorities.

The Interfaith Relations Commission of the National Council of Churches of Christ (USA) has prepared these materials to help you think about, and carry out, an Open House for Muslim neighbors.  Click the links below to view all of the sections of this guide:

All of this material may be downloaded, copied and used freely, with credit to National Council of Churches, USA. Copies are not to be sold.   Links to helpful web sites are included at various points.  Our hope is that it will give you enough of a framework to help you evaluate whether or not to hold an open house, and, if so, to plan it thoughtfully and enjoy what God may bring to life through it!

If you are planning an interfaith open house, please let us know!  Send an e-mail to Jay Rock at jrock@ncccusa.org.  Thank you!

NCC Interfaith Relations Home Page

National Council of Churches Home Page