Jewish-Christian Dialogue Continues
Despite challenges brought about by the Presbyterian Church (USA) resolution
to study phased selective divestment from corporations that do business in
the State of Israel, the Jewish-Christian Dialogue table begun last year
Representatives of NCC member communions and mainstream Jewish
organizations, will gather next on May 13th in Washington DC. There are
two main agenda items:
joint trip to the Middle East now scheduled for September 17-23, and
proposal to expand the dialogue table by encouraging the leaders of the
Commissions, Boards and Committees of our organizations to come to similar
We will also engage in a continuing discussion of ground rules of
our conversation and how we speak to each other, our constituents and the
Following several years of a University of Chicago Divinity School
sponsored consultation, Jewish and Christian scholars and leaders issued a
very helpful document entitled: “What we have learned from each other: A
Report on a Jewish-Protestant Conversation about the Israel-Palestinian
Conflict.” The document is available at:
Muslim -Christian Relations
God Is One: The Way of
Islam, written by
United Methodist minister Marston Speight is a primer on Islam for
Christians. It was re-published in 2001, following 9/11, with a study guide
for churches, written by Jay Rock, Director of Interfaith Relations at the
Presbyterian Church (USA) and my predecessor at the NCC.
Having received significant affirmation from the Muslim community, we have
formed a partnership with Islamic Society of North America and Hartford
Seminary to encourage churches to use this book in Adult Education groups.
Participating churches will send their leader/s to a day-long training
conducted by Hartford professors who are themselves Muslims.
part of the six week curriculum is meeting Muslim persons and visiting a
local mosque. ISNA will prepare the mosques to receive Christian visitors.
Discover Islam Foundation will provide resource materials to churches that
undertake to participate in the project.
project aims to:
the knowledge of Islam among Christians
Christians’ attitude towards Muslims
The next training is scheduled for Saturday, June 18th at Hartford Seminary.
In the early fall we will have another training in New York. We are hoping
to have at least 40 churches doing study groups this fall.
A Buddhist Temple in Galle, Sri Lanka stands in the midst of the tsunami
Muslim-Christian Dialogue Planned
A Muslim-Christian Dialogue Table similar to the present Jewish- Christian
Dialogue, involving Ecumenical and Interfaith officers of our Communions and
representatives of Islamic organizations is being planned.
Since the Christians who will sit at both tables are likely to be the
same, we expect that there will be significant cross-fertilization between
the two tables. As we have asserted to our Jewish colleagues that the
dialogue needs to include Muslims, we are hopeful that over a period of time
the two tables might merge.
ISNA will invite participants to the dialogue table that represent
the variety of Islamic traditions. We expect that this dialogue table will
begin shortly after Ramadan, this November.
ISNA Invites Christian
Leaders to Convention
We have received a warm invitation from the Islamic Society of North
America to bring an ecumenical group of Christian leaders to the 42nd Annual
Convention of ISNA to be held over the Labor Day weekend at the Rosemont
Convention Center in Chicago.
The annual ISNA convention draws about 35,000 people including Muslim
leaders from around the country and around the world.
Participants will be welcome to:
all plenary sessions and workshops
the bazaar, where more than 500 publishers, charitable and advocacy
organizations, sellers of religious articles, etc. have booths
Muslim prayers in the conference prayer hall
and talk with American Muslims of all ages, and many cultural and ethnic
for prayer, reflection, raise questions, discuss insights and ideas,
with invited Muslim leaders and speakers
or meet in the seminar room during the day
Please call or email Deidre Lee for registration information.
Rev. Dr. Shanta PremawardhanaAssociate General Secretary for Interfaith
Ms. Deidre Lee
National Council of the Churches, USA
475 Riverside Drive #880
New York, NY 10115