Healing the Divide: Faith exchange between Muslims, non-Muslims is March 21 at Emerson
Emerson Unitarian Universalist Congregation will play host to ‘Healing the Muslim – Non-Muslim Divide: A Friendly Faith Exchange’ on March 21 from 1 to 4:30 p.m. The Rev. Jeff Jones said it’s important that people come with questions, but are also ready to listen and understand others.
The special guest of the event will be the Rev. Dr. M’ellen Kennedy, who Jones says is ‘uniquely qualified’ and ‘will be there to provide structure.’ Kennedy is a Unitarian Universalist minister as well as a Sufi minister and serves in Springfield and Washington, Vermont.
In hopes to bring the Muslim and non-Muslim community together and create a mutual understanding among people of different faiths, the Emerson Unitarian Universalist Congregation will play host to “Healing the Muslim–Non-Muslim Divide: A Friendly Faith Exchange” on March 21 from 1 to 4:30 p.m.
As reverend of the Marietta congregation, Jeff Jones has high hopes for this event. Jones is expecting about 100 to 200 people to attend the event.
Jones said it’s important that people come with questions, but are also ready to listen and understand others.
“We want to provide a safe environment for people to ask questions. Safe meaning psychologically and emo-tionally, where people won’t be judged,” Jones said.
If the event is a success, the reverend said it could be replicated in other areas.
“I cannot be more serious about this: we want people to ask questions, and want to provide a safe environment for them to be answered, because there are hard questions,” Jones said.
The special guest of the event will be Rev. Dr. M’ellen Kennedy, who Jones says is “uniquely qualified” and “will be there to provide structure.”
Kennedy is a Unitarian Universalist minister as well as a Sufi minister and serves in Springfield and Washington, Vermont. Because she is both a Western and Eastern minister, she likes to say she has “a foot in both worlds.”
She is founder of Peace and Unity Bridge, an organization that is dedicated to creating a healthy and under-standing relationship among Muslims and non-Muslims. Kennedy is also co-founder of the UU Small Group Ministry Network.
Kennedy said she realized she wanted to become a minister about five years ago when she recognized her pas-sion for wanting to heal the unnecessary divide between Muslims and non-Muslims.
“There is so much misunderstanding, and this event will provide a safe exchange,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy hopes Muslims and non-Muslims can sit down, have conversations and just participate in ordinary in-teraction.
“My goal is to give people an opportunity for Muslims and non-Muslims to come together and get over their fear,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy also hopes that this interfaith exchange with Muslims might cause people to walk away with inspira-tion and a feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood.
“I believe in the depth of my heart that we have more in common than we do different,” Rev. Kennedy said. “Through sitting down, having conversation and participating in this cultural exchange, people could get a sense of hope.”
No registration is required. Childcare is available for those who register by March 10.
The church is at 4010 Canton Road, Marietta.
For more information, call the church at (770) 578-1533.