Church to host interfaith dialogue Oct. 27

Connecting through conversation in a complex world is critical.

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church is partnering with Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church to host an interfaith dialogue entitled "Understanding and Respecting Our Muslim Neighbors."

The event to help people better understand and respect the Muslim neighbors in the community will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday Oct. 27 in the fellowship hall of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1390 E. Larpenteur Ave.

Fardosa Hassan, the program coordinator at Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul and a campus ministry staff member at Augsburg College, will be the main speaker. Her husband and two Augsburg students will join her to discuss common faith roots, uncover and explore the fears many hold, seek to better understand them and the struggles they face and find out more about these neighbors.

There will also be discussions about how national and international news stories influence people's perceptions about Muslims.

According to the Rev. Kartsen Nelson, pastor of Our Redeemer, and Joan Paulson of Presentation, the dialogue is a joint project of the two churches as both congregations work on issues of justice.

Nelson said the goal is to gain a "better understanding of our Muslim neighbors and leave with an open mind about the differences and similarities of our Christian and Muslim brothers."

He added, "Who should come? Those who want to learn something more about the Muslims. Those who are upset with the actions of some radical Muslims. Those who believe interfaith dialogue is important. Those who don't think about or know any Muslim people. Those who don't know the Pillars of Islam. Those who want to ask questions. Those wanting to better understand our growing diversity.

"And that should pretty much include anyone," Nelson said. "We will have tables and treats ready for a great evening and hope  people will join us."

— Donyae Graham


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