Never hosted a peace dinner before? No worries!
Follow these practical steps to prepare the table for peace between Christians and Muslims.
1. Recruit Christians who are willing to come to the table.
This can be as simple as asking some friends to come to your house for dinner, but you can also make it more official and talk with a church leader about hosting a peacemaking meal. You may even want to show them these videos to let them see what it looks like to “come to the table” with Muslims:
2. Recruit Muslims who are willing to come to the table.
Once again, this can be as simple as asking some friends to come to your house for dinner… but if you don’t already have Muslim friends, there are a few ways to begin. First, of course, look for local Peace Catalyst events coming up or reach out to your local PCI representative.
If you don’t live in a PCI city, you have other options. Many Mosques have community outreach teams, and you can sometimes find those contacts online—reach out to them to set up a time to visit. You can also spend time at a Middle Eastern restaurant or get involved with a refugee apartment community through your local resettlement organizations. Spend time at these places. Introduce yourself.
Once you’re making some connections, look for a person of peace who might be interested in the event. Share the vision and watch their response. Please note that some Muslims are not interested in doing this, just as some Christians aren’t, but most do respond positively!
3. Introduce your Christian contact to your Muslim contact.
Share tea, a meal, or coffee and discuss the “come to the table” event. It’s important that the leaders from both communities feel comfortable with one another and have had a chance to build their relationship ahead of time.
4. Work out the details.
Decide how public or intimate you want your event to be. Do you want it to be in your home or in a public place like a restaurant or place of worship? There are benefits and downsides to all options, so work with your team to decide what would be best. You’ll want to keep both parties in on the planning process so any critical cultural nuances can be discovered.
5. Invite your guests!
You can keep it simple and just send a few texts or call your friends, or you can make it official and draft an invitation.
If you send an invitation and official organizations like a church or mosque are involved, you could put their logo, along with the Peace Catalyst logo on it. It’s a good idea to include a verse about peace or love of neighbor on your invites. It’s also a good idea to remind guests to be culturally appropriate with food (halal only) and dress (modest). Then—and don’t forget this step—ask for edits and a verse from a Muslim co-host. And finally, send the invites out!