by Thomas Davis
In our metro area, we wanted to create a partnership between a mosque and a church around one simple idea: getting people together who have reason to remain isolated from one another.
Thus, we formed the Apex Mosque/Fellowship of Christ Dinner Club.
What Is the Apex Mosque/Fellowship of Christ Dinner Club?
The Dinner Club started 18 months ago with eight families–four each from the mosque and the church–meeting monthly for a potluck meal. While our monthly gatherings have since grown in size, we have kept the same basic format.
Our Dinner Club meets in a home one Saturday per month from 5pm-8pm. Typically, we alternate between Muslim homes and Christian homes. We always have two main components: lots of delicious, diverse food (potluck style) and an evening full of wonderful conversation and fellowship. Our ONLY agenda is building friendship, because we have discovered that real friendship between real people with real differences leads to all sorts of beautiful places!
In May, we Davises hosted the Muslim-Christian Dinner Club! With children,
our gathering numbered about 30. We always start with a potluck meal.
Muslim and Christian friends find spots around our home to eat and chat.
The kids–Muslim and Christian–hurry through the meal so they can get to the
important stuff–playing together!
Often, we finish with a big group discussion. In this scene, our friend Jihad
has us captive with his hilarious humor (usually jokes about his name) and
his passionate, moving appeals to love one another.
Here I’m getting in my two cents as little Omar wonders where my hair went!
Spreading the Love to Other Muslims and Christians
Since we have stayed at this for awhile now, with most of the original families still involved, our friendships have grown quite deep. All of us acknowledge how much our lives have been enriched (and at times our perspectives challenged) by these multi-faith gatherings, and we want to spread the love to others.
To that end, we are attempting to host a larger gathering several times per year. For these bigger events, we extend an open invitation to Muslims and Christians in our community. Because these open events are too big for a home, we host them in the mosque and church facilities, alternating between the two.
It’s always good for our group to spend time together in our respective houses of worship, as doing so helps us grow in our understanding of one another.
In addition, we have three goals in mind for the Muslims and Christians who are participating in our gatherings for the first time.
- We simply want to give folks an opportunity to connect relationally over a meal with someone from the other faith perspective.
- We encourage new Muslim and Christian participants to exchange contact info with one another and to meet for coffee or a meal.
- We challenge them to consider starting their own Muslim-Christian Dinner Club gatherings. It only takes two families/individuals to get started!
Let Us Help You Start a Muslim-Christian Dinner Club
If you’d like to begin a Muslim-Christian Dinner Club in your area but are not sure where to begin, feel free to comment below. Our group would be happy to share our ideas, experiences, and coaching!
Thomas Davis is Peace Catalyst’s Southeast Regional Director and Global Peacemaking Coach. Read more from Thomas at www.incomparabletreasure.com.