Christians and Muslims are courageously showing up to love and build relationships with one another all across the country and world, and one of the simplest and most common ways they’re doing it is by coming together for a meal. It may not seem like much, but it’s at the table that fears, differences, and stereotypes begin to fall away.
Jason, a pastor from California, shared an example of the very thing that’s happening at tables and gatherings across the U.S. because of you and your partnership in this work:
“The most meaningful experience I had was sharing meals with a diversity of fellow Christians and our Muslim counterparts. It was there at the lunch and dinner tables that our talk broke from the topics of the formal meeting time – violence, extremism, radicalization, etc. – and strayed into the mundane, normalizing chatter of everyday life. One Muslim brother spoke about the “soul crushing” job he recently left behind. A Christian brother spoke about his grown daughters and their exciting plans for life, careers, and family. A Muslim woman laughed about the challenges of being a professional woman in a male-dominated tech-sector job. A Christian woman spoke nervously about the declining health of a dear friend. It was in these funny, poignant, and collegial exchanges about the joys and challenges of everyday life that, for me at least, the backdrop of religious-political differences and the threat violent extremism became at once more tragic and more absurd. At the table it become clearer than ever that we are all brothers and sisters. Our meals were nourishing, in the truest possible sense.
“The ripple effects of this experience certainly will be a reinforcing of my commitment as a local pastor to the practice of breaking bread with those we are likely to be afraid of: not only Muslims, but Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians of different traditions, or agnostics and atheists. Perhaps more so than any bit of instruction or tool for engagement, the simple act of gathering together around a table of communion is the most valuable thing I have taken from my time with Peace Catalyst. I am grateful for the opportunity to share in this ministry.”
We’re so thankful for Jason and other Christian and Muslim partners who are taking this simple and profound peace practice to their communities around the country.