Alta Vista Visit

Open Hearts, Open Doors, Open Minds

Alta Vista Visit

Saturday June 7, 2014, twelve members of the Islamic Center of Topeka traveled to Alta Vista Kansas to break bread with Reverend Sandra K. Moore and the United Methodist Church clergy and congregation.

The day began with a welcome by Reverend Moore. She reminded everyone of the visit the church clergy had made to the Islamic Center of Topeka in 2013 where they had received such a heartfelt welcome and looked forward to the opportunity of returning the favor by offering the travelers a delicious lunch provided by members of the 6 parishes.

After lunch the program began in the church sanctuary where Imam Omar Hazim was asked to give a brief introduction to Islam. The Imam talked about the advent of Islam and the life of Prophet Muhammad. Imam Omar Hazim explained the commonalities of Christianity and Islam.

After the presentation the Christian audience had questions including the story of Noah and Jesus as defined in the Quran. Also Clarification about the true meaning of Jihad was discussed and the Imam explained that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said; “ The Greatest Jihad is the struggle against your own soul.” Imam Hazim answered all of the questions in full detail to help educated and increase the understating of the Islamic faith to the interfaith audience.

The Reverend Moore gave a brief description of the United Methodist Church and its diverse history and cultural needs. She discussed how the Methodist and the EUBs came together to form the existing United Methodist Church.

Muslims asked questions of Reverend Moore about the many denominations of Christians Churches and what determines the differences in practice. Several parish clergy in attendance also answered questions about the many denomination in the Christian faith including Lutherans, Pentecostals, Catholics and the ultimate journey every believer takes in his or her own path to understanding their faith.

Imam Omar Hazim presented Reverend Sandra Moore with a Holy Quran which she graciously accepted. The program was ended with one of the six parish pastors explaining that the United Methodist motto is; Open Hearts, Open Doors, Open Minds, which was a perfect summation of the day’s events which joined Muslims and Christians in healthy dialogue designed to help bridge the gaps, increase tolerance and create strong communities.

Reporter: Deidre Hazim

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