“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one.” –Galatians 3:28 

“Where there is ignorance, there is fear, and where there is fear, there can often be conflict. In contrast, where there is knowledge, there’s often understanding, and where there’s understanding, there can be peace.”  -Tony Blair

To follow the Gospel call to peace during today’s turbulent times, All Saints and Broadview Churches have intentionally built interfaith relationship with Muslim and Jewish communities throughout the region.  The effort began, as is often the case, with youth of the churches.  Youth engaged in interfaith videoconferences with Muslim youth in Amman, Jordan.  Personal “get to know you as a fellow human” conversations helped youth cross over distance, differences, and stereotypes that too often create distance and misunderstanding.  Youth continue this year in a sistering relationship and video exchange with youth in Morazán, El Salvador. 

All Saints and Broadview lead a seasonal rotation of visits to the four area mosques:  the Southern Maryland Islamic Center in Prince Frederick, Maryland; the Islamic Society of Annapolis near West Street in Annapolis; the Islamic Society of Annapolis in Gambrills, Maryland; and the Islamic Society of Baltimore.  At these houses of worship, we literally take off our shoes on the holy ground of another religious tradition to observe prayer, engage in dialogue, hear scripture and teaching, and share meals.

During the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.  All Saints and Broadview members commonly receive invitations to join their Muslim sisters and brothers for the evening Ramadan iftar meal to break the daylong fast.

Our churches help lead the compassionate and solidarity response to hatred and violence, as was the case in helping host the “Vigil for Orlando and For No More Hate, Violence, and Fear” in Annapolis, following the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.  All Saints and Broadview participate with the Calvert Interfaith Council, which hosts an annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service.

This year, our intention is to further deepen these interfaith relationships through exchanges, dialogues, and collective action.   All Saints and Broadview partner with the Rumi Forum and other community organizations, mosques, synagogues, and churches in Southern Maryland to host our regions’ first interfaith conference on refugees:  “Compassion for the Stranger: Refugees Here and Abroad.”