newsletter april 2010

 

Welcome to the april newsletter of the Christian Muslim marriage support group.     We hope you and your dear ones are well  wherever you are, and if you are in the UK, that we may see you at one of the regular group events in Southall :

The dates are:

April 25th
June 27th
September 26th
November 28th

The first meeting is next Sunday (April 25th) and is an opportunity to meet others, sample some Southall hospitality and also feed your priorities into the programme for the rest of the year.

Would be grateful if you could RSVP  so as to give us an idea of numbers,  and to get directions.  We start at 11.30.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Calling Birmingham members !    A Muslim woman married to a Hindu husband in Birmingham is keen to meet up with other ladies in Birmingham. Interested?  Contact me.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Here’s a few listings we’ve received and links to do with all things Muslim and Christian which may be of interest:

 

 

from the Christian Muslim forum :

Triple First for Forum!

The first week of Spring was the impetus for three events organised by the Christian Muslim Forum which took us from Lambeth Palace to Oxford via Brixton.

Scholars Dialogue

We began the week with a seminar kindly hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Christian and Muslim scholars looked at whether dialogue can really deal with differences without avoidance or compromise.  Is it critical for a society of many faiths, a waste of time, or impossible for those who are committed to their own faith? The key speakers were the Archbishop of Canterbury and Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad of Cambridge University. The Archbishop asked whether in dialogue questions are being asked that we wouldn’t have thought of asking ourselves. He went on to say that, ‘Every human face is worth attending to, every human voice is worth hearing … how much more so when we see another human face and hear another human voice turned towards God?’ He described really listening to each other as ‘dialogue at its best’.  Dialogue can be a ‘God given means of discovery’, we can ‘start questioning our own questions’. He said that it is not easy to find a space that we can inhabit together. This last observation inspired us for the rest of the week.

Bread and Soup in Brixton

Inspired by Christian Aid’s ‘Super Soup‘ Lent campaign  we held our first local event in London to meet with our neighbours, learn about Christian-Muslim relationships and find out how the Forum could be useful. Donations from the day are being divided equally between Christian Aid and its partner Islamic Relief, they have been working together for a number of years to enable them to better provide aid and support to all those who need it. Before the food we opened with the inspiring film ‘The Imam and the Pastor‘, a story of inter faith violence and reconciliation from Nigeria. After delicious Eritrean food, we were excited to learn of a number of South London initiatives: ‘Faithful Friends’ (a continuing group of those who have taken the Understanding Islam course), ‘Conversations of the Soul‘ and South London Citizens, bringing together Christians, Muslims and people of other faiths . A range of people – Christian, Muslim and Buddhist – were interested in building better local relationships and friendships, especially between young people. There was much interest in being part of an ongoing initiative and in the Christian Muslim Forum’s Mosque-Church Twinning project.

Family Matters

The picture was even more mixed in Oxford where a number of people who joined us for lunch and conversation were in mixed faith marriages. There was a real bustle as people queued up for lunch at our first Oxford event. Inspired by our 2008 family conference, led by our Family specialists – Humera Khan and Heather al-Yousuf – we broke into smaller groups to explore:

  • Faith and mental health
  • Faith and caring for the elderly, the vulnerable, and the lonely
  • Bridging the generations
  • Faith: “too hot to handle”, divisive or a reminder of what we share?
  • Faith, fear and stereotypes
  • Oxford connections – local resources, local action

Some of the interesting discussions were around:

  • Polygamy and living together outside marriage
  • Does religion help or hinder mental illness?
  • Being more aware of young people’s needs
  • The importance of breaking stereotypes
  • Talking about dying and the role of carers
  • How can we extend our neighbourliness?

Our concluding reflections highlighted the ‘happy blend of friendship and issues’ and how together we should find ways of developing and exploring both.

Comments from Oxford friends:

  • Very open, sincere and hopeful environment
  • I enjoyed it a lot – loved the stimulus of meeting new people and focusing on ‘issues’
  • A very rare opportunity to listen to people who clearly break the mould of stereotypes

We look forward to developing all three of these initiatives both nationally and locally. Thanks to everyone who took part and supported us during the week.

http://www.christianmuslimforum.org/subpage.asp?id=399&mainid=20&

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

From St Ethelburgas:

http://stethelburgasstory.blogspot.com/2010/03/coming-soon-narrative-resource-and.html

 

 

“At the moment we are working hard on a new resource – What’s your story: The St Ethelburga’s guide to narrative and story as tools for community building. This includes over fifteen different methods which can be used to bring people together and facilitate the building of relationships across different identities. These methods have been collected from around the UK and internationally, from practitioners in peace-building, community cohesion and healing from conflict. Each method will include a case-study and useful links. [If you use a method that perhaps we won’t have come across – please get in touch!] The resource will be published and launched in early autumn. The aim is to increase awareness of narrative and story methods (particularly for those working in the interfaith arena), to showcase some of the fascinating work that is going on in this field, and to give pointers towards best practice.

Alongside this, we are cooking up big ideas for a follow up to the very successful Sea of Stories performances that were held at places of worship around London during National Interfaith Week last November. Our six, fabulous, faith-based storytellers worked beautifully together, and our hope is to capture that chemistry, and the new cross-faith relationships that were formed, and find a way to take that forward and share it with more faith communities. Traditional story can be a great way to share our faith with others – we all love to hear stories – and faith based stories reveal a huge amount about belief, perspective, history, and culture – but we take it in effortlessly in such an enjoyable way
Also in the pipeline is an idea for two local community-based story projects. It is not uncommon in the more diverse parts of London, for there to be many different faith communities and diaspora groups living alongside each other but rarely interacting. We want to try out personal narrative and story to bring neighbours together, give opportunities for people to hear snippets of each others life stories, to understand each others histories and priorities in life, and begin to build relationships across these silent walls. We have several tools in the toolkit that we can apply to this aim, such as humanity cafe, living libraries, community ceilidhs, events for parents, story skills workshops, and faith-based traditional story performances. We will keep you posted on how this idea develops!

Finally, in case you didn’t know already, the Society for Storytelling www.sfs.org.uk have created a special interest group for storytellers involved with faith and religion. This group meets in the Tent at St Ethelburga’s every couple of months, and also helps to create our open floor story-sharing nights in the Tent (the last of which was headed up beautifully by Rachel Rose Reid telling stories of heroes and heroines). If you’d like more info about this group, please get in touch.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

From the BBC Asian Network

NIHAL’S ASIAN NETWORK ELECTION SPECIAL

Friday 23 April, London

 

Join the debate as BBC Asian Network gives YOU the chance to take part in a programme that will question a panel of politicians in the run up to the General Election. The panel includes; Ajmal Masroor (Liberal Democrats), Priti Patel (Conservative), Sadiq Khan (Labour). If you’d like to be part of a selected audience at a London venue on 23rd April 2010, fill in the form now. Your response will be completely confidential, but it will enable us to invite a balanced cross-section of people.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork/nihal/election.shtml

 

We will contact as many applicants as possible prior to the programme but apologise if we are unable to call everyone. If you hear nothing from us please assume that on this occasion your application has not been successful.

 

plus BBC STRATEGY REVIEW

 

Have your say on the proposed changes to BBC Asian Network.

https://consultations.external.bbc.co.uk/departments/bbc/bbc-strategy-review/consultation/consult_view

 

………………………………………………………………………………..

Coming up at the London Interfaith Centre

http://londoninterfaith.org.uk/

Religion UK: Sunday 9 May 2010 3-5pm The well-known academic Alan Le Grys will come to us for his now annual visit. Alan will give us an overview update on current UK ideological and religious issues, trends and figures. His visits are always greatly appreciated. Do arrive in good time to be assured of a seat. Further information info@londoninterfaith.org.uk

Book Group: Monday 10 May 2010 12.05-1pm Book choice for May: The Word of God by Keith Ward. All welcome – but RSVP essential to info@londoninterfaith.org.uk

Shariah Law, British Law and the Archbishop: The Case Sunday 23 May, 3-5pm. Since the Archishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, gave the Royal Courts of Justice Lecture in 2008, there has been an upsurge of interest in Shariah law. What is Shariah law, how is it viewed in Islam, what are its implications, why did the Archbishop’s comments on its relationship to UK law cause such controversy? These and other questions are explored by Jack Harris, who is an Anglican priest, a qualified barrister and an interfaith specialist, working freelance.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

MECO Oxford is pleased to invite you and your friends to our April Monthly Forum. It takes place at 4pm on Sunday, 25th April 2010 at the North Oxford Association (next to Ferry Swimming Pool, Diamond Place, Oxford OX3 9ED).

This month’s special guest speaker is the much acclaimed SAIRA KHAN, who first came to national prominence following her feisty and assertive appearance on BBC’s Apprentice Programme in 2005. Ms Khan who is a successful and integrated Muslim entrepreneur will speak on the topical subject of BRITISH MUSLIM WOMEN – PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Harvard Massachussetts USA:  Contemporary Muslim Voices in the Arts and Literatures

The Second Annual Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program Conference

On April 17-18, 2010, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University will host its annual conference, Contemporary Muslim Voices in the Arts and Literatures.

 

Saturday April 17th 9:00am ‐ 6:30pm and Sunday, April 18th from 9:00am ‐ 3:00pm.

 

at the Barker Center at Harvard University, in the Thompson Room.

 

The conference is open to the public, there is no need to register.

http://www.contemporarymuslimvoices.com/

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

And these are some internet resources:

 

http://northwestern.news21.com/2009/08/27/navigating-the-twists-and-turns-of-interfaith-marriage/

by Leslie Patton : a you tube interview and timely advice from a long-married Jewish-Catholic couple.

*********************************************************************

 

‘We could both be wrong about God’: Mehdi Hasan of the New Statesman and Dr Ida Glaser of the Centre for Christian Muslim studies (Oxford) dialogue at the Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/video/2010/apr/02/islam-christianity-religion

http://www.cmcsoxford.org.uk/home.php?home=yes

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Just out Pew forum major survey of religion in Africa  ‘ Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa’

http://pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=515

 

Best wishes to you all

Heather

Advertisements