Newsletter September 2013

Dear Friends,
Salaam!  This is the autumn newsletter of the Muslim/Christian Marriage Support group.
Here are the dates of our meetings in Hammersmith, West London  this autumn:
 
Sunday September 22nd and 
Sunday November 24th. 
We meet at our usual venue ( RSVP for directions) from 1.30- 4.30 pm
Anyone in a Muslim-Christian or inter faith marriage , relationship or family is welcome, children too .    It’s a friendly gathering and an opportunity to meet and talk about whatever’s on your mind  with others who have experience in common.
Bring and share food if you like, snacks and drinks will also be available.  Cost is 5 pounds per couple to cover room hire.
For more info contact us by email:  interfaith.marriage@yahoo.co.uk
or phone 07443 528 084
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Zara’s documentary
‘My Secret Heart’ is a feature length documentary Directed by Zara Afzal and Producer Christopher Hird. The film is about British Muslim women in a relationship /marriage with a non muslim man. We are looking for couples to feature in our film to share their experience of being in an interfaith / cross cultural relationship.  We are currently in production, and are also keen to hear from couples who may converted to either faith to share their story.  The nature of the documentary is a very personal one to the director as the director is in an interfaith marriage herself, therefore the film will engage in an empathic way with the very real and tender struggles between individual desires and cultural familial identity.  From the perspective of the coupes themselves the film will show the paradoxical aspect that faith can have in the realities of today’s world.
 
We’re looking for people in the U.K to take part in this film project to share personal stories and/or discuss their views. Interviews will be conducted in individuals’ homes and there is no pay for being interviewed or participating in the film.   
 
For more information, you can visit www.mysecretheartfilm.com.  If you are interested in participating please contact Zara directly on zygofilms@gmail.com.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
For Christians and others wanting to understand more about Islamic beliefs and culture a group member recommends
Chris Hewer’s video series : here’s his introduction.
I am pleased to announce that the twelve-part first series of Understanding Islam, developed in collaboration with Ahl ul-Bayt TV, has now been broadcast.  You can find a link to all the videos on YouTube on the “Big Picture” page under the “UI Course” button on my website.  There is an article to go with each episode that supplies additional information; these can be downloaded in pdf format at the same place.
These twelve articles, compiled as one document, can also be downloaded by clicking on this link or from the “Books” page under the “Written Resources” button on the website.The second twelve-part series, “Standing before God,” will begin broadcasting on 18thAugust (Sky satellite 842) and will be available for viewing on www.ahlulbayt.tv in the OnDemand section and on YouTube as soon as they have been re-engineered and uploaded.  The accompanying articles will be available on my own website, from the “Standing before God” page under the “UI Course” button each week and can be downloaded at will.

The episode titles for “Standing before God” are:

1.  Three forms of prayer
2.  Focus on salat
3.  The mosque in the life of Muslims
4.  The discipline of fasting
5.  United on pilgrimage
6.  The visitation of holy places
7.  Modesty: the special character of a Muslim
8.  The rituals of birth and death
9.  Angels, Jinn and the Final Judgement
10. The Imams as spiritual guides
11. Encountering the Word of God in the Qur’an
12. Sufis and the ascent to God

Finally, there is a new Short Guide to Understanding Islam, which is twice as long as the original Essence of Islam, which it is intended to replace.  It can be downloaded byclicking here or from the “Books” page under the “Written Resources” button on the website.  Please feel free to share this far and wide with friends, students, colleagues or anyone else interested.  Some groups are intending to print versions of this text to give to interested people.  Anyone wishing to do the same (without charge) is welcome to contact me.

Thanks for reading,

Dr Chris Hewer

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
The Inter faith marriage guidelines one year on ..
Last November  in a brief blaze of publicity  at Westminster Abbey in an attempt to promote  better practice in the care of couples like you when an inter faith marriage is proposed  some of our group were present when the Christian Muslim Forum launched guidelines on the pastoral care of inter faith marriage. You can read them here :  When Two faiths meet: Marriage, Family and Pastoral care. 

http://www.christianmuslimforum.org/images/When%20Two%20Faiths%20Meet%20guidelines.pdf

Since then the process to win hearts and minds has continued : the Christian Muslim Forum is  encouraging those who have pastoral responsibilities in faith communities to explore how they might respond to inter faith couples in more ethical, humane and constructive ways without jeopardising their core faith values :  if you’re in Lancashire would be great to see you at the event below organised by Anjum Anwar around the guidelines for an Inter faith audience on Blackburn.

More such events are in the pipeline including a morning seminar on inter faith marriage at St Philip’s Centre in Leicester  on 26th November. If you are or know of a  Muslim Christian couple in the Leicester area would you be interested in joining  us that day?

Christian-Muslim Marriage, Blackburn

Inter faith marriages are not new phenomena but for many it is something which is seldom discussed.  exChange of Blackburn Cathedral is delighted to invite you to hear the work of Christian Muslim Forum on the subject of

“Marriages between Christians and Muslims.”

Last October 2012, guidelines were launched at Westminster Abbey on the subject of “Interfaith Marriages.”  The work was undertaken by Mrs. Heather Al-Yousuf, who has vast experience of what it is like to be married to someone of a different faith, and the challenges it can present.  Whether one agrees or not to marriages between different faiths, it is important to provide support to those who find themselves in this situation.

You are cordially invited to hear Julian Bond, Director of Christian Muslim Forum and Heather Al-Yousuf in conversation with Anjum Anwar, Dialogue Development Officer and Revd Shannon Ledbetter, Community Canon at Blackburn Cathedral.

Date:     26 September 2013
Time:    1 – 3 p.m.
Venue: Blackburn Cathedral

For further information and to reserve your place, please call Anjum Anwar on 01254 503081/0have pastraol 7903 731106 or email anjum.anwar@blackburncathedral.co.uk, or use the booking link below.

http://www.christianmuslimforum.org/index.php/calendar?task=view_event&event_id=79

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
In  London on Sunday October 13th St Ethelburgas is holding its annual walk to raise funds for their brilliant work on inter faith understanding and conflict resolution.  Here’s what they say about it:

The Ethelburga Walk on Sunday October 13th is our major fundraising event of the year. It follows a 9 mile route between two sites associated with St Ethelburga  – Barking Abbey and St Ethelburga’s Centre. It runs through an intriguing part of East London, mostly through green spaces and along canal towpaths, avoiding roads. It’s easy going and should take an average walker less than four hours.

There’ll be storytelling, music and refreshments en route to give you a great day out for a good cause. Children and dogs welcome!

The Route

We start at 12.30pm at Barking Abbey, founded by St Ethelburga in the 7th Century. We’ll hear her story performed in the ruins of the abbey. The route follows the Greenway a quiet footpath through East London with the great views of Canary Wharf in the distance. After passing the amazing building of the Abbey Mills pumping station  we take a break by the Bow river at Three Mills with refreshments and music. We then follow canal towpaths past the Olympic stadium and into Victoria Park.

The Regents Canal takes us on towards Bethnal Green and after crossing Weavers Fields we go down Brick Lane, whose mosque was once a Huguenot chapel and then a synagogue. Finally we reach the gleaming towers of the City where a party awaits walkers at St Ethelburga’s Centre with refreshments, massage for weary feet, and live music.

Pre-walk service

We are invited to join the congregation of St Margaret’s Church, next to Barking Abbey, for their morning service at 11.00 am followed by coffee.

Sponsorship

We aim to find one hundred walkers and invite each of them to persuade ten friends to sponsor them for £10 each. This will raise an amazing £10,000 which will make a huge difference to St Ethelburga’s work.

You can either download a sponsorship form here or create your own fundraising page on Just Giving a simple and way to collect sponsorship from friends, family and colleagues online.

Registration 

There is a small fee for registration for which you will receive a specially written Walk Pack (including a map and historical information about some of the places you will pass), and also refreshments en route.

When
October 13th, 2013 1:00 PM
Location
St Margaret’s Grounds
Barking
(5 mins from Barking station, volunteers will guide you from the station)
London, IG11 8AS
United Kingdom
Contact
Phone: 020 7496 1610
Email: simon@stethelburgas.org
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Some blogs and reviews of readable theology books that have come out this summer  :
July 29th Susan wrote about Reza Aslan, Muslim author of a book about Jesus ( Zealot, the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth) , in which she draws attention to his rich experience in an inter faith family and marriage .
Another Muslim scholar who has just written a book about Jesus is Prof Mona Siddiqui of Glasgow University, here’s a review of her ‘Christians, Muslims and Jesus’
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
A scholarly historical exploration of some issues around the fiqh of marriage in Islam by Ziba Mir-Hosseini and others :’ Gender and equality in Muslim family law’  is reviewed here
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
 At our last meeting in the summer- a delightful picnic gathering of couples and mcm support group babies in Kensington Gardens – you demonstrated quite literally how the group is growing!  Watch this space for ideas of how the group may develop in future and how you could play a part”
Best wishes to you and all your family
Heather

 

Advertisements