November 2014 newsletter

Dear Friends ,
This is a reminder of our next London meeting , to be held on Sunday November 16th at our usual venue in Fulham. If you are in a Muslim Christian or inter faith relationship we’d love to meet you! The group has been supporting couples in West London for 16 years now and continues to provide a safe setting where couples can meet others, share thoughts/questions or just come to listen . The meeting is from 1.30- 4.00pm. RSVP heather.alyousuf@hotmail.com for directions . Please if you wish bring food/soft drinks to share and we ask for a contribution of £5 per couple to cover the meeting costs. Children are very welcome.

NB there’s a planning session on the same day from 11am -12.30 at Amy and Takie’s which is near our afternoon venue (thanks you two! ) If you’re a committee member or would like to help out with improving our services please RSVP Amy for directions to their place: amyibeeson@gmail.com
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Wednesday 19th November, 10.30am – 4.00pm

Study Day: “Being Faithful: welcoming the challenges of Catholic-Muslim marriages”.
venue : Loyola Hall, Heythrop College, University of London, Kensington Square, London W8 5HN

Registration: £10 (payable at the door), does not include lunch, please bring your own or use the canteen

Please register by email to d.howard@heythrop.ac.uk

more info athttp://www.christianmuslimforum.org/index.php/calendar/partner-events?task=view_event&event_id=220
“The study day seeks to examine and deepen reflection on the issues with a view to improving the preparation offered to couples in which each wants to be faithful to their religious tradition whilst at the same time respecting the religious identity of their partner.”

This event brings a Catholic-Muslim focus to some of the issues raised by When Two Faiths Meet, the Christian-Muslim Forum’s initiative on the pastoral care of inter faith couples, to which which many of our group contributed.http://www.christianmuslimforum.org/images/When%20Two%20Faiths%20Meet%20guidelines.pdf

The event includes theological, juridical and practical reflection on catholic-muslim marriage from a range of distinguished Muslim and Catholic leaders plus group work, and testimony from couples themselves as well as pastoral workers.
NB We’ve been asked if a couple of couples from our group would like to attend and give their own views – so perhaps could let me know if you are in a Catholic -Muslim marriage/relationship and would like to come along for all or just afternoon of Nov 19th whether to share thoughts or to listen?
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The new Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life, set up last year by Cambridge’s Inter faith think tank the Woolf Institute would like to hear your views on the place of religion and belief in contemporary Britain.

The commission would like to know your views on the following general questions:

Do you feel at ease with the diversity of modern British society in terms of religion and belief?
Are the current systems of civil and criminal law in the UK satisfactory in relation to issues of religion and belief, and to the overlap between these and issues of race and ethnicity?
Do the media accurately and helpfully portray issues of religion and belief, and communities and groups identified by religion or belief?
Are issues of religion and belief well handled in the curricula of the UK’s systems of education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels, and in relevant systems of training and continuing development?
Should faith-based organisations be involved in social and political action and, if so, in what ways and to what extent?
How should disagreements be handled between and within different traditions and communities, and between these and other interests in public life and wider society?

To submit answers go to http://www.corab.org.uk/national-consultation

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Newsletter July 2014

Dear Friends ,

Ramadan Karim! Here is the Muslim Christian couples newsletter for July 2014 .

Our Meeting Dates for the rest of this year are:
Sunday September 21st
Sunday November 16th
both at our usual venue in London, from 1.30 onwards.
anyone in a Muslim-Christian or Inter faith relationship or marriage is welcome, children too. It aims to be a friendly, safe and welcoming place to meet and talk about what’s on your mind with others who have experience in common with you or just come along and listen.Snacks, treats and hot beverage is available but feel free to bring some home made treats of your own.
£5 per couple to cover room hire.For more info, directions to the venue or to reserve a place contact us by email -or by text 07443 528 084.
– nearest tube station is Barons Court (Piccadilly / District line).

As part of the ongoing project to raise funds and improve the support and resources we offer to inter faith couples and families there will be a half day of website text design and drafting on September 21st, in the hours before the next group meeting. If you have skills in this area you would like to contribute we’d love to hear from you RSVP for more info.
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Ramadan Nights:
Want to find a community iftar event near you where all are welcome ? There’s a long list of events at
http://www.thebigiftar.org.uk/events/

Amongst others in London there are the SOAS Ramadan Tent iftar events ( organisers emphasise :these are open to ALL regardless of religious affiliation) Different speakers have been booked to speak at the Tent throughout Ramadan ‘.
ramadantentproject.wordpress.com

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Catholic-Muslim Marriage seminar

19th November, 10.30am – 4.00pm, Loyola Hall, Heythrop College, University of London

This day seminar aims to start a discussion about how the Church needs to respond to the growing phenomenon of Catholic-Muslim marriage. It is also responding to and developing the initiative of the Christian-Muslim Forum, When Two Faiths Meet.

It will feed into drafting a document to be issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference offering guidance to clergy, marriage care providers and couples themselves on the many issues raised by Catholic-Muslim marriage.

Amongst participants will be a range of Catholic and Muslim theologians and jurists as well as couples themselves ,those involved in pastoral and practical work with couples and those who have been active in the ‘When Two faiths meet’ initiative of the Christian Muslim Forum.

Some of our group are already involved in the event, but hope more of us will be able to attend. In particular is there is a Muslim woman-Catholic man couple out there who would be available in London that day and would be willing to give input on their journey and thoughts on the pastoral care and marriage preparation they received? RSVP if so .

More info available here on the Christian Muslim Forum site below

http://www.christianmuslimforum.org/index.php/calendar?task=view_event&event_id=220

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Mush and Me : A new play about an inter faith relationship
http://www.mushandme.co.uk/
is being staged in London on the 24-6 July at Camden Community Theatre and then at the Edinburgh Festival from 31st July till 24th August.
Some of you have contributed to the ‘unknown voices’ surrounding this play, which tells the story of a young Jewish woman and a Muslim man who fall in love and have to make a decision as to whether their relationship can function considering the fact that they both have a connection to their own faith. Some are planning to attend on the same night in London , (also in Edinburgh?) – check out our closed facebook page for more info and conversations or click here if you’d like to join the group https://www.facebook.com/groups/185782491456844/

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The Beating of Hidden Hearts

A documentary on love and fear from the women who dare to cross the faith and cultural divide.

Hidden Heart is the collaborative work of Independent Filmmaker Zara Afzal and Executive Producers Christopher Hird of Dartmouth Films and Tehmina Kazi. In the final stages of production, Hidden Heart tells the story of four Muslim women in inter-faith relationships who struggle to love beyond conventions.

Director Zara’s filmmaking journey emerged from her own experience being in an inter-cultural relationship. While she was fortunate to have the support and love of her family, she realised this isn’t the case for many women. The strong stigma attached to inter-cultural and inter-faith relationships within Muslim communities can have a serious impact on one’s emotional and physical well-being, forcing women to hide their relationships and live double lives for fear of exile or conflict with their close family and friends.

Zara wanted to discuss and explore the cultural and emotional challenges many of these women face within their families and communities, and find out why it’s taboo to love across faiths – why is there so much shame, and so much secrecy? The aim of Hidden Heart is to shed light on the courage, joys, and suffering of women crossing these faith and cultural divides. In candid portraits, the film’s protagonists struggle to understand their heritage, faith, and roles in a multicultural society.

Zara hopes that Hidden Heart will generate discussion among inter-faith organisations, women’s, civil and human rights groups, scholars and religious leaders, and invite more stories to be shared that might otherwise be kept hidden. She hopes for it to be part of a larger movement that brings strength to interfaith/cultural relationships grown of love.

Hidden Heart is currently in its final stages of production, but needs to raise £15,000 by 20 July 2014 in order to hire an editor and complete the film. To watch the trailer, donate to the cause, or pre-order your copy of Hidden Heart today, please visit: http://www.sponsume.com/project/hidden-heart.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/185782491456844/

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The next meeting of the North LondonABRAHAMIC TEXTS GROUP is scheduled for MONDAY 8th SEPTEMBER 2014 10.15 for 10.30-12.30at Liberal Judaism,
The Montagu Centre, 21 Maple Street, London W1.

Jews, Christians and Muslims are invited to join us as we discuss texts from the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Qur’an on the subject of INTER FAITH MARRIAGE
Presenters:
Rabbi Janet Burden
Julian Bond
Akeela Ahmad

Texts for study will be available nearer the time from:
Rev Maggie Hindley, London Inter Faith Centre
020 7372 1765

Best wishes to all!

Heather

Meeting reminder April 27th 2014

Dear Friends,
Greetings to all! This is a short reminder that the Muslim Christian and Interfaith couples’ support group will be meeting at our usual venue on Sunday April 27th from 1.30 onwards.

It’s open to anyone who are in a Muslim-Christian or Inter faith relationship or marriage – families are welcome to come along too. This is a friendly, safe and welcoming place to meet and talk about what’s on your mind with others who have experience in common with you or just come along and listen.

Snacks, treats and hot beverage is available but feel free to bring some home made treats of your own.

£5 per couple to cover room hire.

For more info, directions to the venue or to reserve a place contact us by email -or by text 07443 528 084.

– nearest tube station is Barons Court (Piccadilly / District line).

Here are just a couple of links that have popped into my inbox.
Events coming up at St Ethelburgas include Conversations on Forgiveness
on Mon 19 May 6.30pm. As part of a series of ten talks launched by The Forgiveness Project, exploring what forgiveness means to different faiths will be Usama Hasan, a London based Imam, Islamic scholar and senior researcher at the Quilliam Foundation; Catherine Pepinster, Editor of the international Catholic weekly newspaper The Tablet; and Jonathan Wittenberg, the Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism UK. Chaired by Madeline Bunting.

https://www.stethelburgas.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=624

Finally you may spot some of our friends in the latest (British Muslim version of Pharrell’s hit here
http://thehonestypolicy786.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/pharrell-happy-british-muslims/

A very Happy Easter to all who celebrate, enjoy the sunshine and see you at the meeting on April 27th if you can join us.

Best wishes
Heather

Newsletter January 2014

Dear Friends,
Salaams and greetings to all.
Here are the meeting dates for the group throughout this year:

Sunday 16 February
Sunday 27 April
Sunday 22 June
21 September
16 November

All meetings take place on a sunday afternoon between 1 and 4pm at our regular venue (RSVP for directions) and everyone in a Muslim Christian or interfaith relationship is welcome, children too.
We aim to make it a friendly safe place to meet, eat and talk or just listen where everyone is respected.

If you can’t make it to meetings you may like to join the conversation in the Facebook group : RSVP or click here to apply to join http://www.facebook.com/#%21/groups/185782491456844/

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Just time for a couple of our listings which may be of interest from the Christian Muslim Forum:
20 January from 9.30 till 4 in London St Ethelburgas and the Forum are hosting a conversation about conflict as part of the conflict resilience programme for faith communities at St Ethelburgas, Bishopsgate, London .
30 January 6pm at Blackburn Cathedral Prof Mona Siddiqui OBE will be in conversation about Christians Muslims and Jesus
More info and to book these events and others here
http://www.christianmuslimforum.org/index.php/calendar?task=view_event&event_id=183

We Look forward to seeing and talking to you in 2014
Best wishes
Heather

 

muslim christian and inter faith marriage support group november 2013 newsletter

Dear Friends,

Salaams and greetings to the November 2013 newsletter of the Muslim Christian and Inter faith marriage support group.

First of all you are welcome to join us at the next group meeting in London on Sunday November 24th.

We meet at our usual London 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 ,safe space to meet and talk about what’s on your mind with others who have experience in common or just to listen.

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 by text on 07443 528 084.

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and on the same day if you’re in Scotland as part of Scottish Interfaith week 2013

Muslim Christian Couples Scotland are holding a social gathering for couples and families from dual Muslim and Christian backgrounds to come together and share experiences with each other. This event is by invite only. Please contact info@interfaithglasgow.org to book a place

http://interfaithglasgow.org/scottish-interfaith-week-2013/

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another Interfaith week event on Tuesday 26th November 10am-1.00pm

is the Inter Faith Marriage Seminar

at St Philip’s Church, Evington Road, Leicester, LE2 1HN

FREE Seminar + lunch £4.00 per person

led by Julian Bond, Director of the Christian Muslim Forum, yours truly and others will offer exploration of the issues around inter faith marriage with religious leaders and others working with inter faith couples and provide pastoral support to those who are in inter faith relationships.

Some of the issues we will be exploring:

· What is the reality ‘on the ground’ in our faith communities?

· How do we support the religious development of children with

inter faith parents?

· How to support couples in their individual faith journeys

Book by calling 0116 273 3459 or email admin@stphilipscentre.co.uk

This is part of the packed Leicester Inter faith week programme of events which you can check out here..

http://www.stphilipscentre.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/INTER-FAITH-WEEK-PROGRAMME-2013.pdf

There’s also a truly impressive list of events nationally here :

http://www.interfaithweek.co.uk/index.php/events/events/list-of-all-events or

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An overview of the London group:

A few of us met virtually during the summer to chat and plan aspects of the group’s future. We discussed various areas including:

– varying the regular meetings with speakers and facilitated discussions

– bringing together information about marriage preparation courses and counsellors

– revamping the website to make it more user-friendly and include all the group’s digital elements

– fundraising for new activities and ongoing costs

– streamlining the way we manage contact information and mailing list subscriptions.

We have plenty of ideas and would love your help in turning them into action.

Would you consider taking on one of these one-off voluntary roles?

· Website relaunch: Do you have experience in working with web designers? Or are you a web designer yourself? We will be revamping the group’s website and need to find a great designer to take on the (paid) work. Can you help find a designer and manage the process?

· Database creation: Do you have experience in using online or ‘cloud’ contact databases? We are looking for a volunteer to help find a suitable contact database system.

· Fundraising: We have a bunch of discrete projects that we would love to see happen – but we’ll need some funding first. Would you consider putting together a funding proposal?

· Meetings: Is there an issue that you’d like to discuss more in the group and dig deeper into? Would you consider organising a speaker to visit the group or perhaps organise a meeting around a particular issue?

Since we met some plans are already in motion: a member has drawn up helpful guidelines for ‘buddies’ who offer support for individuals, further work on making meetings really how you want them

and plans for the new year include this

‘Would you be interested in being part of a Muslim-Christian group to visit a Mosque and Church together ? Come with all your questions (and debrief in a cafe together afterwards) ‘

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Mindful that many of you are elsewhere in the world , here’s a listing and request from the USA

20th Anniversary Conference

Muslim-Christian Relations in the 21st Century:

Challenges & Opportunities

Thursday, November 21, 2013
9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Georgetown University
Copley Formal Lounge, Copley Hall
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Please join us for an exploration and critical discussion of the contemporary challenges facing religious pluralism and Muslim-Christian relations. This conference commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU). Founded in 1993, the Center has spent the last two decades building stronger bridges of understanding between the Muslim world and the West, as well as between Islam and Christianity.
Panels on
Politics, Religious Pluralism, and the Media: The Future of Muslim-Christian Relations Globally & in America with Natana DeLong-Bas, Dalia Mogahed, Keith Ellison, Roland Schatz, Amb. Ebrahim Rasool

On The Arab Uprisings, Islamic Movements & the Future of Democracy with John O. Voll, Emad Shahin, Yvonne Haddad, John L. Esposito

and on The Challenge of Religious Pluralism with John Borelli, Peter Gottschalk, Brian McLaren, Intisar Rabb

Keynote Address: Karen Armstrong

Free and open to the public

Please RSVP here:
http://acmcuanniversary.eventbrite.com/
For a map showing the location of Copley Hall, please visit:
http://maps.georgetown.edu/copleyhall/

For parking information please visit:
http://otm.georgetown.edu/index.cfm?fuse=parking

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And a request from a US member : ‘I would be very grateful if you could add a request for other Muslim-Christian couples in Chicago and also Madison, Wisconsin, we currently split our time between the two cities’

(RSVP via Heather )

And a reminder that our closed facebook page has become a lively and supportive virtual group with members all round the world – if you are in a M/C or inter faith relationship or marriage of any kind you are welcome to join us there

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Elsewhere in the media:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/0/24338285 More media coverage than I bargained for! in the BBC item about an inter faith marriage discussion at Blackburn Cathedral.

And because it’s nearly that time of year here’s a link to Amy’s blog about her interview in Good Housekeeping about Christmas in a mixed faith family,

http://amyibeeson.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/celebrating-christmas-when-youre-married-to-a-muslim/

An interview with Rosalind on the topic is likely to be in the Church Times as well ..

That’s all for now, hope to see you or meet virtually soon!

Best regards Heather

Hi friends, if you’re in London youre’ welcome to join us at the Interfaith bring and share family picnic which is on Sunday 23 June 2013 2pm-5pm Again everybody welcome, the more the merrier. If weather is bad then we have an alternative indoor venue. pm me for directions ,hope to see you there !