What's trending nowadays in the news? Gun control? Inauguration? Celebrity gossip?
While the above issues do have an impact on Americans they are not the only worthy news in town. And while you may have thought that news about religion and spirituality is strictly a seasonal subject confined to December, that is not the case for the Dallas/Fort-Worth metroplex that jingles with interfaith events on a monthly basis.
This January, there are three interfaith events geared toward strengthening the harmonious thread of the diverse local faith communities within the metroplex. This weekend, on Saturday the 12th, an Arlington mosque is having an Open House for Muslims and non-Muslims to visit the Islamic worship center and meet many of its religious leaders. "Islamic Fundamentals" seminar will take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Dar Elsalam Islamic Center on 500 Road to Six Flags, Arlington, TX. 76011. "Come learn about the most talked about and most misunderstood Religion in the world. Food & refreshments will be served!" This event is free and open to the public. Spanish speakers are also available.
On January 20th, "Bold As Love BBQ Building Bridges 2" is an interfaith event that includes Muslims and Baptists meeting at Northwood Church in North Richland Hills. Pastor Bob Roberts is a pioneer in the Baptist community to host big Muslim crowds in his church like the event that was held in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of 9/11. This time, Muslims are invited over "halal" (Muslim kosher-like) BBQ at 5:00 pm. This event is also free and open to the public. It will include speakers such as Congresswoman and Chairwoman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Kay Granger, of Forth Worth. The former Governor of South Carolina, and Gov. David Beasley, who is an Evangelical Christian and a Republican who recently became active in Christian-Muslim dialog.
A ladies-only interfaith event will be held on January 30th at 10:00 a.m. at Al-Hedayah Islamic school and center on Randol Mill drive in W. Fort-Worth. This is part of the monthly meeting of the Daughters of Abraham group that includes women from the three monotheistic faiths, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The theme of January's meeting is afterlife from the perspective of the three faiths. A tour of the Islamic school and the future mosque on site will follow. The event is free and open to the public, but it is strictly for women.
These events are part of the Dallas/Fort-Worth tradition of interfaith. I don't like to call these events as "bridge builders" any more. We are past this stage. We no longer aim at building bridges between the different religious communities because we have become The Community. These activities simply reinforce the national glue that unites us no matter what our religious beliefs are. Even better, they confirm the pluralistic nature of our community as well as the friendship and harmony among the different faith communities.
These uplifting news deserve media coverage; they inspire people and give them hope for a better future.