Calendar & News

Westminster Has Interfaith Gatherings With Jews and Muslims

American Turkish Friendship Association

Over the past year, Westminster has enjoyed a budding relationship with the American Turkish Friendship Association (ATFA). The mission of the organization is to promote understanding of Turkish culture and to foster integrity through cultural and educational activities, contributing to peace, prosperity, and harmony as they build bridges within our community.

Last summer, ATFA invited WPC members to partake in an Iftar dinner, which traditionally breaks the fast during a day of Ramadan. Muslims observe a fast (of food and water) from sunrise to sunset. An informative presentation reviewed the tenants of Islam, and all parties appreciated the similarities between their religions, with the common underlying belief in the "Golden Rule."

In March, WPC hosted our Turkish friends for a Living Mosaics service. Afterward, our guests were given a tour of our sanctuary, during which Greg Jones discussed the symbolism of our stained glass windows, followed by a robust supper with lively conversation. AFTA thanked us, saying, "Your gift of a wonderful sermon, enlightening tour, and cordial fellowship will be cherished in our memories for years to come. They say, 'Let the beauty we love be what we do.' It is exactly what we witnessed."

We look forward to future interfaith gatherings with our Muslim friends.

Congregation Beth Shalom

Westminster has held evenings of discussion on several thoughtful subjects at home gatherings called Salon. On March 31, members of Westminster were invited to the home of Rick and Elly Alexander, members of Congregation Beth Shalom. Rabbi Michael Beals and Dr. Greg Jones as well as members of their congregations participated in small group discussions. We discovered similarities in our love of our congregations and how much our faiths sustain us.

Westminster and Beth Shalom have been united over the past few years on the Peace Drums project, a steel band for middle school children in Israel. Jewish children from Leo Baeck School in Haifa and Christian and Muslim children from Mar Elias School in Ibillin meet to play steel drums and make lively music together. They and their parents are getting to know each other. We hope that the children and their parents will come to Wilmington in the spring of 2016 and play at a series of concerts in Wilmington, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.