Upcoming Tours in UK and Germany

Meeting with Religious Leaders, Cambridge Chaplain and AR Peacemaker Rabbi Mordechai Zeller, speaking at a Prison, offering programs at various Universities for National Interfaith Week, and meeting with Syrian Refugees living in London, Sheikh Ghassan Manasra and Anna Less of the Abrahamic Reunion will be touring the UK November 7th – November 18th.  This is the 4th speaking tour to the UK by the Abrahamic Reunion in the last two years, where a new AR UK nonprofit is being registered.

From November 21 – December 3rd, Sheikh Ghassan will be going on to tour Germany where he will be offering evening programs across the country as well as a 1-day Peace Facilitator Training program, organized by AR Germany.

For more information, contact england@abrahamicreunion.org for the UK tour, and germany@abrahamicreunion.org for the Germany tour.

UK Speaking Tour (Nov. 7 – Nov. 18):

  • 7.11 – Aylesbury: Talk at Springhill Prison
  • 9.11 – Cambridge University: “Mystical Teachings of Abraham”
  • 10.11 – Finchly: Shabbat Dinner with the Abrahamic Reunion – “How the Teachings of Abraham have influenced Judaism, Christianity and Islam” with Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg
  • 12.11 – Uxbridge: National Interfaith Week’s “Women of Faith Standing Together”
  • 13.11 – Oxford University: Scriptural Reasoning study group
  • 15.11 – Leeds University: Interfaith event and Universal Worship
  • 16.11 – Bristol University: Interfaith group evening meeting
  • 16.11 – Cardiff University: Presentation
  • 18.11 – London: Joint presentation with Judith Watts for Ruach Chavaruh
  • 19.11 – Interfaith Dinner with Syrian refugees

 

Germany Speaking Tour (Nov.21 – Dec. 3):

  • 21.11 – Wetzlar: “Friedlicher Islam” – Vortrag und Dialog
  • 22.11 – Darmstadt: “Shalom, Salam” – Religiöse Friedensarbeit im Heiligen Land
  • 23.11 – Heppenheim: “Shalom, Salam” – Religiöse Friedensarbeit im Heiligen Land
  • 24.11 – Mannheim-Seckenheim: Sufi Mystik und Zhikr
  • 25.11 – Mannheim-Seckenheim: Peacemaker Workshop – “Frieden schaffen in einer zerbrechenden Welt”
  • 26.11 – Mühltal: “Shalom, Salam” – Religiöse Friedensarbeit im Heiligen Land
  • 27.11 – Freiburg/Breisgau: “Friedlicher Islam” – Vortrag und Dialog
  • 30.11 – Freiburg/Breisgau: “Die Macht des Friedens” – Sufi-Mystik und Zhikr
  • 1.12- München: “Die Macht des Friedens” – Sufi-Mystik und Zhikr
  • 3.12: Wargolshausen: Sufi-Mystik, Zhikr und Dialog


October’s Praying Together in Jerusalem Event

Fifty people gathered together on Thursday, October 26th for the monthly Praying Together in Jerusalem event, held at the Museum of Islamic Art in Jerusalem.  Jews, Christians, and Muslims prayed side by side in their own prayer circles, then united in one large circle at the end. This month, the prayers marked the opening of “Interfaith Encounter Day,” an annual event by the Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


“Religion and Modernity” – Sarasota Discussion Group

Rabbi Geoff Huntting talks about modernity from the perspective of Reform Judaism

On Wednesday, October 25th, about 40 Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Sufis gathered to discuss the topic “Religion and Modernity.” The event was held at the Islamic Society of Sarasota. Representatives from each of the faiths brought sources about their religion’s perspectives on modernity.

Rabbi Geoff Huntting spoke from a Jewish perspective and talked about how different branches of Judaism evolved as different responses to modernity, especially during the Enlightenment. He explained that “all of Modern Orthodoxy, the Conservative movement, the Reform movement, Reconstructionist movement, all were a response to 19th century modernity and the challenges of the societies where Jews lived.” Rabbi Geoff also brought up the question of balance between modernization and maintaining identity.

People share from their faith traditions

Mary McNeill Homola told everyone about Gaudium et Spes, which was written by the Second Vatican Council in 1965. The document is also known as “Joy and Hope in the Modern World.” It was the Catholic Church’s response to modernity. It outlines the social responsibilities of Catholics in the modern world, saying “Help us see that rights and responsibilities are universal and critical to the ongoing creation of the common good.” It calls on everyone to “be concerned about the common good.”

Sheikh Ghassan Manasra watches as Imam Mohamed speaks with his group

Sheikh Ghassan Manasra spoke about how Islam has evolved in response to modernity, using the banks as an example. Because usury is forbidden in Islam, Muslims could not have bank accounts that accumulated interest. To adapt to the modern world, new banks were created for Muslims. It was also decided that Muslims could use other banks, as long as they set up their accounts to not accumulate interest

David Less pointed out every religion thought of itself as the modern religion when it began, and that the interfaith movement is modern religion. He asked everyone, “what’s the religion of today? In my eye, what we’re doing here, this is the religion of today. This is the modern religion. We each believe in the way our soul pulls us to believe. And yet, when we sit here, we feel the presence of God.”

Zeze Manasra shares her experiences with her small group

Finally, Anna Less shared a Sufi perspective. She read from the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Kahn, who said “If there is any coming religion, a new religion to come, it will be this religion, the religion of the heart.” She shared that the past, present, and future are all connected and affect each other.

When each representative had shared from their faith tradition, everyone broke into small groups of five or six people for intimate discussion. Sheikh Ghassan stopped to facilitate and spend some time with each group before everyone came back together.

People listen as a small group shares what they discussed

After 40 minutes of deep discussion, people rejoined as a large group again. Members from each small group shared what their group had discussed and the insights they had come to. Everyone then enjoyed some delicious hummus and cakes prepared by Sheikha Laila Manasra to close a night full of learning and connection.

Thanks to Imam Mohamad and ISSB (Sarasota Muslim Community) for hosting the discussion on “Religion and Modernity”.


International Day of Peace in Gaza

On September 21, 2017, International Day of Peace, the Abrahamic Reunion held a workshop on love and peace called “Children for Peace”. The workshop covered a range of topics, including peace, freedom, and combating violence and extremism. The workshop emphasized how important it is to accept people who are different and taught the children to love their neighbors no matter what religion they are. The event was organized by Marwan Seyam, the AR’s Gaza coordinator.

The children hold up signs for peace and URI MENA (United Religions Initiative – Middle East/North Africa)

 

Everyone joins in a discussion circle together

 

Children working together

 

Marwan Seyam and the children from the workshop