Thursday, June 16, 2011

Building Hope Through Building Relationship - Friendship is Key

Hanging out for 9 days with Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews from the U.S., Turkey, Iraq, New York, Israel, and elsewhere; with Sunni Muslims from various countries including the U.S., and a leading American Shiite Imam (from Iraq); and with Catholic and Oriental Orthodox Christians from Jordan, Syria, Pakistan, and the U.S. - presenting, asking questions and discussing; eating meals together; going on outings; and just becoming friends?

Let me say, very clearly – sharing our beliefs and practices and talking about all of the issues is significant and meaningful; but spending time building relationship with different others is by far the most significant aspect of this time at the “Building Hope” Conference.

As the Arab proverb says, "if you are ignorant of something, you are at enmity with it (or with him/her)." The person we do not know, that we fear, is the person we need to seek out. Relationship changes everything (if we are open to being changed).

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