This past year, LCPC began working with the Islamic Congregation of La Canada-Flintridge to build peace and understanding among Christians and Muslims at the community level. The first event was a Community Forum on Religious Extremism in March 2016 attended by 250 people. The second event was an Interfaith Service Project and Potluck in May 2016 attended by 60 people. The third, “9/11 Remembered,” was a panel discussion on Islam, religious extremism, and local Muslim-Christian peace-making efforts as we remembered and honored the victims of 9/11.

Since then, our two communities have participated in smaller events to build friendships and increase understanding. In September and November, groups of 3-4 Muslims and 3-4 Christians served dinner together at a local family homeless shelter, immediately followed by a conversation about how their faith and community service connect. 

 

Since then, our LCPC and ICLCF have also joined in several home events to discuss faith and issues related to the refugee crisis, terrorism and Islamophobia. We look forward to our continued partnership in the coming year.

September 9, 2016
9-11 Remembered: Neighbors Working Together for Peace and Understanding
About 110 people gathered for this third event co-hosted by LCPC and ICLCF, seeing to build peace and understanding between Muslim, Christian and secular communities as we remembered and honored the victims and heroes of 9-11 together.

The panel discussion reflected on the evolution of religious extremism since 9-11 and highlight efforts to build peace and understanding at the community level. Questions asked and answers included:

  • What was the experience and response of the American Muslim community to the events of 9-11?
  • How has religious extremism and terrorism changed globally since 9-11?
  • How can we better understand the contrast between the common practice of Islam and violent extremism?
  • What can we do to foster understanding and peace at the local level through Christian-Muslim peace-making efforts?

The moderated conversation included comments by Salam Al-Marayati, President of Muslim Public Affairs Council, Hedab Tarifi, Board Chair of Islamic Center of Southern California, and Michal Muelenberg and Maria Khani, co-founders of “Two Faiths, One Friendship.”

Response was very positive, with people staying around for an hour after the panel for fellowship and conversation. Next steps will include joint Muslim-Christian service projects co-hosted by ICLCF and LCPC, as well as participation in Christian-Muslim mixers and friendship groups hosted by “Two Faiths, One Friendship.”

On May 14, 2016
Interfaith Service Project & Potluck
Attended by 60 people, the Interfaith Service Project and Potluck brought Muslims and Christians together to pack hygiene kits for the homeless, to learn about the different ways Muslims and Christians connect to God through prayer and service, and to share a potluck meal. Questions and conversation flowed freely as Muslims and Christians sat next to or across from one another while they were packing the hygiene kits. Conversations ranged from questions about one another’s religion, to kids and school, to work and hobbies.

After the service project, the Muslim community took a break for afternoon prayers and invited the Christian community to observe and ask questions. One member of ICLCF was gracious to stand back and explain while guests observed, while the rest of our Muslim guests held afternoon prayers in Fellowship Hall.

After a time of Q&A about the experience, LCPC pastors gathered the group to pray for the meal they were about to share, as well as for the people who would serve and be served by the distribution of hygiene kits just packed. Dinner followed, with a generous spread of potluck dishes from all parts of the world. There was more than enough to go around with plenty of leftovers. Guests were encouraged by the growing friendship, increased understanding and learning, and camaraderie that grew out of this event.

Both communities have offered similar sentiments: our friendship and partnership moves forward by God’s grace.

March 6, 2016
Community Forum on Religious Extremism
LCPC and ICLCF co-hosted its first event, a community forum on religious extremism. Read more in this article in the LA Times Valley Sun or watch the video below. 

Key questions included:

  • What are the key beliefs in Islam and Christianity that provide resources for peace-buildings?
  • What are the common values that make us God-conscious and American?
  • What has been done locally and elsewhere to create dialogue and community between Christians and Muslims?
  • What are the challenges, resources, and guidelines we need for conversation between our communities?   

Moderated by Dallas Raines, chief meteorologist at KABC-TV and La Cañada Flintridge resident, the panel included two Muslim and two Christian speakers, all with southern California roots and experience addressing religious extremism and fostering community solutions.  Panelists included: Edina Lekovic, Public Affairs Consultant for the Muslim Public Affairs Council; Dudley Woodberry, Dean Emeritus and Senior Professor in the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Seminary; Jihad Turk, Dean of Bayan Claremont, a graduate school to educate Muslim scholars and religious leaders at the Claremont School of Theology; and Jay Muller, Affiliate Assistant Professor in the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Seminary. 

Response was very positive, with people staying around for an hour after the panel for fellowship and conversation.

Moderated by Dallas Raines, chief meteorologist at KABC-TV and La Cañada Flintridge resident, the panel included two Muslim and two Christian speakers, all with southern California roots and experience addressing religious extremism and fostering community solutions.  Panelists included: Edina Lekovic, Public Affairs Consultant for the Muslim Public Affairs Council; Dudley Woodberry, Dean Emeritus and Senior Professor in the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Seminary; Jihad Turk, Dean of Bayan Claremont, a graduate school to educate Muslim scholars and religious leaders at the Claremont School of Theology; and Jay Muller, Affiliate Assistant Professor in the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Seminary. 

Response was very positive, with people staying around for an hour after the panel for fellowship and conversation.

Contact Megan for more information.
(818) 790-6708, X628