Rev. Dr. Chuck Moffett
The PLACE was exquisite in its simplicity of clean arches, colorful carpeting, and historic writings.
The PEOPLE were gracious, gregarious, and genuine in their interaction and engagement.
The PURPOSE was to reflect, re-center, and recommit. The PLACE was the Islamic Society of Sarasota Bradenton.
The PEOPLE were the members of the Islamic Mosque on N. Lockwood Ridge Rd. who gathered there on May 30.
The PURPOSE was for my best friend and me to join with others in an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to inter-faith dialogue and belief. We were humbled and inspired as we joined in the celebration of the “Breaking of the Fast” in the concluding days of Ramadan: the Holy Month of Fasting, Introspection, and Prayer for Muslims.
We sat in silent meditation as seventy-five people of faith, from ages 7-80, joined in prayers, chants, and readings. We sat in awe of their reverent dedication to their faith in God (Allah). We sat in respect of their courage to meet on a weekday evening in a public place in the face of recent threats of violence. Would I dare do the same?!
The evening concluded with a sumptuous “Breaking of the Fast.” We sat at table with a physical therapist, an artist, a construction worker, and an ophthalmologist. The most important richness of the gathering was to share our common values of peace, respect, faith, equality, justice, and loving care for all people.
The divisiveness which is shattering our communities and our world can be healed only when we are willing to look each other in the eye and know that we are all children of God. So may it be for each of us.