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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

July 18, 2014

WITH BAKLAVA ON THE SIDE

The Imam who gave a short inspiration story said he was from Detroit and went to the University of Michigan. The kids who described their favorite Ramadan food were from Sri Lanka and Indonesia and Pakistan, and spoke with the same accent as my kids and your grandkids.

Welcome to Dublin/Hilliard.

Welcome to America in 2014.

I start each morning with coffee, cereal, yogurt and the Columbus Dispatch. I read it cover to cover and often times wonder why I don’t include something to calm my nerves and fears. The world is a difficult place. I pay close attention to the situation in Israel/Palestine, Iraq and its three main ethnic/faith groups, ISIS, the American southern border with its influx of Central Americans, and the competing voices of what to do about it all.

Yesterday I was at a local hotel. The gentleman at the front desk spoke with an Indian accent. When I went for coffee the wait staff conversed with one another in Spanish and the family sitting next to me spoke in Chinese (I think). The guy parking cars was Somali.

So, the event the other night at the Noor Islamic Cultural Center is what America is all about. The Pakistani-American welcomed us. He introduced us to another Pakistani-American. And he introduced us to an American woman of European descent who is Muslim who introduced us to Islam 101. She, then, introduced the Detroit-born Imam who told a story about the heart of Islam. Finally, a European-American Episcopalian Priest gave us words of encouragement about such gatherings.

I have no words here to make light of or explain and fix the Middle East or the Texas Border or the situation in Central American countries. I only know that our country is a lot more complex than it was 35 years ago when I was in seminary, and that getting to know one’s neighbor is a slow, important process that begins with meals which break the fast on a Ramadan evening in July on the border of Hilliard and Dublin. And I know that sharing a meal together is probably the best way to begin.

Welcome to America in 2014.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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