Other Interfaith Relationships
BJC, Bradley Hills, and Area Mosques: Building New Bridges
In another of our unique collaborative efforts, BJC and Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church (BHPC) have been building upon our longstanding harmonious relationship by collaborating on an expanding series of activities with the Idara-e-Jaferia, a mosque in Burtonsville, MD, as well as other area mosques. Shortly after September 11, 2001, a number of our like-minded congregants decided that it was important to build on the lessons we had learned and try to establish a relationship with a local mosque. In 2003, we learned of efforts by a group from the Idara-e-Jaferia to reach out to nearby churches and synagogues, and we began our relationship with them shortly thereafter.
Over the past several years, we have been working to establish and build up our relationship in as many ways as possible. Since 2006, we have gotten our three congregations together for joint Thanksgiving services and discussions, and our members have gone to celebrate Ramadan at the mosque, as well as other Muslim holidays. We have worked together on community social action projects, such as the recent Habitat for Humanity Unity Build (a joint effort led by our three congregations to build and raise money for a new Habitat housing project in Gaithersburg) and events to draw attention to atrocities in Darfur. We have had joint study/discussion sessions with our three spiritual leaders, have jointly sponsored speakers, had a movie and discussion on the life of Mohamed, and have had several potluck dinners for smaller groups at our members’ houses to get to know each other on a more personal level. We have started a joint women’s discussion group, have had some joint Book Club discussions on topical books on the Middle East and Al Qaeda, and have even had some get-togethers to discuss more difficult topics involving Israel, Palestine, and Iran. Many of our more recent events have involved members of other area mosques as well. Most recently, we jointly dedicated a banner to display on our BJC/BHPC grounds to show our joint support for the Muslim community and will be creating a campaign to have other congregations nationwide place similar banners on their property.
For some recent media articles about our three-way activities, see: