Month: July 2016

A Listening Tour

Terry has had a lot going on lately. Change in jobs on the way. Father going into assisted living. Daughters graduating.
I have realized that I need to start Neighbors in Faith not by talking but by listening.
I am going to spend the first six months of Neighbors in Faith by listening to different Muslim and Christian communities, as well as those of other faiths. I want to listen to what people are thinking and wondering, to listen to what is working to build stronger neighbors and stronger neighborhoods. As I listen, I will begin to write down what I am learning and how we can move together to become neighbors – to learn that we don’t have to be the same or believe the same, but to love God more than our religions and our neighbors as we love ourselves.
So I have declined speaking at the of the Roots of Terrorism in Seattle. I will be there to listen instead, one of many events and conversations where I hope to listen well to the many perspectives and the many hearts longing for a more peaceful world.
I hope to listen to those from many Islamic traditions as well as many Christian traditions, as well as those of non-religious perspectives.
Maybe I will have something worth listening to when I am done.


During Holy Week I, Terry Kyllo, was speaking to a few of my Muslim friends about what would come after the “Love in a Time of Fear” events.

I said that we needed someone to help prepare churches for relationship with Muslims and to facilitate Muslims and Christians to enter into neighborly relationships with each other, as each of our founders taught us to do.

Then I heard my voice say, “I think I need to do that.”

I felt a great weight on me as and after I said this, but a lightness too.

I spoke to my wife who said, “Maybe you should listen to that voice.” Since then I have asked my family, my friends, my colleagues in both the Episcopal and Lutheran Churches, my Bishops what they thought. The overwhelming response was, “Of course, do it!”

As of the end of September I will resign my call from my beloved church, St. Philip’s Episcopal in Marsyville, WA to begin this work with a new organization called Neighbors in Faith at .6 of full time. I will continue my call with The Catacomb Churches at .4 of full time.

I know I have much to learn but trust that God is moving in this world to bring us together, not to be the same or to believe the same, but to love God more than our religions and our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Here is a description of Neighbors in Faith:

Neighbors in Faith: Muslims and Christians for a Peaceful World

Since September 11, 2001, Muslims in this country have increasingly become subject to racism, xenophobia and scapegoating behaviors and attitudes. Recently, racist rhetoric regarding Muslims and other groups have become much more public and blatant. Moses, Jesus and Mohammad, peace be upon them, called people in times of deep inequity to be good neighbors. They knew that being a neighbor is not simply a religious or moral issue: Being neighbors with and for each other is the essence of being human. Being neighbors is crucial for the survival and thriving of the larger human community and the Earth of which we are a part.

Neighbors in Faith (NIF) is an effort undertaken by Christians and Muslims to encourage neighborly relationships between Muslims and Christians so that together we can work for a more peaceful world. This ministry is supported by both Muslims and Christians and is authorized by the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, the Northwest Washington Synod of the ELCA and the Southwest Washington Synod of the ELCA. NIF will operate throughout western Washington. We will work with churches and mosques to help them find each other. We will help prepare them for relationship with each other through presentations, sermons, discussions and educational materials.

You can donate by check payable to the Northwest Washington Synod and writing “Neighbors in Faith” in the memo line, sending it to our fiscal agent at:

Northwest Washington Synod
5519 Phinney Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98103
You can also donate online at
Put “Neighbors in Faith” in the Instructions line after you sign in to PayPal.

All donations are tax deductible. You will receive a receipt near the first of February with Northwest Washington Synod as the recipient. All funds will go to support Neighbors in Faith.

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