Month: October 2016

Love in a Time of Fear: Bainbridge Island

Imam Benjamin Shabazz, Amanda Smith and Terry Kyllo were wonderfully hosted by the good folks of Bethany Lutheran Church on Bainbridge Island, WA.

Here is the video:

Islam in the Public Square

“Islam in the Public Square” Conference

Join us for a day-long conference, “Islam in the Public Square,” Saturday, Oct 29, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Town Hall Seattle.

Muslim Americans have been part of the American narrative since our country’s foundation. They have settled in every state, fought in every war and contributed to the diversity that has made America strong. Yet, while many minority groups have been embraced and their traditions honored in the public square, Muslims continue to struggle to have their voices heard. The average American has little understanding of the positive contributions of Islam over the centuries to societies worldwide and to America at home. In fact, one out of two Americans holds negative views of Muslims and Islam. A recent Pew survey revealed that only 35% of Americans know a Muslim. More recently, hateful rhetoric by certain pundits and electoral candidates has contributed to record high levels of anti-Muslim hate crimes and bullying of children nationwide.

“Islam in the Public Square” is a gathering of local area leaders to examine the dynamics that have led to the gap in understanding about this religious tradition. We will discuss the many issues clouding the image of Islam and Muslims in America. The conversation will seek to build understanding and tolerance across ethnic and faith lines, and look into ways all of us can confront and overcome the misunderstandings and fears that divide us. Together, as one Seattle community, we will explore ways to work together for peace and justice.

Event information and tickets:


Please forward this email to your friends and family, and share the Facebook event as well. We hope to see you there.

Speakers include:

* Episcopal Bishop Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel

* Mohamed Jawad Khaki of IMAN (Ithna-asheri Muslim Association of the Northwest;

* Mahmood Khadeer of MAPS (Muslim Association of Puget Sound);

* Dr. Mark Markuly, Dean and Professor of the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University;

* A Muslim woman [to be announced]

Co-sponsors include:

Bishop’s Committee, The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia

IMAN [Shi’a Muslim community]

MAPS [Sunni Muslim community]

Church Council of Greater Seattle

Mideast Focus Ministry, St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral

Neighbors in Faith []

F.I.R.E. (Fostering Interfaith Relationships on the Eastside)

Community & Middle East Peace Builders (Trinity Lutheran, Lynnwood)

Peace Catalyst International

Kirkland Interfaith Network

Pacifica Institute


For further information on agenda and registration, contact:                                                                                                                                   Mary Pneuman


Love in a Time of Fear: Bainbridge Island

Saturday, October 22
12 Noon to 2:00 PM
Bethany Lutheran Church
7968 Finch Road NE,
Bainbridge Island,
Washington 98110

Two people sat down to tea. One was a Muslim and the other a Christian. In addition to sadness about the terrorist attacks in Paris, Lebanon and Mali, they shared their feelings about the response of some political leaders in the U.S. in response to these horrific events. Soon after their meeting, the nation reeled from the terrorist shooting in San Bernardino, CA.

These two friends decided to see if others wanted to join them in encouraging all people to remember that love of neighbor is the core teachings of Islam, Christianity and all great faith traditions. Love is not having positive feelings but rather the act of seeking the well-being of your neighbor. These two friends, joined by speakers from Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Jewish and other traditions are holding several events in the Puget Sound area in 2016.

Since December 2015, ten Love in a Time of Fear forums have drawn thousands of people to question, learn and affirm that – even in this time of fear – God is calling us to recognize our neighbors and work for our mutual well-being.

The next event will be held October 22nd at Bethany Lutheran Church on Bainbridge Island. The event will begin with a lunch and end at 2:00 PM.  The public is warmly invited to attend.

Guest speakers include Pastor Terry Kyllo the Director of Neighbors in Faith, authorized by the Lutheran (ELCA) and Episcopal Churches in Western Washington, Imam Benjamin Shabazz of W.D. Mohammed, and Amanda Smith who teaches Arabic at the IMAN Center in Kirkland, WA.

We are people of faith respecting our differences and celebrating our commonalities and our common humanity. In this time of anxiety and tension we encourage all people to respect our differences and celebrate our common humanity: to

  1. Seek out neighborly relationships with people of other faith and/or non-faith traditions.
  2. Resist in ourselves and society exclusionist ideologies that contribute to the dehumanization of and violence toward others.
  3. Work in the public arena for the human rights of all people.

Come and affirm with us God’s call to love our neighbor, even in a time of fear.

Sponsored by Bethany Lutheran Church, Bainbridge Island-North Kitsap Interfaith Council, Neighbors in Faith, The Catacomb Churches & The Northwest Washington Synod of the ELCA and The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia.


Introducing Neighbors in Faith to Lutherans and Episcopalians:

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through

the region between Samaria and Galilee.

-Luke 17:11

Jesus moved in the spaces between people–spaces characterized by alienation, fear and the dehumanization of “others.” In the text for Pentecost 20, he wandered back and forth between Samaria and Galilee like a needle stitching a wound back together. A part of the healing salve of Christ’s work is to reunite us as fellow children of the same Creator, and thus a part of the same family.

Today there are many spaces in which humans are separated from one another. There are just as many examples of Lutheran and Episcopal Churches moving in these spaces, taking part in Christ’s ongoing work of reconciliation between people.

One of the groups most impacted by such separation are Muslims. They often experience racism, suspicion because of the stereotypes of Islam and because of the incidents of terrorism and how they are framed in the public arena.

Over the last year I have experienced a strong calling to move in the space between Muslims and Christians. After conversation with Bishop Rickel of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, Bishop Unti of the Northwest Washington Synod of the ELCA, and Bishop Jaech of the Southwest Washington Synod of the ELCA I have decided to start Neighbors in Faith, to encourage and celebrate relationships between Muslims and Christians. Neighbors in Faith is now an authorized ministry of all three judicatory bodies.

There are many people working in this area already. I hope to begin with a listening tour to learn from them and imagine how we can work together. I hope to listen to:

  • Muslims
  • Muslim Communities
  • Muslim Immigrants
  • Lutheran and Episcopal leaders and congregations already involved with Muslims
  • Those who have been negatively impacted by violence by Muslim exclusionists
  • Evangelical and Fundamentalist pastors and congregations

I will be producing short podcasts throughout this process so you can listen with me, posted on Facebook and on the NIF website.

I will also be available on Sundays to

  • Preach and/or preside
  • Teach adult forums
  • Organize public events so people can hear directly from Muslims

Neighbors in Faith will encourage and celebrate relationships between Muslims and Christians as:

  • Individuals and households
  • Faith leaders
  • Faith communities

With the following activities:

  • Eating together
  • Playing together
  • Telling stories together
  • Building stronger communities together
  • Engaging in public issues in promotion of a peaceful world.

We thank Northwest Washington Synod for serving as the fiscal agent for NIF and we appreciate any financial support you might be able to offer.

I look forward to learning and partnering with you in Christ’s work in the spaces between all God’s Children.


Pastor Terry Kyllo



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