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Mosque visit

10 December, 2002 1:58 PM

Last Sunday afternoon I visited the local Mosque.

No I'm not considering a change of vocation or religion, rather it was an open day where people were invited to come to see, listen to and meet Moslems in their place of worship. I came away feeling warmly welcomed, better informed and rather pleased with myself at having played a small part in developing relationships between this sometimes ostracized group and the community at large. What a great personal illustration I had as I preached this Sunday about following Jesus example of caring for the outcast and identifying with the rejected!

On Wednesday I received a friendly email from a church elder. It read, 'Did you know you were on the ABC News (Aussie National TV Network) at 7pm last Sunday wandering through the mosque?'

The array of thoughts that proceeded to flash through my mind shocked me. After an initial chuckle at the thought of the mix matched outfit I was wearing in my fleeting national television exposure, my first thought was one of horror at the implications of being seen 'in such a place'! What could this do to my career? What if some of my more conservative friends saw me chatting to and shaking hands with 'those people'?

Jesus took 'inclusivity' to a whole new level. To agree with his teaching on the topic is a relatively simple thing. But to follow his example in action sometimes means facing some deeply ingrained beliefs, views and attitudes.

(Previous comments for this post were unfortunately lost in swapping to MT)



I do realise this post is old, but I stumbled across your really cool site when I was doing a search on Google (for 'muslim' and 'counselling' if you are interested how your site came up).

Congrats on having a really thought provoking site. The Living Room church sounds really vibrant and a spiritually enriching place to be from the little I've read here on your site.

But anyway the reason why I am posting, is that I am curious - was it the Doncaster mosque you visited in Dec? We had an open day around then (can't remember the exact date) and I was one of the guides doing the mosque tours.


Rachel » 13 August, 2003 5:20 PM

yes it was the Doncaster Mosque that I visited. Actually I think it might have been you that was our guide - for some reason I remember that one of those who spoke was named Rachel! Wow, its a small world.

Thankyou so much for that day - I remember it quite often and since then have been very interested in investigating further interfaith dialogue.

Thanks for your comment!

Darren » 13 August, 2003 5:27 PM

Wow, that has just blown me away. It is definitely a small world. I thought I remembered someone like you coming through that day.

Actually, speaking of interfaith dialogue, about a month ago I attended a consultative workshop on Muslim-Christian dialogue. It was organised by LaTrobe Uni, the Uniting Church, and the Reichstein Foundation with the involvement of the Islamic Council of Victoria and the Islamic Women's Welfare Council. It was Prof. Joe Camillieri (a Christian academic who I have really come to respect) who invited me along. There was fairly wide representation from various Christian denominations (although particularly so from the Catholics, Unitings and Anglicans from memory), I am not sure if there were any Baptists represented.

At anyrate, the workshop was to look at grounds for interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Christians in Australia - particularly to "bring to light any lingering areas of mistrust or misunderstanding, and to identify opportunities for co-operation and joint activities, both locally and Victoria-wide"

They are looking to have further workshops and meetings so if you are at all interested, do let me know and I'll pass on further details.

I shall definitely keep reading your wonderful site, God willing, now that I've 'bumped' into you online.

Kind regards

Rachel » 13 August, 2003 9:35 PM

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