WOMEN OF FAITH - NOVEMBER
St. Margaret's Episcopal Church and Masjid Al-Baqi in Plainview, NY: Working together for peach and understanding
TWO REFLECTIONS ON ST. MARGARET'S FIRST-EVER
'WOMEN OF FAITH' MEETING
1) Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, was an eye- and heart-opening day for me. I often pray Phillips Brooks’ prayer from Forward Day-By-Day, “Grant me this day some new vision of thy truth,” but I hardly knew what was in store for me when Karen Hoenscheid and her friend Sobhia decided that we Women of Faith needed to spend a Saturday morning together.
Karen provided a wonderful ice-breaker by posting spiritual sayings, with the authors’ names hidden. We read each poster as we meandered around the undercroft, and stood next to the quote that touched us most. Then one person at each station read the quote aloud and revealed the author. There were exclamations when we learned that the writers included poets, politicians, civic leaders, leaders of various faiths, and even Lady Gaga.
At brunch, we each spoke about our lives and our faith, and asked questions of one another to clarify thoughts and uncover misconceptions. The time raced by, and when I left, most of our guests and church family members were still talking and sharing. I felt it was a good beginning. I look forward to more meetings, which I hope will be several times a year. My takeaway? We all share in the Holy – the Great Light that surrounds all souls.
~ Barbara F.
2) The first hint of something new at our excellent Women of Faith meeting was hearing the ever-surprising Fr Isaias offer the traditional greeting, “Peace be upon you,” in Arabic to 30+ women and girls from Masjid Al-Baqui and St. Margaret’s Church. One driver for this meeting was simply to “get out of the boat” – to step out in faith, trusting that God will support our journey in ways we can’t foresee. After two hours it became clearer that the distance between shores decreased every time our group realized that we are actually in the boat together. And for me, that is where the work for peace begins. Thank you, Karen Hoenscheid, for giving voice to this important conversation.
~ Barbara H.
OCTOBER ISSUE: CALLING ALL WOMEN!
One of the many things St. Margaret’s is known for is our warmth and hospitality. On Saturday, Oct. 14, we will have a wonderful opportunity to display this welcoming spirit as we open our doors, hearts and minds to the women of Plainview’s Masjid Al-Baqi.
The main purpose of this event is for women to share stories of faith; how it guides us, helps us navigate life’s challenges and how its presence shapes our daily lives. We will have a chance to learn more about the basics of the Islamic faith and share what it means to be Christian women in the Episcopal tradition as well as giving our guests a tour of our beautiful nave.
Since everyone, regardless of religion and culture, loves delicious food, a light lunch will be served as well as a variety of desserts.
I hope you’ll join me and “step out of the boat” and into this uncharted territory. Since that wonderful day in May when my family and I were invited to Masjid Al-Baqi, I have learned so much, made an inspiring and true friend named Sobhia, and feel more convinced than ever that there is much more that unites people than divides us.
“Bridges don’t fall from the sky,
they don’t rise from the ground,
people build them.”
- Eboo Patel, Founder of Interfaith Youth Core
~ Karen H.
SEPTEMBER ISSUE - OPEN HEARTS, OPEN MINDS
Coming in October: WOMEN OF FAITH Gathering I’m working with my friend, Sobhia (rhymes with Sophia), to give the women of St. Margaret’s and the women of Masjid Al-Baqui an opportunity to get to know each other. We are looking into Saturday, Oct. 14th to host a casual brunch where we can share stories of how our faith has formed, inspired and helped us get through personal challenges. We will also talk about some of our basic beliefs, give a tour of our worship space, and share some delicious food (and maybe even some secret recipes!).
If you’re ready to take this leap into uncharted territory, you don’t need a life jacket; the Holy Spirit will provide one. All that’s required is your willingness to keep an open heart and an open mind.