Last year, on August 26th, North Church partnered with Westminster Presbyterian, Temple Beth Am, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the Islamic Society of Niagara Frontier, to hold the second annual Abraham’s Walk. Several members from North participated in the five mile hike from our church to the Islamic Society Center on Heim Road. Once there, we shared in the breaking of the fast at sunset in the “tent of Abraham,” provided by the Muslim community as part of their Ramadan observance. It was an exciting and fascinating experience for those who attended, and one many of us hoped would be repeated.
Well, the time is approaching to join our Jewish and Muslim neighbors in this celebration once again. Because Islam observes the lunar calendar, Ramadan falls a week earlier each year. This year the Tent of Abraham will be offered on Thursday, August 18th. That day we will gather at North at around 4:30 pm and begin our walk at 5:00. We will hike to Temple Beth Am, where we’ll meet with others and continue our journey to Heim School for the final leg of our trek. Once again, we’ll end at the mosque on Heim Road and gather for a meal which will begin at sunset, around 8:00pm. Following dinner, transportation back to our cars will also be provided.
Part of the observance of Ramadan, a month of fasting during daylight hours, includes care for the poor. Participants in the third annual Abraham’s Walk are invited to bring non-perishable food items and cash donations to the mosque to be distributed through the Food Pantry of Western New York and Viva la Casa. If you aren’t up to a full five-mile hike you can certainly join up at the Temple or at Heim School. Or, you can simply join us at the Islamic Center on Heim Road for dinner and fellowship.
Sign up for the dinner by calling the church office at 716-632-1330 by August 14th so the Islamic Center will know how much to prepare. We are blessed in Williamsville and Amherst to be part of a richly diverse religious community. Many of us at North Church have shared worship and mission efforts with our Jewish neighbors, but there have been precious few opportunities to do the same with our Muslim friends. In a world where there is so much hostility between religious groups, it is crucial that we find ways to share fellowship and dialogue with people of other faiths. A five-mile walk as a celebration of our common heritage in the faith of Abraham is a good way to do that. I hope you can join us for this Third Annual Abraham’s Walk.