Joining with Muslim and interfaith groups to address social issues that concern the wider community is an important way to bring people together. Shared values of caring for the poor and oppressed lead us to deeper commitments and inspired action for the good of all.
This program recently began at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago as a part of its Public Church Curriculum. It combines academics with community service, nonprofit partner mentorship, and spiritual reflection. Each Public Church Fellow works side by side with community partners (including Muslim partners) to serve our Chicago neighbors for up to 7 hours each week. Every month Fellows participate in spiritual formation with students from other local seminaries.
CIRRN streamlines communication dedicated to mobilizing multi-faith responses to acts of hate and discrimination targeting religious communities in Chicago and its collar counties. Together:
Discrimination against American Muslims served as our initial catalyst for action. However, an honest reading of American history teaches us that this form of religious discrimination is part of an unfortunate pattern in the American story. The majority of American religious communities have at some point faced unique challenges to full acceptance and to dispelling misconceptions about their communities.
Together with American Islamic College (AIC), interfaith community gardens were planted on LSTC and AIC campuses. AIC participated with us in the Share-A-Meal program at Interfaith House. LSTC students have learned about and participated in Food Justice Gardens at Hyde Park area religious communities. Students and staff helped with property clean-up at a Zakat Foundation site and volunteered at one of Zakat’s breast cancer awareness events. We partnered with the Hyde Park Kenwood Interfaith Council’s local soup kitchen and hosted a Winter’s Farmer’s Market through the organization Faith in Place.
Watch the community garden video:
Watch the Share-a-meal- video: