“He leads me to the banqueting table and His banner over me is love.” (Song of Solomon 2:4)
Bishop Eleanor declared these words as a final blessing over an evening filled with love where our Lower Hutt whānau hosted members of the Taita Mosque for an Eid il-Fitr (Feast of the Breaking of the Fast) meal.
This feast, observed by Muslims all over the world, celebrates the end of Ramadan with prayer, special desserts, visiting others, charity, and eating together. It was a fitting event, therefore, for Muslim and Christian neighbours to get to know each other over delicious Syrian food. Hosted at Chilton Saint James School, the meal was also attended by Kathy Lloyd-Parker, the Principal of Chilton, and Ray Wallace, the Mayor of Lower Hutt.
The idea of the meal, in the words of the Rev. Peter Benge was “to do something that went beyond lamenting the terrible attacks in Christchurch and focused on living together, acceptance and inclusion of Muslims in our community.” Ashamed of the offence against hospitality towards Muslim people in our country, members of the parish wanted to open their doors and extend hospitality to their neighbours.
There was a sense of joy and gratitude to God as the groups from different faith traditions met together as friends. Aroha was shared around the tables.
From: Rosie Fyfe, Intercultural Communities Enabler