Breaking Bread (and Nothing Else) with Those of Different Faith

Published : Saturday, February 9, 2019 | 6:09 AM

Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena will host its annual interfaith event where Pasadenans can break bread with neighbors from different faiths, bring their hands and hearts together to build solidarity and friendship.

And though registration closed now, no latecomers will be turned away from the seventh Annual Interfaith Conversation and Halal Supper is taking Feb. 10.

“This dinner is part of a bigger pie because what we’re trying to do here at Neighborhood Church is create events that really talk about interfaith interracial issues and how they relate to being a citizen of the world,” said spokesman. Luis Sierra Campos, head of calendar events at Neighborhood Church.

Campos said the Halal supper was created seven years ago by a previous minister at the church.

“She looked at the climate of the time and saw that in America the Muslim community, or Islam, was seen in a negative light,” Campos explained. “And what she wanted to do was bring people together to really get to know each other, break bread and relate from a spiritual place. It took the mystery out of the differences and provided a sense of connection that people of faith must have.”

Since it started, attendance to the event has grown exponentially and church is considering a move to a biannual format, Campos said. About 135 people had committed to attending by the Feb. 3 registration deadline.

The event is spread over a number of tables at the sanctuary and these are filled with people of mixed faith. The idea is to spark conversation, with facilitators at every table to help move the dialogue in terms of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

Despite the mixed-faith seating chart, no uncomfortable situations have ever occurred, said Campos.

“You would think that an event like this would bring problems, but it never has,” he said. “This event is part of our Building Bridges Task Force program where we Unitarians get to know pagans and Christians and Catholics and Jews and Muslims.”

Food will be graciously catered by Heidar Baba Restaurant Pasadena. Space has also been set aside for Maghrib, the fourth of five daily Muslim prayers, Campos added.

The event begins at 5:30 up to 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 5:15 p.m.

For costs and other information, call (626) 449-3470 ext. 18 or visit www.neighborhooduu.org.

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