Dinner Is Powerful
Simply having dinner with someone is more powerful than you might think. We believe it is one of the most powerful gestures to build bridges and create peace between people that might not typically get together. That’s one of the reasons why we created what we call the Salt Covenant and why we are inspired to host Dinner Parties.
It’s a part of our Peace Making ministries that build bridges between Christians and Muslims so they can build friendships, have conversations about faith, and work together for the common good in their city.
Typically, an interfaith gathering might focus on our commonalities. And to be honest, there are a ton of things that Christians and Muslims have in common. But the reality still exists, that we differ on some major things. We believe in not hiding these from each other but having a conversations together about our whole faith.
This past Friday, we hosted our first Dinner Party. It was special because it was during the Islamic month of Ramadan. This is a very special month for our Muslim friends as they fast and focus on spiritual renewal. During this month, once the sun sets the fast is broken with what typically looks like a feast! So that’s what we did. We got a bunch of food and had a feast together once the sun went down.
The conversation began almost immediately as we came together, even without guided dialogue questions. But after dinner and of course way too many deserts, we did a quick ice breaker that had everyone laughing. Then we began with two questions: 1) How would you define your primary identity? Your faith? Your nationality? Your job? 2) How does this shape who you are?
It was incredible to hear how similar we all struggle with identity and what shapes us as people. It was unique to hear different perspectives inspired by our faiths and what motivates us to love, serve, and just get through our every day life. There were several side tangents that began simply because we brought up something that had never been heard before. So before we knew it, we were discussing our faiths in depth and, even with our differences, there was still an amazing bond that happened.
“I don’t want to be defined by a specific label per se. I am a lot of things. There are a lot of things that define who we are.” -Dinner Party Participant
“My faith shapes everything about who I am.” -Dinner Party Participant
“The conversations I had tonight were similar to the ones I would have with any of my friends.” -Dinner Party Participant
We believe that deeper bonds can be built over food and peace is made. By the end, we were already planning our next get-together.