written by Amy Loehndorf, a middler (second-year) MDiv student at LSTC
My first Glocal! So call me crazy, but I had never heard about glocals before coming to LSTC. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about (I’m not alone!), they are ELCA global mission events that occur around the country working to engage local communities in discussion about global missions. The one I attended was in Dearborn, Michigan. While not having much of an idea about what I would be encountering, I decided to take the CCME (Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement) up on their offer to supplement the cost and find out what this whole glocal thing was all about. The weekend was powerful, moving, hope-filled, and challenging.
This particular one was the first of its kind in that its focus was on interfaith conversation. We did the traditional, but still helpful iceberg workshop, talking about various cultures colliding. We also toured a mosque and a synagogue. We heard from a number of imams, from both the Sunni and the Shiite traditions, a rabbi of Reformed Judaism, and a pastor from Palestine who serves at an Arabic-speaking ELCA congregation. The pastor and the imams greeted one another as brothers in faith. They prayed prayers in English and Arabic giving thanks for one another and the connections, conversations, and faith building that have been foster in their interactions. For me, it was a weekend bursting with the work of the Holy Spirit of unification.
It was a challenging weekend, begging questions about how and why we and I do interfaith work. According to the pastor we do it because of who we are as Christians. We do it because we are called to engage by Christ’s example. The weekend left me with a thirst for more interaction, more knowledge, and an expansion of this brotherhood/sisterhood of faith.
by Amy Loehndorf, a second-year (middler) MDiv student at LSTC