UMCOR joins with the National Council of Churches in inviting United Methodists to open the doors of your churches and extend an "Open House" welcome to neighboring Muslims at a time you designate in early September this year, as a way to commemorate September 11, 2001. In the days following the tragic events of last September, the doors of many of our houses of worship were opened, as people who were looking for comfort and meaning sought out places to reflect and to gather with others to pray. During those days, responsible leaders reminded us that is was a group of Islamist terrorists, not Islam or ordinary American Muslims, that had attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Interfaith services and public programs were held. Many mosques and Islamic centers around the country held Open Houses, inviting the wider community to come to know them.
It is fitting for Christians to commemorate September 11th once again by opening places of worship and hospitality. This simple act, extended to Muslims living in or near our communities, can begin building understanding and peace, which is a strong Christian response to terrorist acts designed to sow fear and division.
The Interfaith Relations Commission of The National Council of Churches of Christ (USA) has prepared materials to help you think about, and carry out, an Open House for Muslim neighbors. To view the guide, visit the website: http://www.ncccusa.org/interfaith/openhouse-intro.html