During Ramadan, love of neighbor evident in small Michigan community

MIRamadan.jpgA United Church of Christ congregation west of Lansing, Mich., with a small public declaration of love for their neighbors, has made a large statement about the type of faith community it is.

First Congregational UCC of Grand Ledge, Mich., posted a Ramadan greeting on its two-way church sign a week ago, on the flip side of message offering a blessing for Pentecost. The church’s Interim Minister, the Rev. Greg Briggs, said the sign’s statement is a tangible expression of the congregation’s commitment to be Open and Affirming, and welcoming to people of all races and faith backgrounds.

“This congregation also has embraced the Be the Church statements including ‘Reject Racism, Fight for the Powerless, and Embrace Diversity,'” Briggs said. “While we are a church in a predominantly white community, we can still show support and model what a loving house of God looks like.”

The minister posted the message after a church member asked to include a MIPentecost.jpgblessing for Muslim neighbors, even though they don’t really live close by.

“Our community is not very diverse ethnically or religiously, and we are about 30 minutes away from the nearest Islamic Center. So, while it might be difficult to develop a relationship with an existing Islamic community, it is as important that we open the hearts of the people in our community to the joy and strength of religious diversity.”

The sign, Briggs said also prompted an impromptu visit that brought him joy.

“A community member who has never attended our church thanked us for posting our Ramadan blessing. In this time of division, signs of unity and welcome are important, whether the signs are literal or symbolic.”

This story, highlighting the ministry of a local church, is part of the UCC’s 3 Great Loves campaign, seeking to build a just world for all as one united church. Visit 3GreatLoves.org to learn how we’re showing Love of Children, Love of Neighbor, and Love of Creation.
Categories: United Church of Christ News

Related News

Three Juneteenth celebrations to ‘mark freedom for all Americans’

On the Fourth of July, the United States celebrates freedom from British rule. On June 19,...

Read More

Advocates ask Synod to back ban on conversion therapy and its ‘demonstrable harm’

The 2021 General Synod of the United Church of Christ, meeting July 11-18, will consider 11...

Read More

Two ministries name recipient of new one-year fellowship

Former Council for Health and Human Service Ministries Scholar Essence Ellis has been named the...

Read More