Thursday evening, June 2, has been on your calendar for weeks! The doorbell rings, and you get up to answer the door, wondering who it will be. What stories and life experiences would they share with you and your company over dinner tonight? You have excitedly prepared to welcome some dinner guests to you home; these are no ordinary dinner guests, mind you, these are your neighbors from various communities of faith, coming to share their lives, their beliefs over a meal. This is your first time hosting a Dinner Dialogue through Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston. In the past, you have attended the Dinner Dialogue as a guest and enjoyed the opportunity to break bread, as well as barriers, with your fellow Houstonians from Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Zoroastrian, and other faiths.
Dinner Dialogue Series: Expanding The Circle
J-Vibe sat down with Rev. Gregory Han, Director of Interfaith Relations, and Matt Kahn, Assistant Director of Interfaith Relations, to understand the history and importance of the dinner dialogues in breaking down the silos of isolation and building bridges of harmony and understanding among fellow Houstonians. What started in 2007 as Amazing Faith Dinners, through a partnership with the Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston (IM), Boniuk Institute and the Mayor’s office, has grown into the Interfaith Ministries Dinner Dialogue Series, held several times a year to expand inter-religious understanding and harmony.
These dinners generate candid conversations that help the participants get more comfortable with asking the difficult questions as they deepen their understanding and relationships with neighbors of different faiths and have more meaningful conversations around the dinner table. For several years, the discussions at these dinners were guided based on the questions from a deck of cards that helped break the ice and engage the participants. Each dinner dialogue was hosted in homes of a particular denomination, however, recently Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston has expanded the conversation to more general topics which helps engage more people in exploring their shared humanity.
Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston serves as an umbrella organization for interfaith harmony, collaborating with many regional interfaith initiatives such as the Spring Interfaith Council, Ft. Bend Interfaith Community, and Faiths Together in the Woodlands. Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston is reaching out to other grass-roots efforts for promoting a better understanding of our shared humanity and universal values of kindness, tolerance, love and justice for all, regardless of race or creed. On Thursday, June 2, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston is hosting its annual Dinner Dialogue, where new participants are encouraged to attend free of cost, and also have the option to invite another rookie guest for free. Who can pass up this excellent deal to expand their circle and build bridges of understanding with neighbors from different faiths? If you haven’t already, please sign up to attend.