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Nov 03, 2015 | EDOT Staff

Pearland Church Partners with Local Muslims for Better Understanding, Service to Others

St. Andrew's and The Islamic Center of Pearland have entered into an interfaith partnership of education, hospitality and service. The Rev. Jim Liberatore, rector of St. Andrew’s reached out to Imam Danny Hernandez recently to become better acquainted and to forge a friendship between church and the nearby mosque.


The two faith leaders decided to begin with basic education and familiarity events and some common service projects the church and mosque could do alongside one other.


St. Andrew’s two sessions of Islam 101, which included "the tough questions you have about Islam and Muslims," Hernandez said. During Ramadan, members of St. Andrew’s were invited to observe worship and break fast at the mosque. “It was a special time of gracious hospitality,” Libertore observed.


Libertore presented Christianity 101 to the Muslim community and also held a session where he answered the tough questions. Members of the mosque are now invited to St. Andrew’s to observe Holy Eucharist and enjoy hospitality from the church


Service projects have included mosque members helping in the annual ritual of pumpkin unloading for St. Andrew’s Pumpkin Patch. Hernandez and Debbie Allensworth, pastor of St. Andrew’s second campus, Mosaic, are planning several medical and feeding service programs for the two congregations to do together.


“One member of St. Andrew's introduced a Muslim co-worker who wanted to return to Islamic life to members of the mosque at one of the shared events,” Libertore said. “The friendships we have formed through our partnership have led to a better understanding of each other,” he said, “as well as more opportunities for Christians and Muslims in our neighborhood alike.”