The Oklahoma Conference of Church has partnered with a northwest Oklahoma City church to offer an interfaith event offering different viewpoints about the Holy Land.
“Faith Perspectives on Jerusalem” will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at OKC First Church of the Nazarene, 4400 Northwest Expressway. The event will include an Oklahoma City rabbi and Muslim imam each offering their perspectives about the Holy Land.
Oklahoma Conference of Churches leaders said the religious leaders will discuss their faith perspectives about the conflict in Israel and Palestine. Leaders said the pair will have a conversation about the historic, political and theological factors at play in the region from a Jewish and Muslim perspective.
Rabbi Vered Harris, spiritual leader of Temple B’nai Israel, and Imad Enchassi, senior imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, will be the featured guests. The two visited the Holy Land together with 20 other Oklahoma Jews, Christians and Muslims in January 2016 as part of a Religions United interfaith trip organized by Harris. Religions United is a committee of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches.
The Rev. Aaron Bolerjack, executive pastor of OKC First Church of the Nazarene, said church leaders were happy to offer its building as a site for the interfaith discussion after Oklahoma Conference of Churches leaders approached them about it.
“As people of faith, we believe that there is much more that unites us than divides us, and that we are called to unity, not uniformity. In this way, the ‘Faith Perspectives on Jerusalem’ event presents an opportunity for the community in general and members of the three Abrahamic faiths in particular to spend time listening to each other in respectful, constructive dialogue,” he said.
Bolarjack said OKC First Church is a member of the conference of churches.
“I think we were approached about being the host site for two different reasons. On one hand, OKC First represents a sort of “neutral ground” for a conversation about the social, political and religious future of Jerusalem, a topic that evokes a lot of deeply held opinions among Jews, Muslims and Christians,” he said.
“On the other hand, I believe that this sort of event — a respectful conversation about a difficult, potentially divisive topic — really fits the profile of how OKC First tries to minister to our local community through events like our recent ‘With All Due Respect’ and ‘2 Windows Project’ discussion forums.”