President's Interfaith & Community Service Campus Challenge
Since his inauguration, President Obama has emphasized interfaith cooperation and community service way to build relationships between different communities. Interfaith service impacts the needs of specific community challenges while also building civility and social capital. The White House is encouraging institutions of higher education to make a vision for interfaith cooperation a reality on campuses across the country. American colleges, universities, community colleges, seminaries, and rabbinical schools have often played a role on the forefront of these challenges and are thus the ones engaging the efforts once again.
The White House launched the President's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge to invite institutions of higher education to commit to a year of interfaith cooperation and community service programming on campus.
"As students at Messiah College we are learning to articulate our own faith, but the Interfaith & Community Service Campus Challenge encourages us to do more, to learn how others are putting their own story together in our shared community. Service is an opportunity to cultivate new relationships and beginnings towards a cause greater than ourselves."
-Morgan Lee, '12
Messiah College continues to encourage and promote three campus-wide days of community service, add an inter-religious service component to certain first-year seminar classes, and continue the dialogue at the biannual National Faith-Based Service-Learning Conference held in June. This year we will be connecting with campuses across the nation to unite different communities together for the betterment of our local society.
Messiah College students regularly serve at New Hope Ministries (Mechanicsburg), which has welcomed Somali refugees. The children and their families, who primarly come from a Muslim tradition, fully engage in the programs and community at New Hope Ministries.
Amir Hussain is a professor of theological studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he teaches courses on world religions. His own particular speciality is the study of Islam, focusing on contemporary Muslim societies in North America.
Since 2005, Hussain has written more than 25 book chapters or scholarly articles about Islam and Muslims, including Oil and Water--Two Faiths; One God. Before coming to California in 1997, he taught courses in religious studies at several universities in Canada. Hussain is the editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the premier scholarly journal for the study of religion, and serves on the editorial boards of four scholarly journals: the Journal of Religion, Conflict and Peace; Contemporary Islam: Dynamics of Muslim Life; the Ethiopian Journal of Religious Studies; and Comparative Islamic Studies.
"Building Faith Neighbors: Christians and Muslims Together"
The Messiah College Religion and Society Lecture
March 26, 2012, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Hostetter Chapel
David Shenk, author, veteran missionary and Global Consultant with Eastern Mennonite Missions, will speak in chapel Tuesday, March 27 from his new book on the life of Ahmed Haile, Tea Time in Mogadishu: My Journey as an Ambassador of Peace Within the World of Islam.
David W. Shenk was born to pioneer Mennonite missionaries in Tanzania, and has invested a life-time in missions. For sixteen years he served within Muslim communities in Somalia and Kenya. At present he is Global Consultant with Eastern Mennonite Missions. His interest in Christian peacemaking and witness, especially among Muslims as well as secularist societies, has taken him into some 100 countries. He has authored or co-authored sixteen books on the mission of the church in our pluralist world. He holds a doctorate in religious studies education with course work in anthropology from New York University.
Dr. Shenk is available to speak in classes between chapel and 5:00 p.m. that day. If you would like to have Dr. Shenk visit your class, please contact Evie Telfer with the time your course meets and a few words about what you would like Dr. Shenk to address.