Sitting in a religious education meeting this week, I look over at the white-board, still filled with activities and notes from our on-going religious education classes.

And this word pops out to me: Allah.


Underneath the brightly colored poster is the sheet of paper with ‘Allah’ written out, next to the five pillars of Islam.

Scribbled, in what looks like a child’s handwriting.

Allah, the name for God in the Muslim tradition.

Kay B., our representative on the Stanislaus County Interfaith Council, shared that at their monthly meeting, the representative from the local Muslim community said that they are already feeling quite a bit of backlash from the events in Paris and after.

I know there are so many things we can devote our energies to–there is so much hurt and pain all over the world.  It is easy to feel inadequate because we cannot do and be everything ‘good.’  But we figure SOME things to do and we do them.


A fuzzy close up

And one of the things that UUFSC is doing, quite well thanks to the leadership of the Religious Education Committee, is teaching our children compassion, love, and tolerance in middle of a world that too easily teaches fear, hate, and intolerance.

As our Muslim  brother, sisters, and siblings around the world suffer at the hands of intolerance and hate, are punished for the actions of a radical few, our children are sitting in our church and learning about the Five Pillars of Islam. They are writing the word Allah.   Indeed, that is a very worthwhile something.

I look forward to worshiping with you all this Sunday, when we will explore how letting go of our ideas of “goodness” and “innocence” may help us achieve the kind of liberation we are looking for– liberation for ourselves and for others.

At our 11am service, our children will be distributing Guest At Your Table boxes– what’s that you say? Read about it here.


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