Loving Our Muslim Neighbors

Muslims eating Halal food in the church fellowship hall?  People making friends across cultural and religious lines?  Christians and Muslims openly discussing our common ground and differences about Jesus?

Yes, yes, and yes.  On a Saturday evening at the Valley Vineyard, approximately 60 people, Christians and Muslims together, shared a common meal and a meaningful conversation.

This was the latest chapter in a deepening relationship that the Valley Vineyard has pursued with the Muslims in our local community.

The evening started with prayer led by leaders from both the Muslim and Christian communities.  Kevin Grable from the Vineyard recited the Lord’s Prayer.  Zubair Syed, a member of the Islamic Society of the West Valley, recited Al Fatiha in Arabic and English.  Pastor Jimmy Reyes said a blessing over the food and the evening in the name of Jesus.

For those unfamiliar with it, Al Fatiha is a humble prayer of faith in God, a request for his guidance and help.

After food and conversation around the tables, representatives of the Vineyard and the Islamic Center of Reseda each shared their beliefs about Jesus.  Kevin shared from the Gospels about the Cross and Resurrection.  Atif Akbar from the Islamic Center spoke about Muslims’ high regard for Jesus and how he should unify our people even when we disagree.

The evening closed with a blessing from the Old Testament:

                               The Lord bless you and keep you;

                               the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;

                                the Lord lift up his face upon you and give you peace.

Following the dinner, we received an email from a leader in the local Muslim community.  He thanked us for inviting them and said, “as usual everybody at the church was very cordial and we felt completely at home.”

For information regarding this outreach ministry and planned future events, contact Kevin Grable at