GILROY, California — On Sunday, May 20, 2012, thirty-six Muslims and Christians united to build peace by serving more than 150 meals to the hungry and homeless at St. Joseph's Family Center. Orientation was led by Mr. Aziz Baameur of South Valley Islamic Center and Pastor Larry Albright of Lincoln Glen Church. Christian and Muslim volunteers were paired into buddy groups and got to know each other discussing fun questions about fond childhood memories, favorite holidays, and faith heroes. Afterwards, buddy groups worked together to make fruit salad, green salad, halal BBQ chicken, garlic bread, and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Before serving dinner, Pastor Albright prayed a blessing over the food, guests and volunteers, thanking God for the beautiful cooperation between both faith communities, and for the high privilege of serving those in need together. Ice cream was served for dessert. Volunteers dined together in buddy groups and enjoyed more conversation. Mr. Salah Hamed of South Valley Islamic Center offered a closing prayer of thanksgiving to God that the hungry and homeless were fed, new friendships were made, and bridges of peace and understanding were built between Muslim and Christian communities. All volunteers responded with a hearty, "Amen!"
Photos courtesy of Amina Khemici and Ray Rodriguez