GILROY, California — On Sunday, August 26, 2012, forty-three Jews, Christians and Muslims united to build peace by serving 180 meals to the hungry and homeless at St. Joseph's Family Center. Volunteer orientation was led Mr. Michael Heil of Congregation Emeth, Mr. Aziz Baameur of South Valley Islamic Center, and Pastor Larry Albright of Lincoln Glen Church. Jewish, Christian and Muslim volunteers were teamed up during orientation in small buddy groups to get to know each other while discussing fun questions about fond childhood memories, favorite holidays, and faith heroes. Buddy groups then collaborated to make a halal meal with BBQ chicken, baked beans, garlic bread, fruit salad, green salad, and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Before serving dinner, Pastor Albright thanked God for the the food, guests and volunteers uniting to love our neighbors together. After the meal service volunteers relaxed and dined together in buddy groups. Rabbi Debbie Israel of Congregation Emeth closed our service together by thanking God in prayer for so many volunteers uniting to feed the hungry and homeless, and for building bridges of peace and understanding between our three faith communities.
Photos courtesy of Richard Coencas and Ray Hiebert.