The purpose of the series is summarized in three words: Connect, Comprehend, and Clarify.
Connect: We desire to connect the lives of Christians and Muslims in a respectful and non-threatening way. We need to go beyond dialogue or religious discussion. Most of these efforts have involved a relatively small number of learned scholars. While helpful, only a small number of people are involved. The influence of their findings would take a long time to impact the society at large. In order to have a great positive impact, we need to get to know each other as people, not just discuss religious opinions. As we learn who we are as fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, and discover that we all hold the same preoccupations for our families and societies, we can overcome the negative stereotypes that we regularly see repeated in the media. Participants will see that we are all peace loving, family oriented people with traditional values. We will find ways to work together on many issues where our interests align.
Comprehend: We desire to understand and learn from one another. This occurs as we listen and have an attitude of a learner. Those who have travelled to foreign countries readily see the value of different cultures and different ways of doing things. If each person seeks to listen more than talk and to understand more than presenting their views, all will benefit. A commitment to respect the culture and beliefs of the other will be key.
Clarify: Both faith communities have a significant problem caused by many inaccurate negative images portrayed about them in the media and among certain hostile groups. Participants will clarify by presenting an accurate view of an authentic believer. Clarifying is important because the goal is not to make one religion out of two. “We can hold differing views and still be friends” describes the attitude the participants will develop. They will learn how to express divergent viewpoints while maintaining civility and respect.