Oriental’s Episcopal Church has ‘un-invited’ a Muslim group that was to speak at the church to quell a parishoner revolt against ‘”non-Christians” and keep peace in the parish.
“Concern was expressed that non-Christians should not be given a voice in our church,” Senior Warden George Robinson wrote in the church’s October newsletter, The Moorings. “Others felt that to gain understanding, particularly about ‘the enemy’ was important.”
The Muslim group was invited after a local Methodist congregation had them speak and thought it added to understanding between faiths, according to the newsletter. The Muslim group was invited to St. Thomas Episcopal Church as part of its “One God” series of seminars.
But some members objected, and at a September meeting at the church where both sides presented their cases, the church’s Rev. Jeremiah C. Day apparently stepped in to quell controversy, saying the group would be un-invited, based on the newsletter.
The Muslim group was the idea of the church’s Christian Education Committee.
“So what was the result of all the discussion? Father Day suggested that ministers in the community might have a forum for the whole community. Pat Webster, of the Christian Education Committee – the group suggesting a Muslim speaker – suggested we could spend some time together trying to develop a tolerance for diversity,” Webster wrote on Page 5 of the October newsletter.
“Consequently, the Muslim speaker is not coming to St. Thomas, as Father Day noted, to keep peace in the parish.