A couple of years ago a United Methodist church here in Memphis created an uproar when it allowed an Islamic congregation to use their space for worship while the new Islamic center was being built.
Some saw it as a sign of sanity in the midst of the Terry Jones Quran burning madness, but many more were upset that a church would allow allow people of a different faith to worship in their sacred space.
This year the tables were turned.
A church in Sacramento found themselves without a place to worship on Easter after they were unable to renew the lease on their own people. Their solution was to reach out to a nearby mosque. Graciously, the local Islamic leaders allowed this homeless church to worship in their sacred space for one of the church’s holiest days.
Unlike the situation in Memphis there hasn’t been much of an uproar, at least not yet. Perhaps that will change in the coming days, but so far the story doesn’t seem to have received much attention.
Personally, I find this story fascinating on a number of levels, but I’m wondering what you think.
Is this a positive sign of two faith traditions finding a way to bridge the gap that has for so long divided them?
Or is this church simply compromising their beliefs by worshiping in a mosque?
For those of you out there who think about sacred space, what theological implications does this have for both groups?
Or is this just a practical issue with no real meaning or significance behind it?
Maybe there’s something else here that has you thinking. Watch the news story below and let us know what you think.