News & Messages

A Visit from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community at St. Peter's, West Allis

At a recent Sunday service at St. Peter's, West Allis, our mission for social justice was at the forefront. Deacon Karen Buker invited Hassiem Abdullah Babatu of the Bait ul-Qadir Milwaukee chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to address St. Peter’s congregation.  

Hassiem arrived early with others in his community, and all shared in fellowship and a light brunch. Before the service began, Hassiem and others from his community formally addressed the congregation. 

Their message was quite familiar but always good to hear: Love for all. Hatred for none. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s goal is to build bridges by connecting with people on a human level and helping them understand what we all have a lot in common. “We are what we do. And, in the next life, we will be judged by our actions. Our actions remain here.”  

photo credit: Karen Buker

We also learned the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community faces violent persecution in many Muslim countries from extremist radicals who have perverted Islamic teaching, creating misconceptions and misinterpretations of jihad or “struggle.”

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community staunchly rejects the notion of violent jihad. They believe the greater jihad is the jihad of reforming oneself. This prepares one for the ultimate jihad, serving mankind. 

Upon conclusion of their commentary, we proceeded with worship and Eucharist. After the closing hymn and dismissal, those from Ahmadiyya Muslim Community stayed with us for extended conversations. We sought first to understand rather than be understood. We found we all believe that love begets justice. And justice will ultimately beget peace.

Members of St. Peter’s have been invited to visit the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Bait ul-Qadir Mosque on Friday, November 29, to continue our conversations and share in their prayer service.

~Steve Elliot, Senior Warden
St. Peter's Episcopal Church
West Allis, Wisconsin

Photo credit: Karen Buker

Bishop Miller Speaks at Rally for Wisconsin Gun Safety Bills

"We are here, as Episcopalians, because we believe in the dignity of every human being. And the dignity of every human being includes keeping people safe." ~Bishop Steven A. Miller

Wisconson governor Tony Evers called a special legislative session to address Gun Violence. In particular, the governor was asking legislators to pass two bills: one to expand current background check laws and the other to create an extreme risk protection process or red flag law. According to a Marquette Law School pool, over 80% of Wisconsin citizens support this legislation and yet this legislation has been stalled for some time.

Bishop Miller, a convenor of Bishops United Against Gun Violence and member of the 80% Coalitionspoke at a news conference yesterday morning at the Capitol demanding that Wisconsin legislative leaders allow a vote on the gun violence proposals. His speech begins around the three-minute mark. He also spoke with WFDL yesterday morning ahead of the rally yesterday.

Read more about it on the Episcopal News Service.

Advent Resources

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Are you looking for moments of rest and reflection during the busy season of Advent? Here are a number of resources available from around the Church for the season. They are all suitable individual and congregational use. 

Journeying the Way of Love Advent Curriculum

For the season of Advent, Journeying the Way of Love offers four sessions to be explored as we await the coming of Christ by moving through the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke. Luke’s gospel provides a pattern for understanding how we can live the Way of Love as individuals, as families and friends, as a community, and out in the world. The sessions are specially designed for use during the Christian formation hour before or after worship. Facilitation instructions accommodate small or large groups.

Advent Word: A Global Advent Calendar
For the sixth year in a row, #AdventWord will gather prayers via a global, online Advent calendar. Virginia Theological Seminary is offering meditations and images during this holy season beginning Sunday,  December 1. Images and meditations can be experienced via the #AdventWord website, direct daily emails, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and ASL videos via YouTube.  

Living Well Through Advent
From Living Compass: Designed for use as an individual reflection or for group study, this guide provides a foundation for seeking a deeper experience of Advent, an experience that will help prepare us for the true meaning of Christmas. Available in both print and electronic editions.

A Way to the Manger 
A Way to the Manger is a daily devotional from Forward Movement that explores Christ’s birth as recounted in the Gospel of Luke through the lens of the Way of Love and the seven practices of turn, learn, pray, worship, bless, go, and rest. 

From the introduction: The Advent readings provide rich material for reflecting on social justice topics. Advent is a time of preparation for celebrating the coming of the Messiah, the coming of God’s kingdom. The readings bring together the prophetic and Gospel traditions calling for a new social order based on peace and justice. Advent is a time to remember John the Baptist, the new Elijah who has come to challenge the rule of the men in soft robes who oppressed the poor. John the Baptist was preparing the way for the coming of the messiah – the one that would bring justice to the world, to all creation. It is a time for us to reflect on what “living in the light of the Lord” (Is. 2:5) obliges us to do in caring for each other and our planet.

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