|Letter from Bishops Reed and Brooke-Davidson Regarding Border Situation in Texas.pdf|
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|St. Philip's Episcopal Church Uvalde, Texas||
On Friday, June 1, I had the opportunity to visit Raindrop Turkish House in San Antonio with other St. Philip’s members for iftar (evening meal) and information about Ramadan and the mission of Raindrop. We arrived at Raindrop around 7:30 PM and were warmly greeted by the members of Raindrop. We then proceeded into a large meeting room where the members of the Raindrop congregation were performing traditional Turkish and Muslim religious music. I was advised by Barbara Edwards that their music sounds different from what we are used to hearing because in Turkish music there are half tones where our music only has full tones. The group also performed “Amazing Grace” and invited us to sing along.
At the conclusion of the musical portion of our visit we went to a large dining hall where we had the opportunity to break bread with members of the Raindrop community. A presentation on the mission of Raindrop was made. I was very pleased to learn of the Raindrop outreach and coordination with existing programs for the betterment of San Antonio and its citizens. Raindrop is very community oriented and invests a great deal of time and talent of its members in programs which improve the community as a whole.
We then enjoyed an iftar at sunset consisting of traditional meat balls, rice, watermelon and dates. It was a light meal, but very delicious. During dining, we had the opportunity to find out more about the Muslim faith and practices. The members at my table were very well informed and very sincere. They taught us a great deal about their faith and its practice. During Ramadan most Muslims fast from sun up to sundown, including no water or beverage. Muslims refrain from consuming alcohol not only during Ramadan but as a life style required by their faith. They pray five times every day, three prayers of which are from the scriptures and two of which may be personal. During Ramadan they concentrate on doing good works and charity for the benefit of others.
After the meal, we were invited into their prayer room, and we were allowed to view some of the Raindrop members in individual prayer.
By the end of the visit, it was very clear to me that the Muslim way of life, is a very spiritual life based on faith and their scriptures. Prayer is the cornerstone of their life, and working for the welfare of their fellow man and community is a very sacred and high priority. I began to feel a strong kinship with their faith and realized that their strong commitment to their faith and their dedication to their prayer life and their fellow man is what we also work towards as Christians.
- Greg Baber