Face 2 Faith

In 2006, the young people of Methodism challenged the Church todedicate a month to prayer for improved relationships betweenpeople of different faiths. They pointed to the 'hostile anduntrue' things that are said about some faiths, particularly Islam.Inter faith action, they decided, was hugely important as a way ofchallenging this. And the first step could be prayer.

The Methodist Conference rose to the challenge and Face 2 Faith,taking place across the Church in February 2007, is theresult.

Churches are encouraged to take part in three ways: by praying forbetter inter faith relations in Britain and the world, by doingsomething to encourage inter faith understanding in their communityand by entering the Face 2 Faith photo competition, which will belaunched during February.

Dr Elizabeth Harris, Methodist Secretary for Inter Faith Relations,said 'This is a great opportunity for churches to pray and act forsomething that is incredibly important - trust and respect betweenpeople of different faiths. In today's society, religious groupscan often become stereotyped and polarised, and this month is aboutbreaking down those boundaries so that we can move forward withpeople of other faiths, learning and working together. Churches arealready responding with enthusiasm and we're looking forward tohearing the many exciting stories that will come out of Face 2Faith.'

Each church or circuit is encouraged to respond in its own way,looking at what's appropriate for each community. Newham MethodistCircuit has decided to use February as a month of education,helping their congregations to understand why these issues are soimportant, and Chris Cornell, a past President of the MethodistYouth Conference, plans to organise a church visit to his localmosque or temple.

For those looking to find out more about Face 2 Faith, or getinvolved, www.face2faith.org.ukoffers plenty of ideas and resources. Visitors to the site can findout how to set up a prayer-room in their church - a creative andrelaxing space to pray for their communities and the world. Theycan also find prayer ideas, and read and share stories about whatinter faith relations mean to them. Churches may also wish to useMay I Call You Friend?; a new resource designed to help Christiansto consider the issues involved in sharing their faith with thoseof other religions.