Visitors are served food during an interfaith Thanksgiving meal at Heartsong
In Memphis Tennessee, the heart of the U.S. Bible Belt, the Muslim community planned to build an Islamic Center where Muslim families could pray and play together.
But across the street was the Heartsong Church, a bastion of Christianity.
The Heartsong Church congregation's first reaction to the Muslims was one of fear and uncertainty. But then everything changed.
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Pastor Steve Stone appealed to the hearts of his congregation, and soon they placed a sign that read, "Heartsong Church welcomes the Memphis Islamic Center to the neighborhood."
This is a difficult time in the U.S. for Muslims, and Dr. Bashir Shala, head of the board of trustees for the Muslim Islamic Center, was deeply moved, as were his congregants.
Then, as often happens in major construction projects, the building of the Islamic Center was not going to be completed on-time.
As the holy Muslim month of Ramadan arrived, Pastor Steve invited the Muslims to celebrate this sacred Muslim holiday period in the Heartsong Church, which the Muslims gratefully did.
This began a close relationship between the two congregations.
Barbara Watt (left) and Ayaat Alomari embrace during an interfaith Thanksgiving meal at Heartsong United Methodist Church
They are not just Muslims and Christians but friends that celebrate together, whether in picnics or a blood drive in remembrance of 9/11, or in a combined Thanksgiving Dinner, and other activities as they share facilities on both sides of the street.
People have gotten to know each other on a personal level, and as a result, they have replaced fear and uncertainty with love and compassion, in a bonding of families.
To see a 5-minute, 10 second beautiful, heartwarming video of these two congregations together: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t33Hy4XSymg