Changes at Room in the Inn: An Update
Shalom Park Room in the Inn has made a change which promises to broaden all of our horizons. The Jewish community is joining in partnership with the Muslim community to create Abraham’s Tent: A Muslim Community-Jewish Community Room in the Inn at Queens University of Charlotte. Two simultaneous circumstances led to the birth of this new RITI venture. First, the rising cost of security at Shalom Park became prohibitive – we could have put all of our guests in hotel rooms for the amount money security would have cost! Second, the Muslim community reached out to the Jewish community with a desire to build relationships with us. In our first planning meeting of this evolved program, our Muslim partners noted the “noble cause” behind this bridge building initiative.
Please read on for the memo that was sent to the Queens University community:
For six to eight nights this winter, Jews and Muslims are invited to come together to provide food, shelter and care to approximately ten neighbors in need as part of our brand new program entitled Abraham’s Tent: A Shared Muslim and Jewish Community Room in the Inn. As part of Urban Ministries Room in the Inn community, we will open our Belk Chapel one to two Saturdays a month from December to March to our homeless neighbors. Just as Abraham’s tent was open on all sides to welcome friends and strangers passing by his desert dwelling, the Muslim and Jewish communities want our neighbors in Charlotte to feel that spirit of welcome. We invite all community members to join us in providing this place of hospitality on the Queens Campus.
In conjunction with this program, we will be offering an Abraham’s Tent: Bridge Building Initiative. Each of the Saturday nights that we host our neighbors at the Belk Chapel, we will extend an open invitation for a potluck dinner to any members of the Jewish community and Muslim community who want to expand their circles of friendship, connection, and community. We will also be having Abraham’s Tent: Bridge Building programs at Shalom Park and at local mosques, for Room in the Inn volunteers and others to connect, socialize, and learn.
“This will be an uplifting opportunity to expand our circles of friendship and connection not only with our homeless neighbors, but through the act of hospitality, we will be able to build friendships and connections between Jews and Muslims in Charlotte.” – Patty Torcellini