The Institute of Interfaith Dialog and the Village Presbyterian Church jointly hosted a Dinner of Abrahamic Traditions and a panel discussion on the topic of “Respect for Parents and Elders in Abrahamic Traditions” at the Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village on Thursday, February 23, 2012. The master of ceremonies for the event was the Reverend Jay McKell of Village Presbyterian.(February 23, 2012 Mission, KS)
The panelists consisted of the Reverend Mark R. Holland, Senior Pastor, Trinity Community Church; Dr. Abdulbaki Agbas, Associate Professor, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences; and Rabbi Scott White, Congregation Ohev Sholom. The guests, numbering more than 120, included a broad representation of the Abrahamic faiths community.
The evening opened with warm words of welcome and a prayer from Reverend McKell followed by a buffet of sumptuous Turkish cuisine topped off with that perennial dessert favorite baklava. The meal provided ample opportunity for the diners to renew old acquaintances as well as establish new ones.
The panel discussion portion of the evening began with Reverend Holland, who shared some of the historical background regarding theologian John Wesley and the founding of the Methodist movement. He proceeded to broach the subject of parenting and paid homage to his own father and mother present in the audience. He then reflected upon the parent-child relationship as referenced in the New Testament and the life of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Agbas expanded upon the topic by quoting from the Qur’an and relating events from the life of the Prophet Muhammad revealing profound reverence for the station of parenthood. He spoke with gentle emotion of his own personal family relationships.
Finally Rabbi White rounded out the discussion with a Jewish perspective on fathers and sons as framed within the Ten Commandments. He also illustrated with personal anecdotes how his embracing an orthodox view as an adult impacted his relationship with his father.
The evening concluded with a question and answer period including stimulating contributions and observations from the audience.