‘A Christian Presence in a Muslim Country’

n Rockford Urban Ministries’ monthly program offers insight

Rockford Urban Ministries is pleased to welcome Rev. Al Streyffeler as the speaker at its monthly meeting at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 25, at Our Master’s United Methodist Church, 5973 Darlene Drive, Rockford. He will speak on “A Christian Presence in a Muslim Country.”

Rev. Streyffeler spent seven years as a United Methodist missionary in Dakar, Senegal, Africa. Senegal is a Muslim majority country with a small Christian presence. Prior to that, Rev. Streyffeler spent six years in Zimbabwe and one and a half years in Tanzania. He will talk about his and his wife’s experiences living and working in Senegal as Christian missionaries under the auspices of the General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church. He will also respond to the excellent Time magazine article (June 30, 2003 issue): “Should Christians Convert Muslims?”

Among the first missionaries to enter Dakar, Rev. Streyffeler’s responsibility was to establish a church and be involved in economic empowerment. At the time of their reassignment to the North Central Jurisdiction, there were 14 United Methodist house churches in Dakar, where previously there had been none. Rev. Streyffeler has developed a strong passion to foster Islamic-Christian dialogue. He has joined with his colleagues to discern the importance of what he calls an “Abrahamic Ecumene” or “the common bond with Abraham” among the three faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Rev. Streyffeler has a bachelor’s of arts degree from Westmar College and bachelor’s of divinity degree from Evangelical Theological Seminary, now Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He also has a master’s degree in systematic theology from Andover-Newton Theological School.

The program is free and open to the public. RUM will invite representatives from the Muslim Community Center to respond to Rev. Streyffeler. For info, call Rockford Urban Ministries at 964-7111.

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