Building Bridges

This afternoon, twelve people made their way through the snow to join Kevin and me in our home for a "Friendship Gathering." Over way too strong coffee (Someone else besides me should have made the coffee) or tea, with bulgar salad, turkish sandwiches, baklava, and four kinds of my grandma's cookies, we traded names and brief introductions to begin to know each other.

Seven of our guests live in NJ but their roots are in Turkey and they follow Islam. Seven of us are from Metro with roots on both US coasts and in far off countries like Korea, Guatemala, and PA. While we munched, our new friends introduced us to Peace Island Institute, an organization that promotes peace at the UN, in our US Congress and in churches and synagogues by helping people from different ethnicities and religions discover all we have in common. Their goal is to reduce conflict by helping people get to know each other. 

It was a wonderful afternoon and I wish my photos reflected our time together better. I share them just to give you a taste of the beauty of the gathering we each enjoyed. 

Submitted by Linda Swanson