Local Muslim group finds a home
A group of Muslims from West Hartford and the Farmington Valley will take over use of an empty Episcopal Church building in Avon, according to the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.
The Farmington Valley American Muslim Center (FVAMC) will take over the former Christ Episcopal Church on Harris Road, using it as a worship center and interfaith hub.
The partnership will bring interfaith educational programming to the facility, which the Diocese plans to lease to the FVAMC. The move aligns with the Diocese's renewed effort in "recommitting itself to interfaith initiatives in new ways," the Diocese said in the press release.
“The initiation of this partnership with the Farmington Valley American Muslim Center is an incredible gift to us a Christians, because when we come into conversation with the religious ‘other’ it helps us to speak even more clearly about our own faith in the Triune God,” the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, said in a statement.
FVAMC and local Episcopal parishes like Trinity Episcopal Church in Collinsville and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Bristol engaged in informal discussions about a partnership earlier this year, according to the Diocese, which "asked about the needs and resources of the Church and community in the greater Farmington River valley."
FVAMC has been searching for a home to base an interfaith center. The group has set out to create a center "dedicated to worshipping God, interfaith understanding and dialogue, service to community and country, and creating a secure, nurturing environment where our community can congregate.”
“Our partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut is an exciting new venture for our Center,” Khamis Abu-Hasaballah, Ph.D., FVAMC president, said in a statement. “We look forward to further strengthening our community’s interfaith coalition and joining together on new initiatives.”
The Farmington Valley American Muslim Center was formed earlier this year to offer more local places for Farmington Valley Muslims to worship and to educate people of all faiths about the religion.
Before the FVAMC formed, Muslims residing in the Farmington Valley have had to drive as far Berlin or Hartford to worship in mosques. They are "doctors, college professors, businessmen, and other professionals" in the local communities looking to find a closer place to worship, the release stated.
The start date of the new center has not been announced at this time and more information will be provided when it becomes available.