Thanks to the gracious hospitality of Bay Area Cultural Connections, a group of people gathered last night at the South San Francisco Conference Center to share in the BAYCC annual Interfaith Dialogue Dinner. The BAYCC, a group of young, predominantly Turkish Muslims, invited clergy and community leaders from Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sufi traditions to meet, break bread together, and engage in conversation with one another around the tables.
Speakers for the evening included Rev. Stephen Brown (San Bruno Church of the Nazarene), Rabbi Helen Cohn (Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco), Iftekhar Hai (United Muslims of America Interfaith Alliance), Bora Karayaka (BAYCC), and Fr. Gerard O”Rourke (Archdiocese of San Francisco). But the most significant part was the conversation around the tables as people learned about each other and the challenges of mutual understanding and communication in our area.
Bay Area Cultural Connections was created “to help establish a tolerant, caring, and educated society,” by strengthening connections in the community, teaching love, sharing and faith. Inspired by the interreligious work of M. Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic scholar in Turkey, BAYCC works to create opportunities for multicultural and interfaith encounter.