MSA’s 2013 Alternative Spring Break team, made of 13 MSA-ers and Muslim Chaplain Tayssir Safi, will be heading to Salem, Virginia, on Saturday, March 2nd. During their week working with Feeding America, our team will post reflections and general updates. Keep checking back here and on the University of Michigan ASB blog!
Sarah Khan: Reflection submitted Tuesday, March 5th
Grandin Baptist Church introduced us to the true meaning of “Southern Hospitality”. With their homemade treats and accommodating facilities, the people there have been nothing short of amazing in their generosity and kindness. We were fortunate enough to be invited to Sunday service, and for many of us it was the first time we’ve been able to sit in on a service. It was a new experience that I found enjoyable. In the church we had complete strangers coming up and personally welcoming us. This treatment reminded us of the importance of being kind and of how as a Muslim community we need to welcome and encourage others outside the community to join us, whether socially or in worship.
The service itself was interesting; we constantly outline the differences between our religions, when in fact there are tenets that hold true in many religions. The sermon was about outer and inner cleanliness and how our status is not an excuse to treat others poorly, themes that as a Muslim I know well. The service was filled with singing and music–a unique experience for me, yet one I enjoyed. There was a genuine sense of community and family within the church, and even as a visitor from Michigan, I still felt accepted into the community. The Grandin Baptist Church deserves a great big thank you for giving us an incredible experience and hospitality.