"Blessed Ramadan" Yard Signs
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Greetings to you from the New York State Council of Churches and the Capital Area Council of Churches.
Representing Christian communities in New York, we cordially invite you to extend a blessing to our Muslim neighbors through the Blessed Ramadan Project. The Project offers a visible way for Christians to make it clear that Jesus’ name should never be used to justify hateful rhetoric against Muslims which is sadly all too prevalent in our communities and colors the national discourse.
The idea is to post "Blessed Ramadan" yard signs on church grounds and in neighborhoods across the state to convey kindness and hospitality to our fellow Muslim citizens. We want to say boldly that hate towards Muslims is not who we are as New Yorkers. At our best, we are a welcoming, caring, respectful community. The signs are also intended to promote conversation and learning, please visit our website for more information. New York State Council of Churches
The project launches on the first day of Ramadan which is June 5 and goes for one month to July 6. Ramadan is a time when Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. The annual observance is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is performed to learn compassion, self-restraint, and generosity.
The Minnesota Council of Churches is taking the lead on this nationwide project. Our Councils in New York will join councils of churches and interfaith organizations in Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Washington in this effort.
Here are some options for obtaining signs:
1. Pick up signs in person at the Capital Area of Council of Churches offices at First Lutheran Church at 646 State Street in Albany. Call ahead to 518-505-7498 (mobile) or 518-462-5450 (office) to let us know when you are coming. Signs are $10 each if you pick them up.
2. Click on this link for purchasing and picking up or shipping options.
3. Download this graphic file and send it to a local printer near you. You can also print off a document, laminate it, and place in your window or on a door for all to see.
4. Peter Cook will bring a limited quantity of signs for the assembly meetings for the Methodists in Syracuse (June 2 to 4) Lutherans in Rochester (June 5 to 7) and United Church of Christ in Rochester (June 10 to 12). If you are attending those meetings, you can get them there. He will take orders for larger quantities at the meetings.
Minnesota Council of Churches is coordinating a national press release today, June 1. In your community, we encourage you to connect with news outlets and let us know when you succeed. As stories appear, send them along and we will post them on WWW.NYSCOC.org or WWW.Capareacc.org or on our Facebook pages.
Please talk to your friends, colleagues, and parishioners about the project and facilitate their participation. Click here for a tool kit which local churches and judicatories can use for their newsletters, worship bulletins, and on their web and Facebook pages.
We also urge you to reach out to your Muslim neighbors. Attend celebrations when invited and take time to learn more about Islam. According to local Muslim scholars, one website is recommended to learn more about Islam: www.islamreligion.com. (Vocabulary nuance: Muslims are the people who practice Islam.) Other resources will appear on our web pages.
Please contact Peter Cook at 508-380-8289 or Pcook@nyscoc.org or Deb Riitano at 518-505-7498 or Driitano6@gmail.com with any questions or if you need assistance. We will offer the best support we can to help you promote this effort in your community but we need your help and leadership. As the project progresses, we will send you updates.
Many thanks as you seek to be a blessing to our Muslim neighbors and celebrate the gifts they offer to the world.
Executive Director, New York State Council of Churches
Executive Director, Capital Area Council of Churches