Can you imagine what an encounter between Jesus and a Muslim person would be like today? Do you think Jesus would unleash a barrage of condemnation? Or do you think He’d ask for an invitation to dine in a Muslim’s home?
Those questions and others will be explored at the first-ever Friendship of Jesus and Muslims Conference, April 3-6 at the Crowne Plaze (airport) Hotel in Detroit. Open to all LCMS members, the conference is co-sponsored by LCMS World Mission and People of the Book Lutheran Outreach (POBLO), a Dearborn Heights, Mich.-based mission society that reaches out to Muslims in the United States and South Asia.
The conference is designed to “raise the level of conversation, direction, motivation, and preparation for sharing the love of Jesus for Muslim friends and neighbors,” according to an informational brochure. It will include plenary sessions and workshops on a variety of topics related to Muslims led by missionaries and others experienced in relationship-building ministries with Muslims.
Plenary presentations include:
- “Christian Engagement with Muslims: A Panoramic Survey,” “The Muslim View of Jesus,” and “Some Models for De-Radicalizing Christian-Muslim Relations,” led by Dr. Roland Miller, longtime missionary to India; current professor at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; and author of Muslim Friends: Their Faith and Feeling and Muslims and the Gospel: Bridging the Gap.
- “Training Manual for Ministry Among Muslims,” with Dr. Khurram Khan, executive director of POBLO. The mission society has started 17 ethnic congregations in the U.S.
- “The Experience of the Michigan District,” with District President William Hoesman.
- “What Muslims Believe and Do,” led by Dr. Jim Dretke, former LCMS missionary to Africa and parish pastor in Saudi Arabia.
- “Reaching out to Muslims in North America,” led by a panel of POBLO personnel.
The conference also includes:
- an opening-night banquet with LCMS President Gerald B. Kieschnick, who will serve as keynote speaker.
- Bible studies with Dr. Herb Hoefer, former LCMS missionary to India who currently serves as a theology professor and missions chair at Concordia University, Portland., Ore., and area director for India and Sri Lanka with LCMS World Mission.
- a cross-cultural experience in greater Detroit, home of the largest Islamic community in the country, that includes an ethnic meal.
- a choice of attending a Tamil, Urdhu, or Arabic worship service.
Registration, which includes all meals, is $150 before Jan. 15 or $175 before Feb. 15. Students may register for $100 before Jan. 15 or $125 before Feb. 15.
Posted Jan. 8, 2008