Members of Laurel Heights United Methodist Church and Muslims from the Raindrop Turkish House and Dialogue Institute of the Southwest gathered for a Ramadan dinner on Sunday, part of the Raindrop Turkish House's effort to grow interfaith relationships.
Ramadan is a religious practice that takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims across the world celebrate by abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking, and ill-natured or excessive activity from sunrise to sunset.
For each of the 29 or 30 days of Ramadan, Raindrop Turkish House joins religious groups across San Antonio for an iftar dinner, which is typically served after sunset during the holy month. The goal of the dinner is to create a space for education, connection, and understanding regarding San Antonio's growing Muslim community.
"Finding out about Ramadan – that Ramadan is time that you spend with family and friends and that their whole focus is on building community – is great," said Laurel Heights United Methodist Church Rev. Jim McClain, who joined in the sunrise to sunset fasting. "It was great to make new friends."
Ramadan is a time for disciplining oneself in spirituality, humility, and patience as well as an opportunity to cleanse the soul, practice selflessness, and focus attention on God.