Why have a bonfire? Try sunshine instead

by Cin on September 9, 2010

A church in suburban Memphis welcomes their new neighbors

There is nothing that brightens my day more than someone who goes against the crowd to do something lovely and courageous. And while much of the world’s attention is focused on the church in Florida who wants to have a Quran burning, a pastor in suburban Memphis is doing just the opposite – he’s welcoming his new neighbors.

Pastor Steve Stone of the Heartsong church in Cordova, Tennessee had some misgivings when he first heard that a new Islamic center was going to be built on the land next to his church. And then he asked himself, “What would Jesus do if He were us? He would welcome the neighbor.” And so he did.

It started with a welcome sign and grew from there. The two congregations have met several times and established a dialogue that both sides acknowledge has broken down barriers. This month, Heartsong is letting the Muslims use their church for Ramadan.

And the pastor has a sense of humor, too. He’s told his congregation that if anyone asks what they’re doing being so nice to Muslims that they should say, “We are loving our neighbors, for Christ’s sake!”

Talk about letting your light shine.

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