On Sunday, my wife and I had the pleasure of attending the Mary Anne & Richard Cavicchi Christian Education Seminar on “Getting to Know Our Muslim Neighbors: An Introduction to Islamic Beliefs and Practices” at the Rocky River (OH) United Methodist Church, the church I attended as a child.
The featured speaker was Dr. Carl Sharif El-Tobgui, Assistant Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies and Director of the Arabic Language Program at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. The Mary Anne and Richard Cavicchi Christian Education Seminar sponsored Dr. Sharif to be the seminar speaker. Members of the Islamic Center of Cleveland joined members of Rocky River United Methodist Church in many planning meetings for the seminar. More than two hundred people attended the final program.
Rocky River United Methodist Church and the Islamic Center of Cleveland sponsored the seminar. Members of RRUMC attended the Islamic Center for Friday Prayers, and members of the Islamic congregation were invited to services at RRUMC on Sunday morning. The Islamic Center invited him to give the Friday prayers and sermon, and then on Friday evening to a potluck dinner, to give the evening prayers, and to speak again.
I was proud that the organizer and moderator, Elizabeth Cavicchi, Ed.D., Harvard Graduate School of Education, an old friend, presented copies of Masjid Morning to both the RRUMC for their library and to Dr. Carl Sharif El-Tobgui.
The novel includes a dialogue on Islam and Christianity between Amy and Atif, a romantically-attracted couple, and depicts people of different faiths working together in mutual assistance.
The seminar was the fourth to be held in honor of Mary Anne Cavicchi, Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University and MDiv., Yale Divinity School, former Director of Religious Education at RRUMC and John Carroll University professor, and Richard Cavicchi, long-time employee of NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.