After the events of September 11, 2001, three mothers from New York City, all of different faiths, came together with the intention of learning more about each other's religions. And, in the process, they came to learn more about their own.
Ranya, an American Muslim of Palestinian descent started the group after her children began to ask questions about Islam, God and death. In a city that had become increasingly suspicious of Muslims, Ranya, found herself fearful and on the defensive. She was ashamed of the acts of Muslim extremists who used the religion she loved to justify acts of terrorism.
Suzanne, whose childhood grew up as a Catholic, had later found herself more in alignment with the Episcopal Church. As a Christian, she thought that her beliefs and faith were strong. After joining the Faith Club, she began to question the creeds and dogma of her faith and to see that things were not as clear-cut and black and white as she had once thought.
Priscilla, who was Jewish, struggled with her faith, finding that she was sympathic to the plight of the Palestinian refugees in Israel. Fearing that she was the only Jew who felt this way, she hesitated in sharing her feelings with other Jews.
As readers, we are able to eavesdrop on the conversations of these three women as they wrestle with matters of faith, anti-Semitism, prejudice and stereotypes. The questions they ask and the honesty with which they respond is touching. I wonder how many people would be willing to turn their religious beliefs wrong-side-out and look at them from a different perspective.
Over three years, these young mothers not only come to see the beauty and truth in each other's religions but they also pass this respect and appreciation on to their children. A deep friendship grows between them as they support each other through times of personal loss and grief.
I highly recommend this insightful and beautifully written journal of three women in search of answers to the questions that we have all asked. The book has inspired me to include some of the same questions in my group, "Spirituality Explorers" on Gather.com. This group has led to some very interesting discussions on such topics as reincarnation, angels, miracles, and "acts of God". I hope you'll consider joining the group and taking part in the discussions. So far we have 90 members. Here is a link: http://www.exploringspirit.gather.com/
And if you'd like to purchase the book, The Faith Club, you can use the link in my "Recommended Books" section which will take you directly to Amazon.com.