MADISON – Wisconsin Council of Churches (WCC) have reached out to its Muslim neighbors in Madison with a greeting message to welcome the holy month of Ramadan.
“With limited time to advertise, this year the WCC decided to start small by printing 100 signs that read ‘To Our Muslim Neighbors, Blessed Ramadan’, and invited churches across Wisconsin State to display them,” Reverend Kerri Parker, Executive Director for WCC told Wisconsin Muslim Journal on May 22.
The idea first appeared in 2016 when Minnesota Council of Churches ran a yard sign campaign during Ramadan, to show respect for their Muslim neighbors.
This year they decided to invite Councils around the country to join their interfaith effort.
“We didn’t have to think twice, loving our interfaith neighbors is loving our neighbor, and that is part of our mission,” Parker expressed.
The WCC is a community of Christian denominations that covenant to engage in a common ministry focused on church unity, peacemaking, social and economic justice for Wisconsin’s most vulnerable residents, and revitalizing congregations.
It encompasses 19 denominations with approximately 2,000 congregations and over one million church members.
Although most of the signs are being displayed in Madison and Milwaukee, they can also be found in Eau Claire, Stevens Point, and Appleton.
“Co-sponsoring the campaign are the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee and Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice in Madison,” Parker credited.
“Tom Heinen, the Executive Director of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee immediately embraced the opportunity to co-sponsor the project. He brought the idea to the Conference’s executive committee and found them to be extremely supportive,” Parker informed.
“The process of moving beyond tolerance to inclusiveness is the heart of what we are trying to do at the Interfaith Conference.” Heinen added, “By calling Muslims our friends and our neighbors, this not only normalizes good relationships, but this type of terminology makes us a community!”
The ‘Religious Landscape Study’ conducted in 2014 and 2015 found that Muslims represent 1% of the total population of the state of Wisconsin.