Interfaith women’s group Daughters of Abraham meet in Denton for first time

Interfaith women’s group Daughters of Abraham meet in Denton for first time

Interfaith women’s group Daughters of Abraham meet in Denton for first time
March 04
20:31 2018

A group of more than 20 women met at Emily Fowler Library Sunday afternoon for the first meeting of the Daughters of Abraham in Denton. The interfaith group is for women of Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths to join together to increase cultural sensitivity and promote religious understanding.

The first group was started by Edie Howe, a Massachusetts attorney turned peace advocate, after she sat and prayed with women of Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths on the evening of 9/11. She then decided to form a book club of women from the three Abrahamic faiths, which has met since 2002.

“It was initially a book club, and they’re still meeting, and they’re still discussing books,” said Emanda Johnson, one of the creators of the Denton group. “It is our hope that we can have a discussion group which can be more inclusive of visitors. So, if we have a topic, people can come in and enjoy it, but if they haven’t read a book, then that’s a little of a problem, and it can feel exclusive.”

The Denton chapter of the Daughters of Abraham was started by Johnson, Janie Cindric and Carol Foote. The trio is affiliated with St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Denton. Johnson’s husband is the rector at St. Barnabas, where Cindric and Johnson have been members for four and 40 years respectively.

“We felt there was a need in our area for it,” Cindric said. “When I first heard of Daughters of Abraham I just felt that I needed to be a part of it.”

Cindric and some of the women in attendance previously attended Daughters of Abraham meetings in Fort Worth and wanted to make it more convenient for women in Denton to be a part of the organization.

Business senior Moniba Ijazi, president of professional Muslim sorority Mu Delta Alpha, said it is nice to have people of different faiths and backgrounds come together.

“I think it’s a pretty cool concept because unity is really important, and I think in the midst of tensions, it’s really nice to have people come together and not have those tensions,” Ijazi said. “I think it’s also kind of like an educational opportunity because I myself identify with the Islamic faith, but I know aspects of Christianity and Judaism but not as much as I would like.”

Ijazi talked about cultural understanding on campus and UNT’s Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity.

“That’s something that the university has taken initiative toward to bring about acceptance, and helping to promote that diversity,” Ijazi said. “Not just the fake kind where it’s just, ‘We want people of this kind of religious background and this specific race,’ but it’s actually helping you fit into the university no matter what you identify as.”

The first meeting had a lightness to it as the women shared personal stories relating to their religious journeys, and many joked about the overrepresentation of St. Barnabas parishioners. Of the women in attendance, more than half were Episcopalians from St. Barnabas and others were of Catholic, Islamic and Presbyterian faiths.

There were no women of Jewish faith at the meeting, something Johnson and others expressed they would like to see change at the next meeting.

“There are no Jewish sisters here,” Johnson said. “We’re looking for our third sister, our elder sister.”

The next meeting is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 25 at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, and future meetings will take place at the members’ respective places of worship.

For more information, email DentonDaughters@gmail.com.

Featured Image: Before the first meeting of the Denton chapter of the Daughters of Abraham, Janie Cindric leads the group in prayer. Denton community members gathered at Emily Fowler Central Library on Denton on Sunday to start a Denton chapter of the Daughters of Abraham. The Daughters of Abraham is an interfaith group whose goal is to foster friendships, cultural understanding, and fellowship between women of the Islamic, Jewish and Christian faiths, all of which are Abrahamic religions. Jake King/DRC

About Author

Sean Riedel

Sean Riedel

Sean Riedel is currently the News Editor at the North Texas Daily, and previously served as a staff writer from June 2017 to May 2018.

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