Interfaith Community Builds and Blesses Home in Pinellas, FL

In preparation for the Fighting Poverty with Faith mobilization of 2012, we’re collecting stories about ways the faith community is active in creating Affordable Housing for All. Send your stories to info@nccendpoverty.org

Here is a story Shared by Barbara Inman, President/CEO of Habitat for Humanity Pinellas County

This past year, Habitat for Humanity Pinellas County had a home that was built by a combination of Muslims, Christians, and Jews. This was unprecedented in our history and the final home blessing, with all faiths contributing their prayer of blessing on the home, was incredibly moving. When we bless a home here in our Habitat affiliate, all present touch the house as it is being blessed. I watched in amazement as each faith took the microphone for his/her blessing, another minister made sure that they were touching the home and then laid his/her other hand on the shoulder of the minister doing the blessing.

It really was a beautiful event.

***

Habitat Pinellas “Interfaith House” Faith LeadersImage

Pastor Donna Oberkreser, Central Christian Church, Robert Reeves, Habitat Pinellas, Vice President of Homeowner Services, Cedaizha and Tiffani Miller, Ula Armashi and Anas AlGhazzi, the Islamic Center of Pinellas County, and  Andrea Mason and Rabbi Daniel Treiser of the Temple B’nai Israel. The three congregations were the sponsors of the Miller family’s house, providing financial and volunteer support for the construction of the home.

Interfaith handshake

From left: Ula Armashi and Anas AlGhazzi, of the Islamic Center of Pinellas County  and Rabbi Daniel Treiser of the Temple B’nai Israel

Image

Habitat Pinellas “Interfaith House” Blessing

Cedaizha, 10, and her mother, Tiffani Miller close their eyes during all four blessings bestowed on their new house during the Habitat Pinellas dedication ceremony on Sunday, January 8th in the Stevens Creek subdivision in Clearwater. To the right of Tiffani is her mother and Habitat Pinellas CEO/President Barbara Inman.  It is a Habitat custom that during the blessing, all present touch the walls of the house. Blessings were given by Pastor Donna Oberkreser, Central Christian Church, Rabbi Daniel Treiser, Temple B’nai Israel and Anas AlGhazzi, the Islamic Center of Pinellas County.  Tiffani’s pastor, Rev. Bernard Smith of St. James AME Church, also delivered a blessing.Image

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