The Feast is going strong in Lebanon. Faith is being discussed, friendships deepened and lives changed. Working with a slightly different approach, the same young people [about 32 on average] meet together every two weeks for an evening of discussion, challenge, fun and of course food. As with any Feast gathering, food is a critical component, and those of you who know anything about Lebanese cuisine, can imagine what a highlight this is!!
The young people, all from the Beirut area of Lebanon, represent four distinct faith communities. Each community is represented by an existing youth group. The expectation is that, as a group, they will further influence their own communities. At each meeting we have Sunni and Shiite Muslim, along with Maronite and Evangelical young people.
A couple of weeks ago we all went bowling and then had dinner together – we filled the entire (!) restaurant, which was fun [and noisy!]. The young people are always keen to talk about faith and religion. At times discussions have got a little heated, but given the part of the world in which we live that is not surprising – and the Guidelines for Dialogue are always there to help. The young people are really engaged in what they are doing and look forward to the next gathering.
The month of Ramadan provides a great opportunity for us. Within the next few weeks we will be visiting the communities of the different youth groups participating in The Feast Lebanon. Each group will host a Feast gathering, and we will then share an Iftar meal together, to break the fast.
We are in the process of looking ahead to the next year, and have some exciting ideas and plans.
– Guest post, by Arthur Brown from The Feast Lebanon.