Glued to the boob tube â€“ is this ever a good thing? Well, if it helps bring people together so that they can grow up without the inhibitions and self-imposed limitations of older generations, then, I suppose, at least I can live with it. The picture here shows Vehbi and Leyla Yurt, the children of Nasuhi and Nuray Yurt, together with our daughter, Allison, during a recent family dinner at our house.
Similar dinners are currently being scheduled with several families of First Reformed Church. Our hope is to enter a new stage of Turkish-American relations after a fruitful first stage of more formal discourse on Christianity and Islam. Now itâ€™s time to meet as families, to see how life is in our respective houses, and to foster the personal ties we have been developing â€“ and, perhaps, to learn how to say grace in an interfaith manner before the meal.
Early on in May, the twelve Turkey travelers from our church will have a meeting in Newark to meet with representatives of BAKIAD, the organization that is so generous as to sponsor our trip to Turkey after Christmas this year. What an exciting thing our church family is blessed to experience here! We may not be able to contribute much to the official academic interfaith dialogs as conducted by universities and national denominational offices, but we can certainly help to take down barriers in our local communities and broaden our understanding of Godâ€™s buzzing world in the course of it. May God bless our friends from Turkey! They help us to become a little more complete.