A week of words without action from one reverend in Florida inspired another reverend in Lansing to act with words.
"It was like a light went on," said Rev. Kit Carlson of All Saints Episcopal Church. "People can hear what's in the book and text can be honored by people of a different culture."
The text Carlson is referring to is the Qur'an, the holy book of the islamic faith. For two hours Saturday night, Carlson's church opened its doors for a multi-faith congregation from around Lansing. The capacity crowd came to hear readings straight from the Qu'ran In both English and Arabic and unabbridged.
"Tonight we want to stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters in a sense of not only solidarity but education," said Rev. Sarah Midzalkowski of Canterbury MSU. "Most americans have no idea what the tenets of islam are."
"I think people will be surprised to learn the similarities between Islam and Christianity," said Farhan Bhatti, a spokesperson for the Islamic Society of Greater Lansing. "Honor thy neighbor isn't a principle that's unique to Christianity or Islam but it's something that's across faiths."
The hope of local religious groups was that this would be a stepping stone to interfaith understanding. It was an event many thought was necessary in light of the recent tensions over a proposed Qur'an burning in Florida that received attention across the world.
"This is what makes America great, this is what we need more of and this is just a part of a series of dialogues." said Bhatti.
"What we're trying to do is bring people together so that we can promote tolerance not just in our world but in our hearts and in our communities and relationships are where this starts," said Midzalkowski.