Keeping the Faith

June 13, 2010

Author: Susan Frick Carlman

Source: Naperville Sun,6_1_NA13_IRSHAD_S1-100613.article

Just off a bustling thoroughfare a few miles east of Naperville, the parking lot outside a Methodist church begins to fill up. The shadows are growing long as people file gradually into the gathering room.

Beneath a wall dominated by a wooden cross, the worshippers unfurl patterned rugs, overlapping them slightly. The rectangle formed by the cluster of floor coverings is tilted slightly, so that when it fills with those in prayer, each will be facing toward Mecca.

The congregants have stepped away from their daytime lives as professors, physicians, researchers and homemakers to gather as they do at dusk every Thursday evening. Although their faith calls for prayer five times every day, they come here weekly to share in worship, fellowship and a meal.