Category: The Feast

Living at Peace in a world of Conflict

The latest series of The Birmingham Conversations focused in the theme of how we live at peace in a super-diverse city like Birmingham, when there is so much tension and conflict in the world that can easily cause animosity between people here.

The conversations explored meanings of peace, situations and issues that disrupt peace and the skills we need to be peace makers.

As always the group was made up of people from a variety of faith backgrounds who committed to being part of the process over a six month period. We also had a young adults stream, led by The Feast,  which worked with people aged 18-25 who looked at the same topics but used discussion activities more sited to their age and experiences.

As always, sharing food was a key part of the conversations which, whilst exploring some controversial topics, led to stronger friendships and sharing of some profoundly personal and moving stories. Listening to how people feel and their experiences of being a victim opened our eyes to the perceptions, experiences, faith and feelings of others that impacted all those who took part.

As a result of this programme a resource has been produced to equip others to lead similar conversations. The full resource along with a pack of pictures for use in the conversation can be downloaded here

Living at Peace final Digital

Living at Peace Images Digital

 

The Feast

The Feast is a Christian charity based in Birmingham, working to promote community cohesion between Christian and Muslim young people. The Feast strives to see Christian and Muslim young people come together to form real friendships that move them to be change-makers and peace-makers amongst their local and wider communities.
Established in Sparkhill in 2009, we now work across Birmingham, in Bradford and Keighley and in Tower Hamlets, and have developing works in other locations across the UK and the world! We work with Christian and Muslim young people in their own school, faith or community setting and bring them together at ‘faith encounter’ events where they join to do something fun like art or sport.
The Feast is all about…
Exploring faith – young people are equipped and empowered to discuss their faith in a safe and respectful way, drawing out both the similarities and differences.
Creating friendships – bringing together young people in small groups to do something they all enjoy creates the opportunity to get to know one another, work together and build friendships based upon trust and respect.
Changing lives – having been to our events, young people are challenged and enabled to live out the lessons they have learnt in their everyday lives, overcoming prejudice and working together on social action.
‘Project Ghana’ is an interfaith social action project enabling eight Christian and Muslim youth in the UK to share this learning around preventing and appropriate responses to religious conflict, with teens in Ghana whilst working to sustainably enhance the lives of local children. You can stay up to date with the Facebook page.
The Feast is excited to be running our second Engage Training Course. Commencing in October 2014 we are offering a Certificate at Level 3 ‘Assistant Youth Support Worker’ training course for Christian and Muslim youth workers. The course includes dedicated theological reflections for each faith and is the only course of its kind in the country. It is the ideal ‘foundational’ qualification and provides the knowledge and skills needed to be a competent and confident youth worker in your youth work setting.
As The Feast marks its fifth official birthday, we remain committed to promoting community cohesion amongst Christian and Muslim young people, and are excited to see more young people explore their faith, build friendships and ultimately, to see lives and worlds changed. The Feast has now helped approximately 400 young people through events, plus many, many more at the schools where we work. These young people have been given the opportunity to meet with people of a different faith, and have been able to impact their families and communities.
www.thefeast.org.uk | 0121 675 1158 | contact@thefeast.org.uk | @thefeastproject

Mystery Mission Trip Lands at the FNC

For three days in July the FNC became home for 20 young people and leaders from Knowle Parish Church. They eat, worshipped, and even slept at the FNC which they even found to be quite comfortable! However this wasn’t just a luxury city break they were here as part of their church’s annual mission trip for young people. So whilst they were with us they went litter picking with the Balsall Heath Forum, helped out at the Sultan Bahu Trust, Got involved with The Feast, did gardening at The Springfield Centre and helped at the Narthex Food Bank.

As well as all this activity they visited shops on the Stratford Road, had a tour of the Hamza Masjid and were there for Iftar and had a delicious meal at Hajees Restaurant.

Although Sparkhill is only 15 minutes away from Knowle, it’s a different world, one which many of the young people had never visited. However, they got stuck into the work and were enthusiastic and hardworking volunteers.

 

The Gift of Giving and Friendship

Today two young men from The Feast project Y4M (Youth for Moseley) visited the Sparkhill food bank for a behind-the-scenes look at what happens to food once it’s donated.

These young men from Moseley School, one Christian and one Muslim, joined forces to make a video encouraging others from their school to take part in a food drive that will start soon.

Not only were these two representing the Y4M after school club, but they were also representing their faith and looking at how they could work together to tackle poverty.

When asked why they were willing to give up a day of their holiday to help out they said:

“It’s important because not only is it written in the Qur’an, but it nourishes your own soul, knowing that you are making a difference. When you give, it removes your own selfishness.” said Bilal.

“I like helping people. I was always taught to respect people and the Bible says to do for others what I’d like them to do for me. It’s part of who I am. Being Tswana (from Botswana) that’s how we’re grounded – you just know someday, someone will need to help you.” Mandla said.

These young men have also become pretty good friends in the short space of time they’ve known each other. Having met in the after-school club (Y4M) just 3 weeks ago, they spent most of the journey to and from the food bank talking about their faith and their beliefs. It was so encouraging to hear them speak so positively about each others faith and to have them both speak so passionately about recent events in the media.

When reflecting on their day, Bilal said: “It’s kinda cool when a non-Muslim defends a Muslim because it shows the brotherhood between them. It touched me when Mandla said he knew that all Muslims aren’t like how the media negatively represents us at times.”

“Bilal called me a friend and a good guy – that’s something I don’t get every day, especially from a Muslim. It made me feel quite good about myself and about how other people from a different religion can still view me an appreciate me.” said Mandla.

Today I thought we were simply going to a food bank to see how food is collected, stored and distributed. What I witnessed, however, was a marvellous gift of friendship, exchanged between two young men of different cultures and different faiths.

The Feast join the team at the FNC

We’re delighted that at the start of May the local charity The Feast moved into the FNC. The Feast is a local Christian charity that works to build relationships between Christian and Muslim teenagers.

The Feast is all about…
•Exploring faith: young people are encouraged and equipped to discuss their faith in ways which draw out both the similarities and differences between them.

•Creating friendships: by bringing together young people in a positive and fun environment we provide the opportunities for them to get to know one another, work on projects together and build on-going friendship built on trust and respect.

•Changing lives: having been to events run by The Feast the young people are challenged and enabled to live out the lessons they have learnt in their everyday lives amongst their friends, family and the wider community.

Their work fits with the three strands of work that we undertake here at the FNC namely: Tackling Poverty, Engaging with Other Faiths and  Transforming Communities.

Do look out for news of what The Feast are up to or visit their website and facebook page for regular updates.

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