Muslim guest preacher at Holy Week renewal of vows in Atlanta

As clergy and laity across the church meet to renew their baptismal and ordination vows during Holy Week, the Diocese of Atlanta has made an unusual invitation.

The Atlanta Daily World reports that Bishop Robert C. Wright has invited Soumaya Khalifa, the founder and executive director of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta to preach at the Holy Week service at St David’s Episcopal Church, Roswell, on Tuesday.

Wright said he chose Khalifa because of her ongoing efforts to bridge the gaps between religions.

“Soumaya provides a wonderful example for how to share the love of God; the same God worshiped by all the world’s Christians, Jews and Muslims,” Wright said. “It is an example that has never been more needed.” …

Tuesday’s is not the first time this Episcopal service has featured a preacher from another religion.  In 2015, Wright arranged to have the renewal service held at The Temple, a Reform synagogue on Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta. The preacher for that service was The Temple’s senior Rabbi Peter S. Berg.

The event announcement on the diocesan website adds further background on the guest preacher.

We bid a warm welcome to Soumaya Khalifa, Executive Director of the Islamic Speakers Bureau, who will be our guest preacher for the service. Soumaya is an American of Egyptian origin. She launched the Islamic Speakers Bureau (ISB) of Atlanta in August 2001. The ISB strives to become the Islamic source for faith and civic collaboration promoting understanding and inclusion. They teach and collaborate in an open way to build a better tomorrow. The ISB has been active in the metro Atlanta area, and its volunteers have presented to thousands in metro Atlanta and surrounding areas about Islam and Muslims.
Soumaya is the founder of Khalifa Consulting, a strategic intercultural and leadership consulting firm. Her career spans more than 25 years in human resources, management, business management and ownership, non-profit, and entrepreneurship. Khalifa Consulting specializes in helping executives and organizations succeed when doing business across cultures by providing them the most relevant, practical, and up to date cross-cultural coaching and training. Khalifa Consulting also offers training and coaching on global virtual teams. Soumaya and team apply this work to a broad range of clients, from large established national and global organizations to startups. Soumaya presents at human resources conferences across the country and writes blogs on different topics. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Houston, and an MBA from Georgia State University.

Read more at the Diocese of Atlanta, and the Atlanta Daily World.

Photo: Soumaya Khalifa via Khalifa Consulting


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