Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville kicked off its 2012 Fall Build on Sept. 8 and Sept. 15 with a tremendous show of faith, goodwill, and unity as more than 30 area faith groups came together to build six of the nine homes slated for construction in September in Edison Park, Antioch. Some of the houses are being funded in part by the Tennessee Housing Development Agency Trust Fund grant.
“This is a great show of solidarity from Nashville’s faith community to demonstrate what faith is about — helping one another in light of what we all have in common. It says a lot about the kind of heart and soul that exists in Nashville and how special this build is to exemplify the best of what true faith means in action,” says Danny Herron, President and CEO of Habitat of Greater Nashville.
An interfaith build has the potential to build harmony and understanding among different faith communities. In a world where our differences often tear us apart, building together allows us to concentrate on our similarities and to create something truly special for a deserving family.
Construction has started on five homes in the Antioch neighborhood of Edison Park. One home was part of the “Unity Build” which comprised more than 20 area faith groups.
As part of the “Unity Build” tradition, a Shabbat service with guest speakers from many faiths was held on September 7 at The Temple Congregation Ohabai Sholom. Hindu Temple Priests, Rabbis, Imams, and Ministers participated in a multi-faith service.
“This service epitomizes the spirit of this build — all the faiths coming together for a common purpose to help a family in need,” says Mike Allen, Habitat’s Faith Relations Director. “One of the basic tenants of all faiths is helping those who need help.”
The Unity Build will be constructing its 20th house for Habitat partner family Ibrar and Shahnaz Khan. Ibrar came to the United States in 2009 from Pakistan and once he became established, sent for his wife and two children. The couple is looking forward to having a place for their children to play.
“The Islamic Center of Tennessee (ICT) is pleased to join hands with people of other faiths in the Habitat Unity Build project. We see this as a unique opportunity to build bridges of understanding and establish partnerships for the purpose of serving others. ICT understands that Islam is not simply a faith of confession, but a faith that strives for the betterment of the individual, as well as the society at large,” said Kamel Daouk, president of ICT.
This year the faith build partners include: Bellevue Presbyterian Church; Calvary UMC; East End UMC; First Unitarian Universalist Church; Hillcrest UMC; Hillsboro Presbyterian Church; Hindu Cultural Center; Holy Trinity Lutheran Church; Islamic Center of Nashville; Islamic Center of Tennessee; Jordonia United Methodist Churches and Church Women United; Mt. Nebo Missionary Baptist Church; Second Presbyterian Church; Sertoma Club of Nashville; South End UMC; The Temple Ohabai Sholom; Trinity Presbyterian Church; Unity Church of Nashville; West End Synagogue; Woodbine UMC; Woodmont Hills Family of God.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville is an ecumenical Christian ministry that provides the life-changing opportunity for people to purchase and own quality, affordable homes. Prior to becoming homeowners, Habitat partner families attend home education classes, work at the build site, and volunteer at Habitat’s retail outlet, the ReStore. Since it was established in 1985, Habitat of Greater Nashville has built or recycled more than 700 homes, over 500 locally, and served more than 1,700 families including 1,125 children. To request an application or to receive more information about Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville, call 615-254-HOME (4663) or visit www.habitatnashville.org. For information on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity go to www.hud.gov/offices/fheo or contact the local HUD office.