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Interfaith walk set for Thursday

Several religious organizations are joining later this week to participate in a walk, dialogue and dinner to facilitate interfaith understanding.

The sixth annual "Tent of Abraham" event will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, in the Muslim Community Center, 745 Heim Road, Amherst.

The effort, though, starts with a "Walk of Abraham," in which participants will walk 5 miles from North Presbyterian Church, at 300 N. Forest Road, Amherst, to the center. That walk begins at 4:45 p.m.

"We hope to re-imagine a pilgrimage that can inspire us to experience the spirit and the traditions of Abraham, such as the values of faith, hospitality and mutual respect. And a reminder to us all that what unites us is far greater than what divides us," the Western New York chapter of the Muslim Public Affairs Council said.

The Council, in partnership with the Islamic Society of Niagara Frontier, North Presbyterian Church, Temple Beth Am, Westminster Presbyterian Church and the Network of Religious Communities, is sponsoring the event.

The "Tent of Abraham" was initiated in 2006 to share the spirit of the Holy Month of Ramadan with the wider community.

"The Walk of Abraham" is taking place in Buffalo and various U.S. and European cities.

The 5 mile walk will start at North Presbyterian Church, and includes stops at Temple Beth Am and Heim School. The walk will finish at the Muslim Community Center.

That is where walkers will join others in the "Tent of Abraham" dinner.

Those attending are asked to bring nonperishable food items or make cash donations for distribution to the needy in the community.

"We share the spirit and the objectives of the event by collecting nonperishable food items and cash donations for distribution to the needy in our community through the Food Pantry of Western New York and Viva La Casa," the Muslim Council said in a release.

Amherst police will escort and assist the walkers throughout their walk, especially at traffic intersections and where sidewalks do not exist.

Transportation will be available after the dinner to take participants to their cars at Heim School, Temple Beth Am, and North Presbyterian Church.

For reservations or more information, contact any of the following: Muslim Public Affairs Council-WNY: kqazi@buffalo.edu or 683-1840; North Presbyterian Church: whennessy.npc@verizon.net or 632-1330; Temple Beth Am: rick.ellis@bethambuffalo.org or 633-8877; Westminster Presbyterian Church: Gerald@geraldkelly.com or 633-9533.

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