Shortly after noon on Fridays, the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding ties on a black headscarf, preparing to pray with her Muslim group on First Hill.
On Sunday mornings, Redding puts on the white collar of an Episcopal priest.
She does both, she says, because she’s Christian and Muslim.
Redding, who until recently was director of faith formation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, has been a priest for more than 20 years. Now she’s ready to tell people that, for the last 15 months, she’s also been a Muslim — drawn to the faith after an introduction to Islamic prayers left her profoundly moved.
Now this is not the money part of the Article.
Redding doesn’t feel she has to resolve all the contradictions. People within one religion can’t even agree on all the details, she said. “So why would I spend time to try to reconcile all of Christian belief with all of Islam?
“At the most basic level, I understand the two religions to be compatible. That’s all I need.”
She says she felt an inexplicable call to become Muslim, and to surrender to God — the meaning of the word “Islam.”
“It wasn’t about intellect,” she said. “All I know is the calling of my heart to Islam was very much something about my identity and who I am supposed to be.
“I could not not be a Muslim.”
Or ya could, I don’t know, have Surrendered your life to Jesus Christ. You could have… again.. used this prayer methodology to move you to passion in christ
but 😉 Is she really a Muslim and a Christian :-p well the article also has the secret esoteric news knowledge
Though her parents weren’t particularly religious, they had her baptized and sent her to an Episcopal Sunday school. She has always sensed that God existed and God loved her, even when things got bleak — which they did.
She experienced racism in schools, was sexually abused and, by the time she was a young adult, was struggling with alcohol addiction; she’s been in recovery for 20 years.
Despite those difficulties, she graduated from Brown University, earned master’s degrees from two seminaries and received her Ph.D. in New Testament from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She felt called to the priesthood and was ordained in 1984.
As much as she loves her church, she has always challenged it. She calls Christianity the “world religion of privilege.” She has never believed in original sin. And for years she struggled with the nature of Jesus’ divinity.
So first and foremost she doesn’t believe in Original Sin and the nature of Jesus’ divinity but their is also a deeper lack of meaning to her Christianity. The purpose of Christ’s sacrifice is to have hope of better times. Hope of a better world, and yet she refers to Christianity as the “World Religion of Privilege.” which of course sets out a different tone of rhetoric. TO her the Christian world is better off not because of hope, ambition, and drive but because they have done ill to those (especially those who are non christians). So she may say she is a Christian, and she may be a cleric in a Christian church, but I deeply doubt her heart is truely in love with god or Christ by her own words.
But however her confused sense of identity goes even deeper and more troubling into her conversion to Islam.
Redding, who will begin teaching the New Testament as a visiting assistant professor at Seattle University this fall, has a different analogy: “I am both Muslim and Christian, just like I’m both an American of African descent and a woman. I’m 100 percent both.”
And yet as a Woman of African descent she chooses to embrace the faith which began to sell her people into chattel slavery to White European Christians, members of (in her words) the “World Religion of Privillege.” She chooses to embrace the faith that up until the 1960s still followed the practice of slavery all over the Islamic world, and the places outright slavery still exists are in some of the most remote Muslim corners of Africa. It seems to me that she isn’t really thinking about what being a Muslim means.
The article goes further
Ironically, it was at St. Mark’s that she first became drawn to Islam.
In fall 2005, a local Muslim leader gave a talk at the cathedral, then prayed before those attending. Redding was moved. As he dropped to his knees and stretched forward against the floor, it seemed to her that his whole body was involved in surrendering to God.
Then in the spring, at a St. Mark’s interfaith class, another Muslim leader taught a chanted prayer and led a meditation on opening one’s heart. The chanting appealed to the singer in Redding; the meditation spoke to her heart. She began saying the prayer daily.
Around that time, her mother died, and then “I was in a situation that I could not handle by any other means, other than a total surrender to God,” she said.
She still doesn’t know why that meant she had to become a Muslim. All she knows is “when God gives you an invitation, you don’t turn it down.”
But yet her reaction was not to seek out devotion to Christ, which she hadn’t followed her whole life and turn to Islam.
but the truth of it does come out later
Before she took the shahada, she read a lot about Islam. Afterward, she learned from local Muslim leaders, including those in Islam’s largest denomination — Sunni — and those in the Sufi mystical tradition of Islam. She began praying with the Al-Islam Center, a Sunni group that is predominantly African-American.
There were moments when practicing Islam seemed like coming home.
In Seattle’s Episcopal circles, Redding had mixed largely with white people. “To walk into Al-Islam and be reminded that there are more people of color in the world than white people, that in itself is a relief,” she said.
So she is a Racial Separatist.
Or to twist a line from Kayne West she doesn’t care about White People
way to go Episcopal Church. Way to select your clergy