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A mosque, a church and a synagogue go up on the site of an old Jewish country club …
It sounds like the setup to a joke — but it’s not. It’s actually happening in Omaha, Neb. The Tri-Faith Initiative may be the first place in history where these three monotheistic faiths have built together, on purpose, with the intention of working together.
The project has inspired some, and antagonized others.
In a tony suburban section of Omaha, kids at Countryside United Church of Christ are singing Away in a Manger. They’re getting ready for the upcoming Christmas program.
Upstairs, in the church’s expansive, modern coffee shop, the Rev. Eric Elnes says this is going to be one of the congregation’s last Christmases at this location.
“We love our building. There is literally no good reason to move whatsoever, except to follow this Tri-Faith Initiative, which has really, absolutely moved our hearts,” Elnes says.
But the congregation will move — to a hilly, 38-acre plot bisected by a creek near the edge of Omaha. The church will sit in one corner, with a mosque in another, facing a beautiful new synagogue, built with stone quarried in Jerusalem. […]