From the beginning, the women in Daughters of Abraham were committed to a participatory, democratic structure rather than forming a non-profit organization, which entailed a vertical structure with officers. Responsibilities have been shared by each faith. The monthly gatherings rotate from synagogue to mosque to church, with the host faith providing a discussion facilitator and light refreshments.
While there has been an occasional presenter, such as a Holocaust survivor giving a personal account of her experience, the format for meetings is open discussions of a topic. Topics have included beliefs, rituals, symbols, and traditions such as those surrounding marriage, birth, and death. Specific faith-related topics have included prayer, forgiveness, salvation, and others.
The women have shared in prayer, meals, attendance at plays, book review retreats, and an art exhibit given by one of the members. They have become so close that many attend weddings, funerals, and other milestones within their families. The monthly gathering during Ramadan each year honors the fast of the Muslim women with no refreshments served, and most of the group members join in the full day fast as a show of solidarity and support. The Daughters are invited to join their Muslim sisters in breaking the fast at a mosque meal at sundown. A semi-annual potluck supper brings together members and their families in a member’s home. We also now have two Sons of Abraham groups for men.
May God bless us with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that we may live from deep within our hearts.
May God bless us with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of God’s creations
So that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless us with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war
So that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain unto joy.
And may God bless us with just enough foolishness
To believe that we can make a difference in the world,
So that we can do what others claim cannot be done:
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and all our neighbors who are poor.
Prayer by Brian McLaren, based on his book, Everything Must Change