NBTS Students Travel to Oman
Franco Juricic, Tammy Peoples and Shemaj Ragin, three New Brunswick Theological Seminary students, spent two weeks in early January at the Al Amana Center in Muscat, Oman through the generosity of the Omani government. This remarkable experience was made possible because the Center, which has developed an intentional program for Christian-Muslim dialogue, has been embraced by the Sultanate of Oman as an expression of its commitment toward peaceful relationships in a multi-faith world.
Tammy, Shemaj and Franco were joined in their experience by five students from Hartford Seminary and by The Revs. Doug Leonard and Justin Meyers, who provide leadership at the Center on behalf of the Reformed Church in America.
Their time in Oman was spent not only in class and in dialogue with government officials and scholars, but also in touring the beautiful country. Upon their return, they reflected on their time away. Tammy spoke glowingly of the mission commitment of the Reformed Church which began in 1890, long before oil was discovered. She exclaimed: "The RCA has preserved its loyal and trustworthy relations with Oman through its support of the Al Amana Center."
Shemaj, was deeply moved by the faithfulness of Muslims to pray five times each and every day. She reflected, "The cultural and religious exchange was eye opening and the memories will last a life time." Franco focused on their traveling companions from Hartford Seminary and observed: "Besides the three of us from NBTS, we were blessed to be accompanied on this odyssey by five exceptional Muslim students from Hartford Seminary. Each was thoughtful, learned, insightful, devout and wise beyond their years."
The Omani pilgrimage reflects a growing commitment on the part of New Brunswick to provide intercultural and multi-faith experiences for its students and faculty.