Category Archives: News


   Residents and guests were invited to House A of the Berkeley Presbyterian Mission Home on Thursday, April 14, to hear a presentation by Dr. Ali Ataie, a scholar of both Islam and Christianity. Dr. Ataie is the first Muslim to earn an MA in Biblical Studies from the Graduate Theological Union. His PhD, also from the GTU, is in Islamic Biblical Hermeneutics. He teaches at the GTU and Zaytuna College, both schools on beautiful Holy Hill in Berkeley. The focus of Dr. Ataie’s presentation at the Homes was the role and identity of Jesus in Islam: Who is Jesus to the average Muslim?   Dr. Ataie began his presentation by establishing that the foundational theological principle in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is the same:  Love of God and love of neighbor.  Dr. Ataie quoted passages from the sacred texts of these three Abrahamic traditions to ground his premise and set the backdrop to his presentation.  From there, he went on to present other common threads that tie the two faiths to this mutually revered faith figure,  Jesus of Nazareth. Some of the Christian attendees were pleasantly surprised to learn that, for Muslims,Jesus is one of the most important prophets. Read the Rest…

Interfaith Evening with Muslims

David Washburn, producer of “An American Mosque,was present  at the screening of his film at BPMH on Monday evening to answer questions about this 30-minute film, which has been shown locally on PBS.  It’s the story of how a Muslim congregation in Yuba City, CA, endured and responded to the burning down of their nearly completed mosque.  Though this event happened in 1994, it has lasting parallels and interesting differences to today’s arsons, bombings, and assaults on every sort of house of worship, making it highly topical. The dominating questions are: what’s the meaning of such tragedies in our open, supposedly religiously tolerant American society?  And what’s our defense and appropriate response?  It’s something our congregations and other local groups should see. *** Reading from his prepared manuscript, Muslim resident, Saad Akbar, presents an explanation of the meaning and purpose of fasting during Ramadan before the screening of David Washburn’s film, An American Mosque.  Just at sunset, Saad invited the dozen or so of his non-Muslim BPMH neighbors to participate in the Iftar, the traditional breaking of the Ramadan fast at the end of the day by drinking water and eating a date. This was the second interfaith experience offeredRead the Rest…

Farewell to Our Families

The summer at BPMH is a time of transition.  We recently said good-bye to two of our families, Matt and Joann Boswell and two daughters and Sang Yoon and Sung He Kim and their three daughters            

X-mas on Regent Street 2014

The residents of the BPMH international community gathered on December 20th for their annual Christmas party. Also in attendance were several members of the Board of Directors. The party began at 5:30 with the usual array of sumptuous Korean and North Eastern Indian potluck dishes prepared by members of the community. Sweet treats contributed by the members of the Board topped off the meal.     The program that followed the potluck dinner was unusual in several respects. It featured a tribute in appreciation of the contribution to the Homes by former President and Buildings and Grounds chair, Joewoen Gregory. It was also highlighted by a Christmas reading from Luke in multiple languages as well as a mime to music presentation of ‘The Borning Day,” by seven of the Homes children, directed by Sally Juarez, sung by Jusuf(Rony) Helweldery and accompanied by Willy Kim. Interspersed throughout the evening was the singing of the most beloved Christmas carols, also accompanied by Willy Kim who served as Master of Ceremony for the evening. The party concluded when the community encircled Rony for a laying on of hands to bless him as he concluded his five-months at the Homes as research scholar fromRead the Rest…

Thanksgiving Gathering @ BPMH

A BPMH THANKSGIVING Families gathered around decorated tables and sat down to enjoy a traditional American Thanksgiving meal, a first-time for some of the residents in the BPMH community. Orchestrated by BPMH’s director, the Reverend Sally Juarez, the meal was prepared by many hands and commenced with a reading honoring and blessing the earth for the bounty of the Harvest and a prayer for the hungry peoples of the planet.   The feast included all of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes and was topped off by lots of pie! In all likelihood, celebrating Thanksgiving together at the Homes will become a yearly tradition.