Twenty women of all faith, races and walks of life came together Sunday afternoon for the first meeting of the Daughters of Abraham in Denton.
The national movement, founded after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, brings women together to form friendships focusing on the similarities of their faiths, according to www.daughtersofabraham-tx.org. The group is for women of the Islamic, Jewish and Christian faiths, all of which are Abrahamic religions.
The heads of the local group, Janie Cindric, Emanda Johnson and Carol Foote, are all members of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Denton and said they had been planning this meeting for more than a year.
"We felt there was a real need and real interest here in Denton that we needed to start a chapter," Cindric said.
She said they liked the idea of "a community of women working together to share their ideas and their faith."
"We want to be able to spread that and make that open to our community because we need a tolerance," Cindric said.
The meeting at Emily Fowler Central Library began with a prayer and introductions from the women present, who were Catholic, Episcopalian, Muslim and Baptist.
Pat Kindrick, a member of St. Barnabas since she moved to Denton in 1970, said she wanted to go to the meeting when she first heard about the discussion at church.
"I hope there will be a better understanding of different religions and friendships," Kindrick said before Sunday's meeting began.
Foote said some of the women had attended Daughters of Abraham meetings in Fort Worth, where they got the idea to begin a Denton chapter to make it more local and easier to get to.
"A lot of the people here are open-minded and that's their initial reason for coming," Foote said. "I hope we reach people who have fears and they can learn more and learn how to get along with neighbors without being scared."
The goal of the meetings, according to Foote, is to create a safe space and share and voice their love of religions.
It has been in the women's hearts for a long time, Johnson said, and there are many reasons they wanted to hold the meetings.
"I'm leaning more politically," Johnson said. "I've seen people in fear and uncomfortable because they were not Americans from America and they didn't look like Americans from America. I wanted to understand, support and foster sisters who don't look like me and have different beliefs than I do."
The next meeting will be at 2 p.m. March 25 at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 1200 N. Elm St. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.