Steadfast Witness, Steadfast Hope
We bring you four powerful reports of recent visits to Palestine. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that groups journey to Palestine and Israel to connect with the people on the ground struggling to preserve their families, communities and hope. When people return home, they are compelled to bear witness and it is incumbent on us to read what they have written.
Rev. Jeff DeYoe is a Presbyterian pastor who serves as the Moderator of the PC(USA) Israel Palestine Mission Network. Jeff had just returned from leading an olive-harvest journey to Palestine — for decades now a favorite way to connect with Palestinians in a deeply symbolic and at the same time practical manner. Connecting his recent experience in the olive groves of the West Bank with his background of ministering to farmers in Kansas Minnesota. In this sermon Jeff wonders if it wouldn’t be a good idea to put the farmers in charge of resolving the conflict. Take the time to get to know Jeff and read his wonderful sermon.
I met Pastor Wendell Griffen a few years at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference in Dallas, the largest gathering in the U.S. of progressive African American clergy, academics, and students. Wendell is a retired judge in Little Rock Arkansas who now serves the New Millenium Church in Little Rock, AK. He’s a remarkable guy, who now brings his passion for justice now to his ministry and preaches powerful sermons that are available if you join his listserve. Recently Wendell visited Palestine and Israel and then preached on it. Don’t miss this sermon and this prophetic voice.
Rev. Richard Toll writes about his recent Sabeel Witness Trip and a visit to the Al Asqa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. A retired Episcopal priest, Dick served as the Director of Friends of Sabeel North America for many years and has a depth of understanding and connections with the Holy Land. For decades his voice has been strong and courageous in calling on his church to be faithful to its calling and he has been steadfast in his support of the church in Palestine. Dick’s group witnessed the intrusion of eleven Israeli settlers onto the the plaza that now houses the two mosques and that was the site of the ancient Jewish Temple until the first century. Dick’s report brings home the urgency and explosiveness of the situation in Jerusalem today. Click here to read the report.
Maureen Hovenkotter is a writer and activist who is on the staff of Kairos USA. Her memoir of her time in Palestine this past month provides an intimate account of her time with a Catholic family in Bethlehem — an inspiring description of their suffering and their courage and steadfastness in the land that they love. Maureen shares her first hand accounts of Palestinian courage and faith, including an astonishing story told by Daoud Nassar of Tent of Nations of an encounter with soldiers at a checkpoint. These stories and Maureen’s moving reflections will stay with you.