Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Our Holy Land Trip and Upcoming Conferences

Readers, I want to encourage you to join our alternative Holy Land tour in June. I'll also announce a number of upcoming Sabeel events in this bulletin.

Listening in Love and Seeking Peace in the Holy Land
Together with my husband, Pastor Franz Schemmel, I will be leading a group to Palestine and Israel June 9-11, 2008, and we still have a few seats available. I think this will be my 16th visit to the region, though it's hard to keep count anymore. Our resource people, based at the International Center of Bethlehem, are excellent. The cost is $3455. For the full brochure, click to http://www.gtd.org/post/pdfbrochure/080618.pdf

I firmly believe that a blessing of faith and challenge awaits those who make this pilgrimage. We will see the Separation Barrier and its effects on daily life. We will taste and experience the cultures of Palestine and Israel and explore the old city of Jerusalem. We will meet people who are passionately involved in the struggle for peace with justice and worship with the Lutheran congregation in Bethlehem. We will go to the sites associated with the Jesus’ life and ministry and meet the leaders of today’s Christian ministries in Palestine. This pilgrimage will engage us in faith as we witness ancient sites and modern problems.

Friends, in every setting where Middle East justice is discussed, an obvious bottom line is the need for more Americans to see and hear the people there and witness the conditions they experience every day. It is so very important. Please join us for this unforgettable journey.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly: annhafften@mindspring.com
To register online go to https://www.gtd.org/gtd_registration_step_I.asp?TID=1115

Now for the Sabeel Conferences coming up.

The Carolina Peace Resource Center & Friends of Sabeel-South Carolina present "Peace in the Holy Land - Justice for Israelis & Palestinians," a Sabeel Conference, April 11-12, 2008, at Shandon Presbyterian Church, 607 Woodrow St., Columbia, S.C.

Featured speakers include Dr. Jeff Halper, Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, an Israeli-American peace activist, professor of anthropology and author, and Sami Awad, Executive Director of Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem and a leading Palestinian advocates for nonviolence. His organization emphasizes offers non-violence, democracy and trauma-reduction.

Additional speakers:
Dr. Don Wagner, professor and director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at North Park University of Chicago, one of the top scholars on Christian Zionism;
Cedar Duaybis, founding member of Sabeel and a member of its executive committee, a retired teacher, active in the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem in Israel & the Palestinian territories;
Dr. Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, frequent commentator on US foreign policy in the Middle East and the author of a primer on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;
Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Palestinian orthodox Christian, author of Sharing the Land of Canaan and an activist with the Wheels of Justice tour.

Planned Workshops:
Ending the Cycle of Violence
Settlements & the Wall
Christians in the Holy Land
Christian Zionism
Effective Advocacy
Christian, Jewish & Muslim Voices for Peace
Palestinian Refugees
Gaza in Crisis
The Role of the Media & US Foreign Policy.

Cost: $55 ($35 Fridy only, $40 Saturday only). Scholarships available for students/low-income. Contact us early! Donations welcome and registration online. Phone: 803-215-3263. Email: fosnasc@gmail.com

Web: www.fosna.org or www.carolinapeace.org

In Seattle April 18-19, "Standing With the Living Stones Of Israel and Palestine," a Western Washington Christian Conference. For information/registration: www.livingstonesconference.org

This event is sponsored by a broad consortium of Christians who are concerned with the plight and declining population of their fellow believers in the Holy Land. Friends of Sabeel - North America is a co-sponsors; others include the Catholic and Episcopal cathedrals in Seattle, a number of denominations, organizations such as Middle East Fellowship, Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding, the Church Council of Greater Seattle, and the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice. Another co-sponsor is the Episcopal Bishop's Committee for Israel/Palestine, which convened its organizing meeting with encouragement from Rev. Naim Ateek of Sabeel to seek a united voice among Christians.

For information/registration:

Dr. Bernard Z. Sabella, a Catholic layman and head of the department of Services to Palestinian Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches, will lead an trio of international keynote speakers. Sabella is on leave from Bethlehem University and is an elected member of the Palestinian Parliament.

The Rev. Jane Barron of the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) and immediate past pastor of St. Andrew's Church in Jerusalem will be another keynoter, as will Mr. Sami Awad, a Baptist, who heads the Holy Land Trust based in Bethlehem.

Also to be featured is Dr. Steve Niva of The Evergreen State College in Olympia , whose PowerPoint presentation on events since 1948 has been popular with dozens of audiences, and the Rev. Dr. Fahed Abu-Akel, the first Palestinian-born person to head a major U.S. denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA).

The conference will feature a variety of workshops, panels and screenings of new resources, concluding Saturday afternoon with a worship service.

The daytime program on Friday, April 18, will be at University Christian Church, including a Middle Eastern lunch. That evening the event will move to University Presbyterian Church a block away for a banquet with music and Sabella's keynote address. Saturday's program will also be at University Presbyterian and will include lunch. Both churches are hosting co-sponsors.

The full two-day registration is $50; discounts are available for pre-registration, groups or for just one day. Go to www.livingstonesconference.org

The upcoming Philadelphia Sabeel Conference, "In Search of a Homeland: The Quest for Place and Peace in Israel and Palestine," will be April 25 & 26, 2008, at Villanova University's Connelly Center.

The Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek, founder and director of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, Jerusalem, will give the keynote address. For more information go to http://www.fosna.org/conferences_and_trips/index.html

Links to all these events, plus much more information, are at the Friends of Sabeel North America web site: http://www.fosna.org/index.html

--- --- ---

To receive regular bulletins from Ann Hafften, subscribe at the blog, A Texas Lutheran's Voice for Peace - http://voicesforpeace.blogspot.com/

No comments: