Journeys, by Dan Koski, Tantur Staff
“Life is a journey. When we stop, things don't go right.”
That’s a quote attributed to Pope Francis that I ran across while searching for something meaningful to write to a colleague of
mine who was preparing to leave the Holy Land. The quote didn’t work well for what I wanted to write, but it stuck with me as an apt way to both end the year and send Nativity greetings from Tantur.
[This article appeared in the Washington Post, and the original article is linked here.]
By Loveday Morris
December 13 at 6:55 PM
JERUSALEM — Some of the festive cheer was missing this weekend at a public Christmas tree lighting near the site where Christians believe an angel proclaimed Christ’s birth to local shepherds.
“Our oppressors have decided to deprive us from the joy of Christmas,” Patriarch Michel Sabbah, the former archbishop and Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, told the crowd in the town of Beit Sahour in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. “Mr. Trump told us clearly Jerusalem is not yours.”Read more
Bethlehem, Dec. 12, 2017
Lights on the Bethlehem Christmas Tree were switched off as a sign of mourning after Trump's announcement to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This is one of the ways Palestinians are resisting the ongoing settler colonial regime. After three days, the lights were switched back on in time to celebrate the return of the light of hope, peace, joy, and love.Read more
In light of Pres. Donald J. Trump's announcement regarding the status of Jerusalem last week, 15 US churches and Christian organizations reiterated their call for peace, justice, and equality in Israel/Palestine, sending the following letter to members of Congress:Read more
From President George Sabra: John Calvin and NEST's 85th Anniversary
2017 marks the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Near East School of Theology. On the 11th of November 1932, the first Convocation Service was held in the Anglo-American Church (today the National Evangelical Church of Beirut), and it marked the official ceremony that celebrated the merger of the Beirut School for Religious Workers with the School of Religion
in Athens in the new institution: N.E.S.T. More than 400 men and women have graduated from N.E.S.T. in the past 85 years, serving as pastors, educators, church workers in Arab Presbyterian, Armenian Evangelical, Episcopal and Lutheran congregations and schools all over the region as well in other parts of the world.
This week marks thirty years since the beginning of the first Palestinian intifada. The Palestinian uprising, that was mostly nonviolent, which is considered a model of grassroots resistance all over the world.
Lord, we give thanks for the resilience and steadfastness of our Palestinian people. We pray that the people of Palestine continue to prove that Justice is mightier than the sword and renew their commitment to nonviolence. Lord in your mercy…Read more
The Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, Archbishop Suheil Dawani, has called for tolerance, harmony and mutual respect for all in the Holy City of Jerusalem. He made his comments in a sermon preached at St George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem Sunday, the second Sunday in Advent.Read more
Trump Calls Jerusalem Plan Step Toward Peace, but It Puts Mideast on Edge [The New York Times]
“In a much-anticipated speech from the White House, Mr. Trump argued that it was ‘the right thing to do’ to acknowledge the reality that Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s government. … Mr. Trump said that the United States still wanted a negotiated peace agreement — and ‘would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides’ — and that he was not seeking to dictate the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the fiercely contested Holy City. … Many said that Mr. Trump’s move was destabilizing, that it risked setting off violence and that it would make achieving peace even more difficult. It also threw into doubt his ability to maintain the United States’ longstanding role as a mediator of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” according to The New York Times.
by Jean Zaru, immediate past Clerk, Friends Meeting in Ramallah
Advent has begun, and the season of peace is upon us.
During this season in Palestine, we greet one another with a blessing: "May every year bring you peace, wholeness and good health."
Regardless of the hardships our people face and the turmoil the region endures, we continue to reach out to one another as a daily act of faith and offer this blessing of holistic peace.
To live one's life as an expression of peace is a beautiful act of courage. And so it is today that, with courage and faith, we hold strong to our vision of a peaceful world and a peaceful Jerusalem - an open and inclusive city that welcomes all people, religions and cultures.Read more
The Christmas story starts with an imperial decree signed by Caesar Augustus. As I was watching President Trump's address Wednesday evening on our television, I could not help but think of the so-called Balfour Declaration signed 100 years ago when the British empire promised Palestine to the European Jews as their national homeland. Trump's address yesterday was indeed another such imperial decree recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.Read more