The Sabeel Center February newsletter
Welcome to this second Newsletter Update from Sabeel and our Palestinian Christian ecumenical and interfaith ministries of liberation and justice in the Holy Land.
For the first time in a long while the Sabeel Staff from Jerusalem and Nazareth met in Jericho for a full day of learning, planning and working together. We discussed what Palestinian Liberation Theology means to us today, the need for Strategic priorities and Results Based Management, as well as our 2015 Action Plans and Programs in development. With Sabeel’s committed Staff, Volunteers, Board and General Assembly let us keep in close contact through the changes, challenges and opportunities that await us as co-creators with our God of love and justice for all people.
Our Jerusalem Program
Sawsan and Nanor continue to work on ecumenical programs with women, youth and clergy as well as interfaith programs in Jerusalem and throughout the region.
February is a month of opportunity and optimism. We held the first of the women’s gatherings to plan priorities for the year. Empowering Women and Promoting Health emerged as major priorities to focus on in our upcoming meetings. We had our first Open Forum of 2015 with more than 30 attending on the situation in Jerusalem, with Rev’d Dr. Ateek and Mrs. Samia Khoury.
We are excited about our book launch at Bethlehem University on Nonviolent Resistance in Christianity and Islam. This will open great opportunities for networking to move towards changing behavior in dealing with any conflict. Last but not least, as we approach the season of Lent, we are having our first community program with more programs to follow.
We have had two focus groups with the youth in Bethlehem and Ramallah, and we are looking forward to another one in Jerusalem. Thirty young adults from Ramallah, Jerusalem and Bethlehem went with the clergy to the isolated villages which are around Nablus and Jenin (north of the west bank) where we have one or two Christian families living there. During this visit we had the chance to network and connect and learn more about their daily life in their villages.
Our roots in Nazareth and Galilee
Nazareth continues to build on extensive programs with youth and young adults, even a new children’s program, and a community trip with Father Kamal Farah to the Jordan Baptismal site.
A creative initiative is the recording of the oral history of women’s recollections of the Nakba. Memoir documentation was begun last year with some women presenting their stories to students in the schools. This OUR ROOTS effort now is to gather more stories and recollections and to have youth video record them, possibly even dramatize the stories in a stage play for presentation throughout the region. Faten Khoury and William are meeting with others to develop what promises to be a very powerful production.
The Nazareth group have also made plans with Naim Ateek and Cedar Duaybis to have a special night of reflection of Palestinian Liberation Theology. It is set for Friday March 27. Details will be in the next newsletter.