2014 Hosanna Preaching Prize Winner Announced
Nov. 17. 2014 - The Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2014 Hosanna Preaching Prize, the Reverend Loren McGrail. Rev. McGrail is a United Church of Christ (UCC) pastor serving Global Ministries for the Disciples of Christ and the UCC in Israel/Palestine. She works there with the YWCA of Palestine, work which is also supported by the Church of Scotland and the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Rev. McGrail’s sermon, entitled “Serve Life” was delivered at St. Andrew’s Scots Memorial Church in Jerusalem on August 24, 2014, at the height of Israel’s invasion of Gaza. Centering her thoughts on the actions of Shiphrah and Puah, the midwives who defied the orders of the Pharaoh to kill Hebrew children (Exodus 1:8-20), Rev. McGrail explores our obligations to the children of Israel/Palestine and our responsibility as Christians to serve life rather than death. The full text of the sermon is available on our website. Those who are interested in following Rev. McGrail’s work in Israel/Palestine can also follow her blog.
The Hosanna Preaching Prize is an annual prize intended to foster the exploration of and reflection upon Biblical texts that support justice and reconciliation in Israel/Palestine. Recognizing that Biblical texts have too often been used to foster and support injustice, The Hosanna Preaching Prize lifts up those preachers who understand and demand that the Bible must never be used to justify oppression.
The Hosanna Preaching Prize was established by Noushin Framke, a Presbyterian Elder from New York City, in honor of her grandmother Osanna Panian, who as a ten year old in 1915, walked over the mountains from Armenia into Iran, escaping the Armenian Genocide. She lived her life as a refugee, always hoping and expecting to return to her homeland. Because she was born on Palm Sunday, she was named Osanna, (Hosanna) which means, “We beseech you, save us!” The Hosanna Preaching Prize is awarded by the Israel/Palestine Mission Network, in the hope that all refugees might find their way home.
Established by action of the 2004 General Assembly, the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) encourages congregations and presbytery mission committees, task groups and other entities, toward specific mission goals that will create currents of wider and deeper involvement with Israel/Palestine.