PILGRIMAGE IN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE
Opportunities to Visit, Serve and Learn
Leading Palestinian Pastor, Theologian and Author, Mitri Raheb announces 2016 leadership program in Bethlehem, Palestine
April 11-23, 2016
With a new wave of political unrest in the Holy Land, Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, a world-renowned theologian, author and champion for peace in the Middle East has announced a special leadership program for U.S. Christians in Bethlehem, Palestine April 11-23, 2016. This opportunity is for people who are committed to making a difference in the region and investing in hope.
“Leadership is crucial for justice and peace. We recognize a need for an in-depth leadership development program for pastors, church leaders and other professional people committed to the Holy Land struggle,” Raheb said. “Based on my recent book, the program is titled Faith in the Face of Empire: A Leadership Program in Palestine. We will look at the current realities in Israel-Palestine and offer the opportunity to see the Holy Land through a new biblical lens.”
“Given the tightening Occupation, there is an urgency to consider where we go from here on the journey toward peace, human rights and building bridges of understanding,” Raheb commented. “I believe my recent book provides a framework for considering many of the hard questions we now face.”
The Palestinian Christian community, in the Kairos document, sent out a cry to the Christian community abroad saying, “Come and See.” This program builds on the spirit of that invitation to come share in an in-depth experience of current realities, to listen to diverse narratives, to be inspired by ministries of hope and to consider future directions for advocacy and support in the wake of all that has happened. Attached is a link to the program brochure including registration information.
Bright Stars of Bethlehem is a U.S. 501(c)(3) charitable organization that promotes and spreads the word about the many outreach ministries of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem to build hope and a brighter future for the people of Palestine through the Diyar Consortium. The ministries include Dar al-Kalima University College, the Diyar Academy for Children and Youth and the Ajyal Seniors Program. These programs equip community members of all ages to assume a proactive role in shaping a brighter future and bringing hope to the Holy Land.
Monday May 9, 2016 – Thursday May 12, 2016
In the early spring of 1916, Daher Nassar stood on a hilltop in central Palestine. Daher liked this piece of land, he felt good to be close to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus and along the ancient “Patriarch’s Road” to Hebron. A lover of the land, Daher decided to live with his family on the land in a cave. He wanted his two sons Nayef and Bishara to grow up connected to the land. Bishara dreamt and worked for the land to become a meeting place for people from all over the world, in order to build bridges of understanding and connect people to each other and the land.
It has been a struggle for the Nassar family to keep their land since the day of purchase in 1916. Throughout all those years facing empire after empire, but with steadfastness and hope, they managed to keep the farm until today. Let us celebrate 100 years of existence on the land.
The Tent of Nations will start the celebrations on March 30th, 2016, which is Palestinian Land Day, by planting a tree on the farm. We would like to ask you, if possible, to plant a tree on that day in your own country as a symbol of hope for peace and justice around the world. This will remind us all how important it is to continue working together for a better future, wherever we are.
The Tent of Nations invites friends around the world to come to the 100 Years Celebration from Monday May 9, 2016 to Thursday May 12, 2016 and show friendship, solidarity, and support after 100 years of existence on the land.
Arrival Sunday May 8, 2016, departure Friday May 13, 2016
Optional trips the weekends before and after the celebration days.
The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (a project of the World Council of Churches) offers participants to spend three months working for peace with Israelis and Palestinians. This is an experience IPMN highly recommends.
Additionally, there are many organizations that regularly conduct visits, seminars, and service trips that are in harmony with our calling to authentic pilgrimage; you can find upcoming opportunities on the Alternative Travel Listing maintained by Friends of Sabeel North America. Below is a growing list of our network members' favorites:
++ Christian Peacemaker Teams: This is a program of active peacemaking, sponsored by a number of peace churches and organizations, including the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. Building on their motto of "getting in the way," they seek to place themselves at the friction points of the occupation. CPT is reviewing their work on the West Bank, but in the meantime is continuing to send these powerful short-term delegations. Don Mead has been on one of these delegations and strongly recommends it.
++ Interfaith Peace Builders: Carol and Don Mead and Marthame Sanders went together on one of these tours, organized jointly by the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the American Friends Service Committee. Their regular trips spend time with those working for peace and reconciliation on both sides of this conflict. We strongly recommend them.