Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Busy Day 7

by Dave Urban

Wow, Day 7, one full day to go, and then the long slog home on Saturday.

Two parts to today. I will do them in reverse order. The second item of the day was to spend several hours at Sabeel, an Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem that Don Wagner is now employed at (in the US).  For those of you who immediately think of South American Liberation Theology which has been described by some as having some  influence of Marxism in it, this Liberation Theology is a completely different strain - more of an indigenous ecumenical Palestinian Theology. The founder Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek, an Anglican priest, is trying to develop a spirituality among all Christians in the region "based on love, justice, peace, nonviolence, liberation and reconciliation." (For more information see Sabeel Don Wagner was treated as a rock star.

Don Wagner with Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek and Omar Sabari (sp?)  one of the staff. Omar had a great story of being  of a Eastern (Greek)  Orthodox  family whose Christian  history can be traced back to Pentecost, and  yet losing his faith when an American teaching in his school kept telling them that the Jews were destined to take over the holy land as Gods' will. He spent time in prison protesting Israeli policies and eventually came back to faith because he wanted to use the bible to counter some stuff the Jerusalem Patriarch was doing with the Isreali's. As a result he sat down and read through 3 of the Gospels in one night and was struck by the message of Jesus. He has been with Sabeel for about 7 years now. 
We showed up at noon for a mass and then lunch and discussion. A couple of CPT (Christian Peacemaker Team) folks were there from Hebron (see my earlier post on that) and I had a very good time talking with them. One of them Inga (from Sweden) was a retired lady who has spent the last 4 or 5 years at Hebron as CPT- 3 months on and 3 months off. Another Tom, was a former Catholic priest who has spent the last 10-12 years at Hebron 4 to 6 months out of the year. Clearly a dedicated bunch of folks.  

Now to the first part of the day. Brian Cox, of our group, has been commissioned by the Missions Committee to produce a documentary about our sister church and our trip. Brian, Jeanne (the Forbes friend from New Jersey who is with us) , and took a taxi this morning up to the wall to shoot some video for the documentary. The main thing I want to do with the rest of the post is to show you pictures -- I do not think I can say anything else. 

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