Monday, November 21, 2011

A future with amahl

Amahl is the Arabic word for hope. As we look toward a Future with Hope, a remarkable pilgrimage is unfolding in the place Jesus knew and loved.

The first experiences of our 10 women bishops’ pilgrimage have been in the Galilee, the areas of Jesus’ birth, childhood and 80% of his ministry.

The pilgrimage is remarkable in several ways: the pilgrims are from the African Methodist Episcopal, Christian Methodist Episcopal, Episcopal and United Methodist churches. The pilgrimage links us with Arab Palestinian Christians, "a minority within a minority" in the country of Israel, as well as Jews and Muslims.

The pilgrimage focuses on the leadership of women in empowering women, developing economic opportunities for women, creating a compassionate and just future for children and families, and weaving peaceful communities.

We have visited with remarkable leaders, women and men, who are persistent and persevering in the way of peace. They reach from both sides of the great divide between the dominant Jewish communities and the minority Arab communities.

Palestinian and Jewish women are working together, creating economic opportunity in the production and selling of baskets, honey, olive oil and soap. They are not learning a new way of life together; rather, as Father Elias Chacour observes, they are living as they lived side by side 60 years ago.

"We want you to know that there is a community in Israel that believes in a shared future," a young woman told us. Her observation has been echoed by others in our first two days here.

In story after story, we have heard faith journeys from people working in humble places and not looking for headlines. They live a vibrant witness of faith.

A woman rabbi chooses to shop in a Palestinian village rather than drive farther as other Jews do to shop in a Jewish area.

Palestinian and Jewish women work together to open a cooperative.

Palestinian Christians educated in the United States return to Nazareth in faithful response to God's call to participate as leaders in the hope for peace.

The reality is powerful: We are among the "living stones," to use the words of Father Chacour.

Beautiful lives inspire even more than beautiful churches.

--by Wayne Rhodes, Director of Communications, General Board of Church & Society

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Content Producer

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