Presiding Bishop part of interfaith pilgrimage to Holy Land

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Episcopal News Service has been reporting on Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s participation in an interfaith delegation to the Holy Land, during the week of Prayer for Christian Unity:

In seeking a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, people of faith need to be effective partners committed to hearing multiple narratives, say members of a broad U.S. interfaith delegation, led by Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, during a weeklong pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

The 15-member delegation of Jews, Christians and Muslims engaged in a series of high-level political and religious meetings in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, including with former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and current Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, to hear a wide range of perspectives on peace, religion and politics and to share their own views about the role the three Abrahamic faiths must play in helping to shape a better world.

Schori preached at St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem on January 25:

There is something about holiness traditions that cannot stand other holiness traditions, and usually only receives them as threatening and murderous. It’s an attitude that insists that boundaries between traditions have to be strong and high, or something essential will be lost.

There is also something about holiness traditions that can rise above those boundaries, or descend deeper into the heart of all that is, to remember and rediscover the One and only source, who alone is Holy. That way seeks oneness rather than division, and remembers that God’s universe is larger and far more curious than human beings can imagine. That is the truth the psalmist proclaims about God’s mercy and justice being for all people.[4]

Deep in the heart of the Holy One there is no division. Distinction emerges in creation, yes, but it is distinction that is bound in relationship, rather than division. We human beings so often want to focus on the distinctions between us, and deny relationship with those who differ. It only divides us from the Holy One, particularly when we judge ourselves more righteous than another. The first shall be last, the last first, and ultimately we are all in this together.

The full text and video can be found here.

Photo: Matthew Davies/ENS

Posted by Cara Modisett

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linda gaither
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linda gaither

"Jesus wasn't talking about how to be good within the framework of a domination [Occupation] system. He was a critic of the domination system itself." quote: Marcus Borg

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John Harry Gunkel
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John Harry Gunkel

The reports of this pilgrimage left me disappointed to say the least. We are far beyond the need for "listening to multiple narratives"; we've been listening to them since 1967 and they haven't changed. It also appears that the "multiple narratives" in this pilgrimage were heavily skewed toward those of Israel and the US government. We know those all too well. Where were the narratives of Palestinians now into their 6th decade of occupation? Where were the narratives of Palestinians whose lives, opportunities, rights and freedoms continue to be oppressed? Please let the next 'pilgrimage' be directed at concrete actions toward justice and not at more listening.

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Whit Johnstone
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Whit Johnstone

The Presiding Bishop's actions do not amount to support for Likud or Benjamin Netanyahu. She met with the leader of the progressive Isreali opposition, not with a representative of the Likud government. She did meet with the sitting Prime Minister of the state of Palestine, which Likud and the US do not recognize.

Embracing the "boycott, divestment, sanctions" campaign wholeheartedly would ruin our interfaith relationships with Jewish congregations in the United States, as has happened with PCUSA. In addition, it's just wrong. Israel has as much of a right to exist as Palestine does.

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Addison Bross
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Addison Bross

"Embracing the 'boycott, divestment, sanctions' campaign . . . [is] just wrong. Israel has as much of a right to exist as Palestine does."

The Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions campaign does not threaten Israel's right to exist. It threatens only Israel's right to continue its illegal occupation of land belonging to another people, its right to blockade Gaza, its right to enter the homes of Palestinian families and abduct their children, holding them in detention for indefinite periods, and many of the other rights that Israel has claimed for itself. The BDS campaign aims only to cancel these -- Israel's unjustly exercised rights -- and to prompt Israel to behave like a respectable member of the world community.

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Donna Hicks
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Donna Hicks

Check this out for what else was going on on the ground in Palestine/Israel during this visit: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/PINontheGo---Implementing-B019-s-Interfaith-Pilgrimage.html?soid=1101944287313&aid=QHgn3jSHSNI

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