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.
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