By Michael Connor
Promoting awareness of the Israel Palestine conflict and the corresponding impact on life were the major themes of 2017. A spring Senior Season class presented factors contributing to and fueling the conflict. A fall Senior Seasons Academy class covered life in Palestine for vulnerable populations based on my experience on a three-month field assignment as an Ecumenical Accompanier in the South Hebron Hills region. We concluded the year with an Advent prayer service simulcast with Christmas Lutheran Church of Bethlehem and the Washington DC National Cathedral.
This year, we continue an emphasis on awareness building by offering a six week course via the NC Synod on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The class is being recorded and uploaded to the synod’s website, nclutheran.org.
In March, St. John’s will be hosting Palestine: Unlimited, a traveling photography exhibit of 10 Palestinian artists. The March 10 Opening Reception will include a “Conversations That Matter” panel discussion with Christian, Muslim and Jewish perspectives. Proceeds generated by the exhibit go toward Dar al-Kalima University scholarships, the artists, and our mission partner, Bright Stars of Bethlehem.