Building Bridges Not Walls
Palestinian Christian to address major rally in KW region
“Building Bridges, Not Walls,” is the theme for an interchurch rally on behalf of Christian witness in the Middle East to take place on November 8th from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, 110 Doon Road, Kitchener.
Bishara Awad, President of Bethlehem Bible College (BBC), a Palestinian Christian, will share his inspiring story of how he overcame hate for the Israelis who had killed his father, and went on to establish and lead a thriving college in the midst of great difficulty. For sixteen years he worked with Mennonite Central Committee, including the founding of Bethlehem Bible College, the only Arabic-teaching Bible College in the Middle East. It offers Bachelor degrees in church, tour guide, and media ministries. This fall it has just launched a Master’s program in Pastoral Ministry.
In advance of Dr. Awad’s speaking appearance in Rockway’s auditorium, pastors are invited to preach sermons and study groups are encouraged to explore various aspects of building bridges with and between people of the Middle East. Background information and resources for either a one-time or a four-week study program are listed below. Resources include articles, books, and films.
The November 8th event at Rockway will begin at 6:00 pm with refreshments, music and table displays featuring olive wood products and resources on themes of peace and justice. At 7:00 pm the 60-voice Inshallah Choir directed by Debbie Lou Ludolph, with members from Waterloo Lutheran Seminary and the Waterloo Region, will lead in a service of worship. This will be followed by Dr. Awad’s keynote address, Building Bridges and keeping the church alive in the land of the Bible. A tax-deductible offering will be taken in support of the ministries of Bethlehem Bible College and Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem.
While in the community, Dr. Awad will be speaking to students and faculty at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, and Conrad Grebel University College whose Department of Peace and Conflict Studies provided additional tour support from the Frank H. Epp Memorial Fund. On Wednesday November 11th at 10:00 am there will be an open meeting at Waterloo North Mennonite Church on Benjamin Road, sponsored by the congregation’s 50+ Group, at which Dr. Awad will speak candidly of his faith and visions for the church in the Middle East, on the topic: What does faith mean in times of conflict? At both this and the Rockway event there will be an opportunity to speak directly with Bishara.
Watch for special announcements of the screening of two powerful Israeli-Palestinian movies on issues of relationships and justice, The Lemon Tree and The Syrian Bride. These will be shown at the Original Princess Cinema, Waterloo, on November 3rd and 17th respectively, with all ticket proceeds accruing to the benefit of BBC’s ministries.
Planners of these events include persons who have recently served in the Middle East such as Glenn Edward Witmer, Michael and Virginia Hostetler, Lowell Ewert, and Palmer and Ardys Becker.
For more information, contact Palmer Becker (519) 576-2090, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or Glenn Edward Witmer, email@example.com.
A colourful poster of these events is now available for display. Download the poster.
Papers for study groups and pastors.
The Place of Israel in God’s Plan, Palmer Becker, Retired Pastor and Educator
Another Miracle in Bethlehem
Mennonite Originated Schools in Holy Land remain a Strong Witness
Palmer Becker, Retired Pastor and Educator
My Understanding of Covenant
By Norman Shepherd
Minister, emeritus in the Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Michigan
“And so all Israel will be Saved”
Reflections on a Christian Zionist reading of Romans
By Dr. Dorothy Jean Weaver, professor of New Testament at Eastern Mennonite Seminary
Vatican: Jews do not wait in vain for Messiah
But evangelicals question whether new statement undercuts evangelistic outreach.
By LaTonya Taylor
Christian Scholars say Jews can be Saved Without Faith in Christ
By G. Jeffrey MacDonald
A View from the Palestinian Church
By Cedar Duaybis, a Palestinian Christian laywoman
Christian Zionism: Their Theology, Our Nightmare!
By Rev. Alex Awad, professor at Bethlehem Bible College
Jews and Gentiles as People of the Covenant: The Background and Message of Romans 11
By Gordon Zerbe, Columbia Bible College
“Christian Zionism” and the Myth of America
By Rev. John Hubers
Embrace Ishmael and Isaac
by Dr. Calvin E. Shenk, professor emeritus at Eastern Mennonite University