|From August, 2000, to December, 2003, we were in Zababdeh working with the Latin Patriarchate school, supporting the ministry of Northern West Bank Christian parishes (including Roman Catholic, Anglican, Greek Orthodox, and Greek Catholic), and building connections between people here and individuals and congregations in the States. Central to this work were the tasks of listening to the hopes and needs of the Christian community and of prayer to discern how we may be called to serve those hopes and needs.|
Zababdeh has been blessed with the state-of-the-art Latin Pariarchate School, with classes from pre-school through 12th grade, serving Christian and Muslim boys and girls from Zababdeh and the surrounding area. We supported this facility in its role as cultural and educational center for the region, and we were excited to develop fruitful connections with the new Arab-American University of Jenin. We supported the school's efforts in English language, religious, environmental, musical, adult education and other programs.
We sought to develop and strengthen ties between the Church in the East and the West by encouraging and facilitating pilgrimage visits, maintenance of our webpages (especially our journal), regular e-mail reflections and newsletter articles for Western churches, published pieces in secular and religious periodicals, and regular visits to the West to share personally the Christian experience in Palestine. This work has culminated in Salt of the Earth, a documentary film following the lives of nine Christians living in the northern West Bank. The film will soon be made available along with an accompanying curriculum. Contact us for more information.
We promoted and facilitated visits to the northern West Bank, encouraging pilgrims to see not only the sights, but also meet the “living stones” of the Holy Land. In the midst of great troubles is perhaps the most important time to visit, and share encouragement and fellowship with people here. Visitors to the area can still enjoy the beautiful mosaic floors of the Latin Convent in Zababdeh, the ancient Church of the Ten Lepers in Burqin, and meet and lend encouragement to Christian communities throughout the region, whose way of life can connect this land to the time in which Jesus lived.
Rooted in the community of faith, we supported worship as the unique work and witness of the body of Christ. As a sign of our solidarity in Christ and the unity of the Church, we shared in worship with all four churches in Zababdeh, and made an effort to worship with the other communities of faith in the northern West Bank (such as Jenin, Burqin, Tubas, Jalame, and Nablus). We also sought opportunities to share in worship and fellowship with Christians throughout the Middle East (Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria). As invited by the priests, Marthame served liturgically in worship.
We were deeply committed to the life of the Church and its various ministries. As such, we sought to support these ministries (religious education, visitation, youth programs, fellowship, prayer group, Bible meditation) in collaboration with the parish priests.
|Justice and Peace Advocacy:
We encouraged faithful engagement with political systems to promote justice and peace in the region. We were involved with organizations (e.g. Sabeel and CPT - see links for more) within Palestine and Israel and abroad seeking justice and peace in the Holy Land. This work is especially important among Americans, because of the enormous political and economic influence of our government on the region.