Saturday, October 24
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United Nations Day
Presbytery of the Palisades
The group of five was commissioned at a September stated meeting of the presbytery to participate in the Keep Hope Alive olive harvesting program in the West Bank. Joining 125 others from around the world, they picked olives and broke bread with the farmers. They also met with academics and Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups and toured a variety of locations, including a refugee camp, Bedouin villages, and an Israeli colony—all so that they could get a better feel for the facts on the ground.
Ma’ale Adumim is an Israeli colony that extends deep into the West Bank /East Jerusalem in the Judean desert, and yet it is lush with green verges and roundabouts. A large recreational water park is but one of the amenities.
In a valley a five-minute drive away lies a Bedouin village amid bleak surroundings. A Bedouin explained his plight: He was forced out of the Negev in the late 1990s but later managed to purchase this piece of land, modest but enough to support his livelihood of sheep herding. In 2013 the children were sent to a tent 150 feet up the hill to watch the Israelis bulldoze their homes. Now the shepherd is cut off from so much of his land that he cannot graze his sheep properly, and he worries that many will die when winter sets in.
Sacks of sunflower seeds were piled up nearby—donations for the sheep. Three little boys sat on the sacks and occasionally lit up with big smiles as their pictures were taken. The visiting group wondered what the future holds for these little ones and so many others like them throughout the West Bank. Are they not our neighbors too?
The Presbytery of the Palisades is home to 47 congregations.
—Elder Paul Talarico, moderator
Let us join in prayer for:
Rev. Eileen Lindner, corresponding member, PMA Board
Rev. Dr. Marianne Rhebergen, member, PMA Board
Rev. Dr. Marianne Rhebergen, transitional leader
Rev. Gregory Keosaian, stated clerk
Rev. David Baer, assistant to the stated clerk
Maha Faragalla, office manager
Cindy Cummings, bookkeeper
Martha Dawson, treasurer
Elder Paul Talarico, moderator
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
You have commanded us to love our neighbors, Lord. Soften our hearts and strengthen our resolve so we may do your will as Christ has taught us. Amen.