Mosaic of Peace returns Nov. 6-18

Journey to the Holy Land with the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program

by Darla Carter| Presbyterian News Service

Mosaic of Peace participants receive Communion at the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem (Photo by Doug Dicks)

LOUISVILLE — Now’s your time to apply for the Mosaic of Peace Conference, which returns this fall after a two-year hiatus prompted by the pandemic.

The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is taking applications for the Nov. 6-18 conference, which will take place in Jerusalem and Palestine (Apply here by July 1.).

Participants will engage with Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders, experience contextual theology and study peacemaking practices within the framework of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) policy. They also will connect with global and local partners “to take meaningful action for a just and lasting peace in the region,” according to the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program’s website.

“This is a carefully planned conference, in the tradition of Presbyterian Peacemaking conferences, that encounters the land and the people of Israel and Palestine and seeks to build understanding among our participants of the historic and present-day realities of the region,” said the Rev. Carl Horton, coordinator of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.

Overlooking Jerusalem (Photo by Rick Jones)

Benefits include being inspired by the stories of Christian peacemakers in the Holy Land, walking in the footsteps of Jesus, encountering contemporary Palestinians and Israelis, and being able to take what they’ve experienced back to their home communities and churches.

The Mosaic of Peace “is more than just a Holy Land tour,” said Douglas Dicks, Facilitator for Education for Peace and Justice in Israel and Palestine for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

“Participants will be hearing from authentic voices and getting an up-close-and-personal view of what is happening on the ground from the people who live here and who live the daily realities of life here,” added Dicks, who is also Associate for Ecumenical Partnerships, serving with St. Andrew’s Scots Memorial Church in Jerusalem.

The conference began in 2014 and continued every two years until the pandemic brought about travel restrictions. It generally attracts people who consider themselves to be “peacemakers” in their own unique ways, Horton said.

The Rev. Carl Horton is coordinator of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. (Photo by Rich Copley)

“Our hope is to have a group that truly represents the diversity of the PC(USA),” he said. “We are delighted to welcome those who have been waiting for two years and those who have just recently considered attending the conference.”

Dicks also is excited about the conference coming back again. “We are looking forward to having Presbyterians back in our midst and to once again being able to ‘come and see’ the realities on the ground here in Israel/Palestine,” he said.

There is an optional pre-conference visit to Jordan Nov. 2-5. Those who wish to add that option will arrive early to visit Bethany, Madaba, Mt. Nebo, Um er-Rasas and Petra before joining the Mosaic of Peace Conference Nov. 6.

The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is one of the Compassion, Peace and Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. Its work is made possible by the Peace and Global Witness Offering.

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