Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Blogs

Swords Into Plowshares

Reflections from the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

Walking the Jesus Trail: Nazareth to Capernaum

Journal and Photo Reel, May 12-15 Day 1: Nazareth to the Cana Guest House We started off the day in high spirits, which was good because the first thing we had to do was climb our way out of the city of Nazareth, ancient hometown of Jesus! Nazareth today is a far cry from the 5,000-person… Read more »

Putting the Pieces Together in a Mosaic of Peace

Mosaic of Peace, Day 10 Last night, multiple members of our group woke to the sound of fighter jets. The IDF was coordinating a strike on Iranian-affiliated military bases in Syria, responding to a (as of initial reports, casualty-free) strike on the Golan Heights. The Golan Heights attack itself was anticipated by the IDF, and… Read more »

Go to Galilee, there you will find me.

Mosaic of Peace, Day 9 Today we took a break from the presentations and classroom time to walk where Jesus walked, around the Sea of Galilee. But even so, we were never far from the issues to which we have been exposed all week. We toured all of the usual spots: the Church of the… Read more »

From Ramallah to the River: Intractable Conflict; Impossible Grace

Mosaic of Peace, Day 8 We started out this day mired in discussions of the “intractable conflict” in Israel-Palestine, and ended the day with grace, on the River Jordan. Our meeting in Ramallah with Sam Bahour, a Palestinian businessman (and U.S. Citizen) had elements of hope woven throughout. He pointed out that, in one sense,… Read more »

Microcosm of Conflict; Moment of Peacebuilding

Day 7, Part 1: A Microcosm of the Conflict As we boarded the bus from the Manger Square Hotel, the ingredients appeared to be coming together for rain.  A slight wind blew over the hills as clouds gathered overhead. After a third day in Bethlehem, we had heard and seen how the ingredients came together… Read more »

Irreconcilable “Facts”

Mosaic of Peace, Day 6 Today we were confronted with incompatible narratives. After worshipping at Christmas Lutheran Church in the morning, we visited the Tent of Nations—a small olive tree-covered  mountain owned by the Nassar family, which consists of Palestinian Christian farmers. The Nassars are a rare case—they have ownership papers going back to the… Read more »

“Gerrymandering” Jerusalem

Mosaic of Peace, Day 5 After three and a half days staying in and exploring the Old City area of Jerusalem, yesterday we took a bus tour of East Jerusalem with an Israeli guide named Yaniv Mazor—a former tank commander in the IDF who, after serving three years of mandatory service, cut short his time… Read more »

Listening for the Still, Small Voice

Mosaic of Peace, Day 4 When I was quite young, (exactly how many years ago, I prefer not to share), my grandmother toured the Holy Land. I remember caressing the olive wood trinkets, looking through the pictures with her, and deciding that one day, I too would go to this holy place and walk where… Read more »

A Brief Flashback: Talking Trump in Tel Aviv

Mosaic of Peace, Day 3 Editor’s note: It is always interesting to get a snapshot of what people in other countries think of the United States and its politics. As we have stayed in Jerusalem, issues of displacement vs immigration have had a different tinge than in the United States. It is the Jewish people,… Read more »

Finding the Name of Peace

Mosaic of Peace 2018, Day 2 What is in a name? It depends on the name. Our identity, our history, our future, our value—all the pieces that help form the narrative of who we are.—are tied to names. When we name our children, when we name our friends, when we name the places most special… Read more »