Pastor in PC(USA)’s partner denomination is one of 10 International Peacemakers coming to the U.S.
July 31, 2022
Pastor Fursan Zumot did not want to see Tawfeek leave his church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem.
Tawfeek told him he had applied for immigration to Canada, where he understood education was free. Sending his kids to school in Jerusalem was a heavy financial burden.
“As a pastor in Jerusalem, where Christian presence is in danger, I was not happy to hear this,” Zumot said. “While waiting for the Canadian embassy to reply to his application, the church tried its best to provide a scholarship for his kids. Even though it was stressful for the church, we were able to provide his kids with a scholarship. After that, Tawfeek’s application of immigration was accepted, but he chose to stay in Jerusalem.
“This is how the church can protect the Christian presence in Jerusalem.”
Presbyterians and others will have a chance to hear and speak with Zumot about the challenges of the Christian church in the Holy Land in the face of a shrinking Christian presence and advocating for peace for all.
Zumot is one of 10 people from around the world involved in peacemaking work scheduled to visit the United States early this fall as part of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program’s International Peacemakers event. The Peacemakers will visit congregations, mid councils (presbyteries and synods), and communities around the country to talk about their work.
These are expected to be the first in-person peacemaker visits since 2019, due to the Covid pandemic.
“I will be talking about what it means to be a Christian in the Middle East,” Zumot said. “I will share my perspective on the Arabic Israeli conflict from a humanitarian aspect.”
Zumot grew up in Amman, Jordan, and had a short career in banking before heeding the call to ministry in 2003, the same year he started working with the Deaf community. Following studies at the United Theological College of the West Indies in Jamaica, he was initially ordained in the Anglican Church and served in Jordan. In 2014, Zumot joined the PC(USA)’s partner denomination in the region, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL).
In addition to serving Church of the Redeemer, Zumot is pastor to a Deaf congregation in Palestine, and spiritual adviser of The Upper Room Mission, an NGO in Jerusalem.
“The ELCJHL helps people to discern God in the midst of occupation, where people are discriminated and under a great financial pressure,” Zumot said. “The Presbyterian Church helps ELCJHL in so many areas — financially, spiritually and physically, most of the time.”
Rich Copley, Multimedia Producer, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, July 31, 2022, the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
Today’s Focus: Pastor Fursan Zumot, international peacemaker
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Dear Lord, we give thanks that you have gifted each of us for your purpose. May our hearts be open to your leading that we may use those gifts to your glory. We give thanks that we are part of a great family. May we always encourage and support one another in your work in your world. Amen.