Bishop of Jerusalem
I was very excited to know that Bishop Suheil Dawani and his wife, Shafeeqa, would be joining us to tell us about his ministry in the Diocese of Jerusalem. He told us of the rising extremism in his region that is growing out of frustration of the stagnation of the peace process. Christians, especially young Christians are leaving the Middle East in droves.
He described Jerusalem as the place where Jesus wept and resurrection was proclaimed. The people live in constant sorrow and hope. The King of Jordan described the Christians as “the glue of the Middle East”. He and Shafeeqa continue in their work of reconciliation, working particularly through children and young people.
As I am preparing to enter into a new position of youth ministry, I found this incredibly hopeful. Youth are (among their many other gifts) prophets. Kids for Peace, a program of the Office of Peace and Reconciliation, is teaching the children, but also their parents, and changing attitudes.
I have had the great pleasure of spending time with some youth delegates here. They are indeed our prophets. I hope we are listening.
Shafeeqa spoke about her work with women and with boys in the diocesan schools. She shared her “humble goals” for the women of her diocese.
- To gather and pray together
- To celebrate their gifts and “beat their shyness”
- Holding interfaith gatherings
The women of Jerusalem, according to Shafeeqa Dawani, “If I can help one robin back in the nest, or heal one broken heart, it has not been in vain”
We heard a great and exciting presentation from the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. All I can recommend, and I strongly recommend it, is that you check out www.pwrdf.org and also the YouTube channel where General Synod delegates are sharing why they support PWRDF.
This presentation, by Judy Steers, was one of the best presentation yet. While PWRDF and other departments of our National Church have given great support to our youth, it showed a great disservice to youth to have Judy standing up there all by herself, our only committed staff for youth and she is 1/4 time. With that, she shared the awesome gatherings and ministries that have come out of our national youth ministries. I will commend to you a few websites to see some of the work Judy is doing.
Generation our youth website
Ask and Imagine our annual pilgrimage for high school students and young adults
CLAY 2010 our Anglican Lutheran Youth Gathering this summer
I’m glad to say that this morning (Day 5, June 7) we passed a motion to create a National Youth Secretariat which includes another 1/4 time position. Let the great work carry on!