The following is a reflection on the potential use of military force by the United States on the current Syrian government by CRCDS M.Div. student Kathy Thiel.
What comes to my mind when I think about the US becoming forcefully involved in the situation in Syria are the words of Martin Luther King Jr. on non-violence. What comes to my heart is sadness. If the United States uses violence against Syria, we are ignoring faith of any kind that this situation will resolve itself without our intervention.
This message originally appeared as an announcement from the American Baptist Churches of the Rochester/Genesee Region
This September at the Rochester Fringe Festival, Katie Jo Suddaby will be creating Sand Mandalas in the atrium of Geva Theater! Katie Jo is the Pastor of The Baptist Temple in Brighton. When not pastoring, she can be found creating delicate works of art by arranging thousands of tiny grains of brightly-colored sand.
Using her own designs, but employing Tibetan Buddhist techniques, Katie Jo crafts intricate works of art that are not to be missed. For the Fringe, Pastor Katie Jo will work a back-breaking 50 hours crouched over a rotating glass table. Come see the work take shape any time after 5pm on weekdays and after noon on weekends, September 19th through the 28th at Geva. (The works will be on display at Geva Theatre during the two days of Annual Gathering.)
More information at http://rochesterfringe.com/shows/show/sand-mandalas. Hope to see you there!
Two peace activists, author Pamela Olson and lawyer-activist Dr. Jonathan Kuttab, shared their insights and wisdom about the Israel/Palestine conflict at Worship on the Hill on Tuesday, September 10, 2013.
Olson told the story of her personal path to working for peace in Israel/Palestine, which began when she graduated college and traveled there for two months when she was 21. Olson was quickly moved by what she saw as deep injustices against Palestinian Arabs, and underwent a deep re-evaluation of her views and opinions on how she, and many other Americans, typically understand the issue. This inspired her to return to Palestine in 2005, where she worked as a journalist and foreign press coordinator for the Palestinian presidential candidate Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi.
The following article was written by Roula Alkhouri, who recently earned her D.Min. from CRCDS. She has been Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Batavia since November 2007. She moved from Bend, Oregon, where she served for seven years as associate pastor. Roula is the first Syrian woman ordained into ministry. Roula is married to Mike Stuart who is also an ordained Presbyterian minister. Their daughter Sophia is the joy of their lives.
I write with a heavy heart about the conflict in Syria. Even though I grew up in Syria, I have been away from Syria for over 20 years. So, I write about the conflict in Syria with the disclaimer that I am somewhat of an outsider because I no longer reside in Syria and cannot possibly fully appreciate the suffering of the people of Syria right now. Yet my Syrian roots run deep. My parents, my sister, my niece, and most of my extended family still live there. I also feel a need to speak a prophetic word that comes from my Syrian Christian faith and my commitment to following the way of Jesus which I believe is a way of justice through nonviolence and love.