Jericho and Taybeh
Every year after Easter, Sabeel organizes a meeting for the clergy and their wives as a way to exchange Easter greetings and help them relax after the busy season.
This year, 21 clergy and spouses attended the event in Jericho. The meeting started at 10am with a spiritual reflection given by Rev. Naim Ateek, followed by a good discussion.
In February 2012, Sabeel sent a questionnaire to the clergy, with questions regarding the clergy program and its impact on them personally, in their ministry, and for their participation in ecumenical work. Afterward, we took the opportunity to discuss the questions in small groups. The groups included the wives of the clergy members as well.
What follows are some of the responses that the clergy shared in the concluding session:-
1. The clergy programs play a major role in developing the relationship between clergy from different churches in different parts of Palestine and Israel.
2. The clergy program helps clergy think in a more ecumenical way, and develops a mutual respect to the ecumenical work. Praying together was highly appreciated, having retreats and sharing experiences also were things that generated good discussion. Additionally, clergy commented on how the program helps to revitalize their spiritual life.
3. Participants expressed their appreciation for the interfaith program and asked Sabeel to organize more events.
4. They asked Sabeel to create more opportunities for the clergy to share their experiences and their work with each other.
5. Participants expressed their appreciation for the role that Sabeel plays in advocacy; informing the world about the Palestinian cause.
6. They would love to see Sabeel work more on the issue of emigration of Christians to other countries and also to encourage the church to be involved more.
At the end of the morning session, we shared with the participants the programs that are planned through the end of this year (2012).
Around 1:00pm we celebrated Easter by eating lunch together in a pleasant atmosphere.
After lunch we continued our celebration and went to Taybeh village because the Greek Catholic priest there invited all clergy and their wives to take part in the celebration of St. George’s Day at Taybeh. Everyone again enjoyed the warm welcoming hospitality that the people there offered to the group.
We left Taybeh and each went to his/her city, village, and church filled with love and joy.