Everywhere we look there is disturbing news. This is about to change, at least for one Sunday. On October 8, The Rev. Canon Fuad Dagher, Rector of our Sister Parish St. Paul's in the Holy Land, will be preaching at both Services and presenting at the Forum with his close friend Fr. Denis O'Pray. As I have written about in past BEACONS, Fr.Fuad and his parishioners, by their examples, have shown COS Pilgrims since 2004 what living the Christian life can look like, even under the most difficult of daily circumstances.
As Palestinian Christians, they are a minority in Shefa 'Amr whose population of 40,000 is 80% Palestinian Muslim. In addition, everyone in the city is a minority within a country whose majority population is 80% Jewish. Even so, these 160 Episcopalians, led by Fr. Fuad, work closely and celebrate with their ecumenical compatriots -- the Melkites, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Maronites. In addition, the entire Christian leadership works magnificently with the Muslim majority Imams AND the Druze Sheik.
The Bottom Line: In this day and age when some are elevating the anti-Muslim rhetoric, here is a community who is showing that people with different religious beliefs AND who come from different ethnicities can come together and live in peace. Contrast this co-existence with the Episcopal parishes in the West San Gabriel Valley where the priests seldom gather together except at their Monthly Deanery Meetings. In addition, I will bet no one can tell me when the priests and pastors of the Christian denominations in our area, let alone their inter-faith brothers and sisters, EVER have come together to discuss the challenges facing their individual congregations.
Fr. Fuad will discuss how they been able to cultivate ecumenical and inter-faith relations in the very difficult environment that is the Holy Land, and he will address any other questions you may have on October 8 at the Forum which begins at 10:00. If you have any interest in knowing what our Christian sisters and brothers are doing to assure our continuing presence in "our homeland", you need to be at COS that day. BRING A FRIEND.