Holy Land Trip Sat / Oct 29

Posted by Ann, October 29, 2011

We came full circle yesterday when we made a visit to the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf in Salt, Jordan. This mission to deaf and profound hearing loss children has been operating since 1965. 160 children, as young as three and up to 20 years old, live together in this colorful, harmonious boarding facility designed to create one big family where everyone speaks sign language. The Holy Land Institute has long been dear to Christ Church missioners. Not only have we given our treasure in years past, we have also given time and talent. Some of our parishioners have spent time volunteering at the institute. Under the capable leadership of Audrey Grissom, and supporters like Joanne Metcalf, this vital ministry to the Holy Land was nurtured. While our commitment to the Holy Land hasn’t wavered, our support for the Institute has waned over the last few years.annblog1029boy.jpg

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Holy Land Trip Fri / Oct 28

Posted by Ann, October 28, 2011

Random reflections about Jordan:

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Holy Land Trip Thurs / Oct 27

Posted by Ann, October 27, 2011

Children of the Middle East who have disabilities are often hidden away because of the shame it can bring to families. In this culture, a disability is a black mark on the family’s honor and may affect the positive marriage potential of the other children in the family.

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Holy Land Trip Wed / Oct 26

Posted by Ann, October 26, 2011

Some of you may remember that my brother died in May of 2010. My family scattered Rob’s ashes in the desert outside San Diego in June of that year and again in the Vermont woods in July. I knew at that point that I would be making a Holy Land pilgrimage the following December with the group from Christ Church, so I reserved a small baggie of ashes with the intention of spreading them somewhere in the Holy Land.

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Holy Land Trip Tues / Oct 25

Posted by Ann, October 25, 2011

Today we worshipped at St. Paul’s Episcopal church, in Shef’amer, a city in the north of Israel near Haifa, where Muslims, Christians, and Druze (a staunchly independent sect of Shiite Muslims) live in peace. It was a joy to be welcomed so warmly by the rector, Rev. Faud Dagher, a big, gap-toothed, energetic bear of a guy.

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Holy Land Trip Mon / Oct 24

Posted by Ann, October 24, 2011

Today we leave Jerusalem with its noise, contrasts, intensity, and press of people. But before we do, I feel compelled to say something about walls. Of course, they are everywhere, with the city streets being so narrow and everyone living on top of one another. No walls are more beautiful and impressive than those of the Old City, constructed of white/gold lime stones, some of which date to the first century. When the sun hits the walls, the reflection of light can be blinding. The massive walls were built to protect the city from marauding antagonists and they look impenetrable. Ironically though, the walls have either been destroyed or moved several times throughout history.

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Holy Land Trip Sun / Oct 23

Posted by Ann, October 23, 2011

So I have learned a bit more about Bishop Suheil Dawani and the Diocese of Jerusalem (which also includes Israel, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan). As the number of Christians in Israel dwindles to less than one percent of the population, the diocese serves mostly Muslims, some Jews in their three schools, two hospitals, four clinics, and 32 churches.

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Holy Land Trip Sat / Oct 22

Posted by Ann, October 22, 2011

In one day, we visited three places holy in each of the Abrahamic faiths.We started out at the Western Wall, the most holy location in all of Judaism, where it was bar mitzvah day. Women and men are not allowed to worship together, so it is a very plaintive sight indeed, to see mothers standing on chairs peering over the partition to watch their sons make their bat mitzvah and become men.

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Holy Land Trip Fri / Oct 21

Posted by Ann, October 21, 2011

Here is something fabulous the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem is doing:

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Holy Land Trip Thurs / Oct 20

Posted by Ann, October 20, 2011

Today Israeli soldier Gilad Shilat was released after 5 years in Palestinian custody in exchange for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

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