Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Day #1

From Mac, Scottsdale, AZ

The group safely arrived in Tel Aviv Monday evening after an 11 hour flight. The east coast of the United States is seven hours earlier than Israel-Palestinian Territories time, and nine hours difference from Arizona. Last night we had a good dinner and went to bed to recover as much as we could from jet lag.

Today we had a very full day: Our hotel is on the ridge of the Mount of Olives and has a spectacular view of the Old City of Jerusalem. We began our day walking down the street from our hotel toward Jerusalem on the road that some think was the road Jesus took towards Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. On each side of the road are enormous Jewish graveyards. We stopped at Dominus Flevit Church that commenmorates Jesus' weeping for Jerusalem and its future destruction. Then we made our way down the Mount of Olives a bit further to the Garden of Gethsemane, filled with ancient olive trees. It is amazing how close together thes Biblical sites are. It was very moving for many of us to finally walk in places that we had only read about in our Bible for so many years.

In the late morning and early afternoon we turned our attention to the political conflict as we visited with Bishop Riah, the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem. He shared the voice and concerns of the Palistinian Christian population. According to Bishop Riah there are only 8,000 Palestinian Christians living in the city of Jerusalem today. After a brief lunch we met with the human rights group, Israeli Committee Against Housing Demolition (ICAHD). We learned about their work and were given a tour of East Jerusalem to see where Jewish settlements were being established in traditionally Palestinian areas. Finally, we took our bus to Ramallah, an all Palestinian city of the West Bank,and visited the Ramallah Quaker Meeting. We heard from the clerk of that church and then enjoyed a fine meal at a Ramallah restaurant. A highlight of the meals so far has been the wonderful variety of salads that are often an appetizer to the main courses.

We're off to a great start of learning and listening!

Friday, October 27, 2006


For Your Own Study

From Mac, Scottsdale, AZ:

Dear Friends, Family, Pinnacle Presbyterian Church members, and anyone else:

I wanted to include on the blog the list of books trip members were encouraged to read in preparation for our journey. Please consider reading some of these excellent titles, there is no question they have deepened my understanding of the history and complexity of the situation in the Middle East.

I. Primary Reading List

Chacour, Elias. Blood Brothers (Chosen Books, 2003).

Cohn-Sherbok, Dan and Dawoud El-Alami. The Palestinian-Israeli Conflct: A Beginner’s Guide
(Oneworld Publications, 2003 rev. ed.).

Feuerverger, Grace. Oasis of Dreams: Teaching and Learning in Jewish-Palestinian Village in
Israel (RoutledgeFalmer, 2001).

Lynd, Staughton, Sam Bahour, and Alice Lynd. Homeland: Oral Histories of Palestine and
Palestinians (Olive Branch Press, 1994).

Rosenthal, Donna. The Israelis: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land (Free Press, 2003).

Tolan, Sandy. The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East (Bloomsbury,

Wiesel, Elie. The Night Trilogy (Hill and Wang, 2004).

II. Secondary Reading List

Ben-Sasson, Hayim. A History of the Jewish People (Harvard University Press, 1985).

Cragg, Kenneth. The Arab Christian: A History in the Middle East (Westminster John Knox,

Friedman, Thomas. From Beirut to Jerusalem (Anchor, 1991).

Hourani, Albert. A History of the Arab Peoples (Warner, 1992).

Raheb, Mitri. I am a Palestinian Christian (Augsburg Fortress, 1995).

Scheindlin, Raymond. A Short History of the Jewish People: From Legendary Times to Modern
Statehood (Oxford, 2000).

Thursday, October 26, 2006



This is my first "blogging" experience. At first I didn't think that I would even sign in, but Mac went to the trouble to set this up, and I have found myself telling everyone I know about PCOL's website and blog. I have also noticed that I have been in touch with all my very close and beloved friends. Some did not know that I was leaving for Israel, others remembered and have been saying "peace be with you." I am so thrilled to be on an adult mission trip, I cannot even express it here. I have been in constant prayer and have asked for the prayers of my friends and colleagues. I know that we are all called to be together and travel to the middle east. Shalom will have yet another meaning for me and my future writing and teaching. Shalom.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Trip Participants From Pinnacle

From Mac, Scottsdale, AZ

Greetings To Fellow Pinnacle Presbyterian Church Members, Fellow Trip Goers, and Others.... I wanted to put up a picture of Dave and I so that PPC church members who check this blog will know who is going from Pinnacle (Pinnacle has almost 1400 members so its more than possible that PPC members might not know Dave). For those of you going on the trip, now you know who to look for when we meet you at the airport in a few weeks!

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Welcome To Our Trip Blog

From Mac, Scottsdale, AZ

This initial post is to welcome all the Israel-Palestinian Territories Trip Participants to our blog site! This will be the spot for wonderful reflection and processing as we go through our journey together! It will also be a place where friends, church members, and loved ones can check in on our trip, read our thoughts, and see pictures! I am very much looking forward to our time together and the tremendous amount of learning and growth that will take place! Peace be with you.

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