Lay missionary to discuss current situation in Israel, West Bank at May 21 program
A war-torn area over which opposing factions are squabbling is hardly what comes to mind when you think of "home." Especially when you live there and you're still not welcome. Yet that's exactly what home is like for Christians, Muslims and others living in Israel and the West Bank.
Learn about these living conditions from someone who's seen it firsthand by attending "Serving Abraham's Children," a program that will be presented from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, at the Lombard Mennonite Church, 528 E. Madison St., Lombard.
Guest speaker will be Jon Wylie, a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Wheaton who serves as vice chairman the church's mission, Abraham's Children. The mission advocates for peace and justice in the Holy Land.
Wylie's discussion will include a brief history of the area during the last hundred years, especially since 1948 when Israel officially was established as a nation. Wylie also will explain First Presbyterian's activities in the Holy Land since 1995 when the church became active in the area and how Abraham's Children is helping the people who live there.
Wylie, himself, became aware of the status of the marginalized citizens of Israel and Palestine some 15 years ago when he lived in California and his church there hosted a guest speaker, the Rev. Elias Chacour, a priest of the Melkite rite in the Catholic Church. The founder of the Mar Elias Schools in Ibillin, near Nazareth, Father Chacour has worked tirelessly to help establish peace in the area for many years and has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Once Wylie and his wife returned to the Chicago area to live in 2008, they "kicked the tires" at a few churches to find their religious home, to use Wylie's expression, until they happened upon the First Presbyterian Church of Wheaton. On discovering the church supported Father Chacour and his mission, Wylie, commented, "It was an easy choice for us. We signed up!"
Sponsored by the West Suburban Faith-based Peace Coalition, "Serving Abraham's Children" is part of the monthly Educational Forum series. All programs are free of charge and open to the public.
West Suburban Faith-based Peace Coalition is an initiative of faith-based peace makers from Chicago's western suburbs and the general Chicago area. WSFPC includes clergy, congregations, other peace organizations and more. WSFPC is committed to sustaining the work of peace through activities such as vigils, public witness, peace education, lobbying/legislative initiatives, and interfaith dialogue. We are an affiliate of Fellowship of Reconciliation and donations are tax deductible.