The author. who works in the area of interfaith relations at the Anglican Communion Office in London recently visited the Holy Land for the first time. She took a course "Abraham: Yesterday and Today" at St. George's College, Jerusalem, while staying at "'The House of Abraham', run by a community of French nuns offering hospitality to all regardless of nationality or faith". "The wall was very much a feature of our visit. .... The experience of checkpoints also introduced us to the apartheid that is developing. Being a group of American, Australian, English and Nepalese we were waved through with little inconvenience, not so the local residents". "One of our group had just completed three months with a Christian Peacekeeper Team and guided us around the team apartment in Hebron. It was a joy to see young Palestinian children emerge from a face painting session all smiles and giggles. Again we were reminded that the dehumanising is on both sides as we looked over to the Israeli barracks populated by young conscripts most of whom are terrified and simply want to go home". "During some of the evenings we received excellent lectures on Abraham within Islam, current work in building relationships between Muslims, Christians and Jews in Jerusalem, and Abraham in the Jewish tradition." "Worshipping with Arab Christians, praying for the peace of Jerusalem through psalms and intercessions whilst actually there, seeing the wall, all these were moving experiences."
See also advertisement for "Saint George's College, Jerusalem" on page 23 which lists three courses: Palestine of Jesus (20 April - 3 May 2007); St. Paul and the Early Church (10-23 May 2007); and St. Paul in Greece (14-25 June 2007). www.sgcjerusalem.org
The first joint meeting of the Anglican Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council met in Cape Town for eleven days in January 1993. Addressing a service of more than 10,000 people, Archbishop George Carey "described Africa as `wounded and bleeding'. He added, `No Christian can be excused from coming to the aid our African brothers and sisters in need'." "A delegation of Anglican leaders under Archbishop Carey held a meeting with South African President F.W. De Klerk that focused on the church's influence on the church's influence on the political process". The primates and the Council "rejected the concept of a special episcopal relationship for parishes opposed to the ordination of women". "Addressing the problem of AIDS, Archbishop Yona Okoth of Uganda, urged a `universal response' by asking `all governments, all churches, all religious bodies to do all in their power to fight this killer of our people". Archbishop French Chang-Him of the Indian Ocean raised the issue of cohabitation, asking "for guidance on what to do about the growing number of unmarried people who live together. `It raises the whole issue of what is marriage', Archbishop Chang-Him said. `It becomes a very theological issue'." The Consultative Council also "urged Israel to comply with a United Nations resolution that Palestinian deportees be returned to their homes on the West Bank and Gaza". The two bodies will probably not meet at the same time again. "Archbishop Eames noted the meeting did not give the primates enough time together, Archbishop Douglas Hambidge, metropolitan of British Columbia, went farther. `I am convinced that the primates and the ACC should never meet together because they have different agendas', he said".
Dr. George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, Canon John Peterson, General Secretary of the Anglican Communion, Jerusalem's President Bishop Samir Kafity, Bishop Coadjutor Riah Abu el-Assal and Bishop James Ottley, Anglican Observer at the United Nations, have all made statements on the recent bombings in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
"The Primate of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, the Most Rev. Samir Kafity, and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. made a 10-day joint pilgrimage in the Holy Land before and during Easter. The Primates met the President of Egypt, the King of Jordan and the Prime Minister of Israel. At the end of their pilgrimage on Easter Monday the two Primates made a statement reaffirming their commitment `to support the creation of a new Palestine while assuring peace and security for Israel'. After talking with ecumenical partners from Iraq the two Primates became convinced that the international community needs to end the sanctions against Iraq and provide humanitarian relief and work for peace".
"Anglicans around the world were asked to offer special prayers on 30 September  for Palestinian Christians in East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank, and for a lasting peace". The Episcopal Bishops in Jerusalem, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the World Council of Churches have all issued appeals for peace in the light of recent violence which has caused the death of more than 50 people in two days.
"2005 marks the Anglican Peace and Justice Network's 20th anniversary and its meeting in Jerusalem in September 2004 brings it full circle to its first meeting which also took place in the City of Peace in 1985. Invited by the Right Reverend Riah Hanna Abu El-Assal, APJN convened 23 Provinces of the Anglican Communion under the leadership of Dr. Jenny Te Paa of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia ... (p. 7)". "APJN was both nurtured and shaken during its visit, the former by the warmth of the people of the diocese (virtually all of them Palestinian), and the latter by the conditions of Occupation under which most Palestinians live (p. 7)". "We recognize that the Israeli people have endured attacks and suicide bombings causing great suffering, loss and agony, and that the fear of further suicide bombings continues. We also recognize and lament the historical context of the experience of persecution and genocide by the Jewish people. However, the extent to which the Israeli government has gone in annexing Palestinian land and pushing the Palestinians into cantons and denying this people both dignity and self-determination is unjustifiable. If Israel continues with its actions in the name of security (as is often argued) then their hope for life without fear is diminished as the Palestinian people will continue in their struggle for nationhood (p. 9)".
Contents divided into four main sections.
Contents: List of Participant Provinces -- The Local Context of the Meeting -- Moral Responsibility of Investments -- APJN Statement on Palestinian/Israeli Conflict -- Honoring a Peacemaker -- Regional Conflicts : Seeking Conflict Transformation -- A Personal Challenge to the Communion / Pie Ntukamazina -- The Challenge of Globalization -- Environmental Justice -- Theological Education as Foundational to Peacemaking -- Interfaith Relations as a Tool for Justice -- A Conversation with Mordechai Vanunu -- Recommendations to the Anglican Consultative Council -- Networking -- Business Meeting and Closing Comments.
Section III Recommendations organized into four subject sections: Conflict Transformation -- Theological Education -- Interfaith Relations -- Environment.
The Anglican Church of Canada was represented by Ms. Cynthia Patterson.
"The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has urged Christians throughout the world to make efforts to visit Bethlehem as a place of pilgrimage and to remember the `struggling' town in their prayers. In a letter presented to Dr. Victor Batarseh, the Mayor of Bethlehem, marking the feast of the Epiphany, Dr. Williams expressed his concern for the fate of the area." Article includes text of letter.
"My favourite Christmas carol is `O Little Town of Bethlehem'. Written by Philip Brooks, former Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Massachusetts, it captures so eloquently and beautifully the magic of Christmas. He composed it following a never-to-be-forgotten visit to Bethlehem in 1868." "Bethlehem is very much on my mind at the moment. The carol speaks of `peace' -- but there is little peace in the Holy Land at the present time. I find myself asking: `Are we doing enough to support our brothers and sisters in this land, loved above all others ? Are we praying enough for Muslims, Jews and Christians to live in harmony one with another ? How many others will have to die violently before the leaders of all parties realise that there will never be peace until the land belongs to all ?"