I thought I'd share the report I did on the Coventry Conference and some pictures from the professional photographer who joined us. It really was a great time. I am hoping we'll do a conference in the States sometime before too long!
On May 20th and 21st participants from the UK, other European countries, and America gathered in the iconic Coventry Cathedral to join Musalaha for our first international Reconciliation conference.
|The beautiful Coventry Cathedral was a wonderful location for the conference|
Musalaha was invited by Christian leaders in the UK to share first-hand experiences and lessons learned in reconciliation with the wider body of Christ – whose members have increasingly felt the need to choose sides as they consider the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The powerful story of the Coventry Cathedral was meaningful to our participants as they heard testimonies of reconciliation in the place dedicated to forgiveness since its devastation during a war-time attack in 1940 and rebuilt as a testimony of faith and hope.
|Salim Munayer and Evan Thomas|
Speakers included Palestinian and Israeli leaders such as Salim Munayer and Evan Thomas as well as other leaders. We also worshipped in Hebrew, Arabic and English and heard powerful testimonies, including some young Nigerian leaders in reconciliation.
Participants were very encouraged by testimonies and teachings from Musalaha’s ministry partners. We were joined by Cathy Nobles and students from YWAM’s School of Reconciliation and Justice, Tanas Alqassis and Rev. Joseph Steinberg from the Church Mission Society, Rev. Gilbert Lammerts van Bueren from Near East Ministry and representatives from the Baptist Mission Society.
We were excited to have approximately 150 participants representing a wide variety of churches, organizations, and communities.
Insights following the conference made one thing clear: the message of reconciliation is not only relevant for those of us living in areas of conflict. It is the call of God for all believers.
Here are some quotes from participants:
The variety of speakers, insights, demonstration of faith in action! Very exciting ministry that challenges everyone's thinking.
I realize now that as a Christian I am involved… I should be a peacemaker.
The quality of the speakers was absolutely first class!
The respect that the team shows each other also witnesses to the power of your message. Insightful.
Great Britain is in need of this message, especially within the church.
The conference was everything I had hoped it would or could be. I feel better equipped with all the excellent teaching and sharing… to take Jesus’ way of the cross through the middle, without being swayed by the rhetoric or fears of either side in the Body of Christ in the UK.
All of us have been inspired by the teaching and especially by the high quality of testimonies and the way Salim Munayer and Evan Thomas have answered questions: sincere and with a sense of humor. It was not easy to keep out of politics and at the same time remain relevant to the situation which you as Israeli's and Palestinians have to face. For those of us living in the west, it was humbling to witness how you are forced to identify with Christ more fully because of the conflict. A true encouragement to all of us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus.
For more information, please visit www.coventryconference.wordpress.com. Here are some more pictures of the event:
Thank you so much for your prayers for the conference. We felt the presence of God and are thanking Him for a wonderful time.