At the Peace Award presentation, many people were moved by the work that had brought this moment to fruition and by the symbolism.
Perhaps, the explanation from Bill Plitt who is the Executive-director/co-founder of the Friends of Tent of Nations North America will allow readers of the FFL to go there and to hear the remarks made by General Secretary of the WMC, Bishop Ivan Abrahams as he spoke at the presentation.
Plitt thanked Abrahams “for his words shared on that cool, breezy evening at Daher’s vineyard, located on that lonely hill which is no longer empty, but filled with God’s spirit and the message of hope. But more, thank you for your presence on the land itself, a place where Daoud’s father had hoped one day that it would be a place of peace, and where people could gather to share their stories. You and members of the Council brought light to the land that night, and left the lemon tree as a reminder. May our paths cross again someday,” Plitt concluded.
The Nassar family, Distinguished Guests, Sisters and Brothers,
It is a singular honor, joy, and privilege to greet you in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The presence of Archbishop Chacour, a recipient of the World Methodist Peace Award makes this even a more special moment.
The Vice-President, Ms Gillian Kingston and I bring greetings and best wishes to you on behalf of the Global Methodist/Wesleyan family as we gather to make the 2017 Peace Award to the Nassar Family for their COURAGE, CREATIVITY, and CONSISTENCY in pursuing PEACE, JUSTICE, and RECONCILIATION through the projects and programs of the TENT OF NATIONS.
For the past 70 The World Methodist Council (WMC) has been consistent in its witness and advocacy against the APARTHEID regime, in its pronouncements on the situation in ISRAEL and PALESTINE and in working for peace on the KOREAN PENINSULA (next month we have a Round Table Meeting on the Korean Peninsula at the Carter Centre in Atlanta).
My life has been shaped on the anvil of the apartheid struggle, and I grew up with the mantra, “Freedom in our lifetime.” I pray that this will be true to this generation of the Nassar family. Remember you have an ally in the
There are moments in life when we are very conscious that we are participating in God’s mission in the world. To be here with the Nassar family and friends a few miles from Bethlehem is such a moment especially as you prepare for the olive harvest. I am humbled and thankful to share in this celebration.
Despite threats of the confiscation of your land and many legal battles you faced, your family has doggedly preserved for the last 102 years and faithfully cultivated the land. Today we take heart from the story of Naboth (1 Kings 21:1-29) who remained true to his spiritual heritage – what is inherited cannot be sold but transferred to the next generation. You are doing much more than planting olive groves; you are sowing SEEDS OF HOPE through VOCATIONAL TRAINING, the YOUTH EXCHANGE, and WOMEN EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMS.
I wish to echo the words of two South African Noble Laureates. Nelson Mandela who claimed that the freedom of all South Africans and others around the world is inextricably linked to the freedom of all Palestinians and Desmond Tutu who made it clear that: “if you are neutral in situations of injustice you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Neutrality allows the status quo of institutionalized injustice to continue.
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