On Sunday, November 16, the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) made history at Harvard's St. Paul Parish in Cambridge, MA, as HCEF President/CEO, Rateb Rabie, KCHS, gave his signature presentation, The Living Stones: Palestinian Christians, Witnesses of Christ in the Holy Land. Rabie's visit came at the behest of the Catholic church's Holy Land Partner Parish Committee and Lay Committee on Spiritual and Public Concerns.
Contact Name: Zachary Wales
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St. Paul is now eyeing partnership possibilities with an Arab Christian Parish in the Holy Land, and considering a future pilgrimage, according to committee members. Most significantly, the event marked the birth of the first Holy Land Support Network (HCSN) committee in the Boston area.
Commenting on the occasion, the new HCSN Committee Chair Dorothy Buck said, "We've been working toward the goal of a parish partnership since we first heard about Christians in the Holy Land from [HCEF Co-founder] Fr. Drew Christiansen. It was shortly after the tragic events of September 11 that Fr. Christiansen spoke at our church, enlightening us on how we can work with our fellow Christians in the Holy Land to bring Christ's message of reconciliation and peace to the world." Buck added that of all the options, HCEF was the most effective representative of Christians in the Holy Land. "Rateb did not hesitate in getting us engaged. We met the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem when he visited Washington, DC in August. Then we went to HCEF's 10th International Conference and were blown away."
Reflecting on the weekend, Rabie said, "What I experienced in Cambridge was truly inspiring. I hope the Holy Land will become a part of St. Paul's identity, and a solidarity that lasts even beyond my time."
In addition to his presentation on Sunday, Rabie had a personal meeting with St. Paul's Pastor, Rev. Robert J. Congdon, who blessed HCEF's work in his church and in the area. Among those in attendance at Sunday's talk was St. Paul's Parochial Vicar, Rev. James W. Savage. HCSN-New Hampshire's committee head Pamela Trush and Boston-area Ambassadors of the Mother Church (i.e. HCEF members) July and Michael James also attended the event in a show of support that no HCSN initiative stands alone. Working in concert with Buck were St. Paul members Mary Alice and Vincent Stanton, Angela Jones, Andrew and Dierdre Griswold, Kathy and Marion Reines, Ted O'Connell, Patricia McCormick, Judy Murdoch and Paul Cravedi, all of whom will comprise the first Boston area HCSN committee. Buck will head the HCSN committee, and has invited people from all churches in the Boston interested in joining the HCSN to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information, please contact Zachary Wales at email@example.com or 301-951-9400 ext. 211.