Conference Program 2008

10th International Conference

A Decade of Seeking Peace: Pursuing Hope, Security and Human Dignity
HCEF Achievements and Challenges

"So let us then definitely aim for and eagerly pursue what makes for harmony and for mutual upbuilding of one another." Romans 14:19

October 24-25, 2008

National Presbyterian Church

4101 Nebraska Avenue, NW

Washington , DC20016


Saturday, October 25, 2008
8:00am – 9:00am Registration, Refreshments, Exhibition Open
9:00am – 9:40amPrayer and welcoming remarks
 Rev. Dr. Douglas Learned, Ph.D., Executive Pastor, National Presbyterian Church – Introduction to 10th International Conference

Rateb Y.Rabie, KCHS, HCEF President/CEO – Opening Remarks

Conference Moderators:

Dr. Saliba Sarsar, Ph.D., Secretary, HCEF Board of Directors,
Associate Vice President for Program Initiatives,
Monmouth University

George Ghattas, HCEF Vice President. Country Representative

9:40am – 9: 50am

Visual Presentation – "Who are the Arab Christians of the Holy Land?"
9:50am – 10:30amWitness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories

Personal experiences, observations and photographs from eight months documenting human rights violations in the West Bank.

Anna Baltzer,
Columbia University graduate, Fulbright scholar and volunteer with the International Women's Peace Service
10:30am -10:45amCoffee Break

10:45am -11:45am

Hope for the Two-State Solution: Challenges and Opportunities from Palestinian and Jewish Perspectives

The two-state solution remains an attractive option for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. However, what are the requirements for its success? Will the Palestinians be able to provide a more viable leadership and will the Israelis be willing to be less aggressive in their dealings with the Palestinians and end the occupation?

Ambassador Philip C. Wilcox, President,
Foundation for Middle East Peace

Ziad Asali, M.D. , President,
American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP)

Ori Nir, Spokesperson, Americans for Peace Now (APN)

11:45am -12:45pmLunch
12:45pm – 1:15pmKeynote Speaker:
H.B. Patriarch Michel Sabbah, Two Decades of Faithful Witnessing in the Holy Land
 Addressing the importance of ecumenism and the role Arab Christians play as they resolve and manage their daily issues and livelihood, they also work for the future. His address will make evident, Patriarch Sabbah's vision is inclusive and is matched by his courage to extend himself and open dialogue with leaders who do not see life from the same "peace with justice" lens. His friendship and conversations with Palestinians and Israelis have not reduced his objectivity, search for dialogue and truth and calls for action in peacemaking, peace building and reconciliation.
1:15pm – 1:30pmVisual Presentation:
 "A Decade of Seeking Peace: Pursuing Hope, Security, and
Human Dignity – HCEF Achievements and Challenges"

1:30pm – 2:45pm


I. Sustaining Economic Viability through Holy Land Support Programs: Economic Development and Holy Land Support Programs

The Israeli occupation and resultant violence have adversely affected the economic development in Palestine. The lack of tourism, jobs, investments, infrastructure, regional assistance and international support have created a desperate situation. Regardless, Christian agencies, including HCEF and others have sustained their commitments and programs, giving the Palestinians a glimmer of hope and national worth. This workshop will explain existing programs for economic empowerment, business and professional development and investment, all essential for basic living, peace building and a better future.

Philip Davies,
HCEF Board of Directors and Vice President, American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA)

George Ghattas, HCEF Vice President. Country Representative
William Corcoran; President, American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA)
Raed Saadeh, Jerusalem Hotel
 II. Christian Grassroots Advocacy and Solidarity: Leadership for Serious Engagement

This workshop describes the activities that support Holy Land Christians, which are available through the Holy Land Christian Support Network (HCSN). Attendees will learn the essentials of forming an activist ecumenical committee to coordinate work in the media, churches and schools, whereby civic representatives and religious leaders create awareness of Palestinian Christian suffering and develop effective programs that contribute to the improvement of their living conditions in the Holy Land.

Fr. Drew Christiansen,
SJ. HCEF-Cofounder, Advisory Board, Editor in Chief, America Magazine

Ambassador Warren Clark, Executive Director Churches for Middle East Peace. (CMEP)
Stephen Colecchi, Ph.D., Director, Office of International Justice and Peace-United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
Rev. Robert O. Smith, Director, Europe and Middle East Desk, ELCA Global Mission)

 III. Partnerships for Educational Initiatives

Education is key to a better life. The more educated a population, the better it is prepared to address life's everyday challenges, let alone under conflict conditions. Personal achievement, responsible leadership and community stewardship – all flow from excellence in learning, which is dependent on excellence in teaching, intellectual engagement and a sustaining environment. This workshop will examine ways by which educational institutions and social development agencies can create partnerships in support of joint grant applications, resource acquisitions, and the training of teachers and others

Saliba Sarsar, Ph.D.,
Secretary, HCEF Board of Directors, Associate Vice President for Program Initiatives, Monmouth University

Fr. Majdi Siryan, General Director of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem's schools in Palestine, Jordan and Israel

Br. Jack Curran , Director of Public Relations, Bethlehem University

Kort Bassam , Senior Program Development Specialist, Education Advisor, United States Agency for Intrnational Developement/Mission to West Bank and Gaza

2:45pm – 3:00pm Break
3:00pm – 4:00pmArab Christians in Regional Context
 Arab Christians are an integral part of Jordanian and Palestinian societies; they play important roles in public life. This panel will elaborate on their current status and project ways their living conditions could be improved, including dialogue opportunities within and across cultural and religious spheres.

William Yontz, HCEF Chairman of the Board of Director

H.R.H. Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein , Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the United States, on "Arab Christians and Public Service in Jordan"

Wadie Abunassar, Director, International Center for Consultations (ICC) on "The Identity Crisis of Arab Christians in Israel"

4:00pm-5:00pmChristian Zionism: Theological and Political Views
 The speakers will explore the differences in the theological and political views of the mainstream evangelicals and Christian Zionists. Touching upon the realities of Christian Zionism as it influences current events in the Holy Land , and obstructs the peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. We will also hear critiques concerning John Hagee, the most dangerous pastor in America!

Rev. Russell Siler,
ECLA Pastor

Stan Moody,Ph.D.,
Founder of the Christian Policy Institute and The Hope Partnership and Pastor of a rural country church in Central Maine Rev. 
Rev. Donald Wagner, Ph.D., the Director of CMES/Professor Middle Eastern Studies at North Park University and HCEF Advisory Board Member

5:00pmClosing Remarks Fr. Emile Salayta, HCEF Co-founder and Parish Priest of Jifna , Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
5:30pmReception with the Guest of Honor, H.B. Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah