The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF)*
Honorees for HCEF’s 4th International Conference
H.B. Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
Rev. Dr. Craig Barnes, Pastor, National Presbyterian Church
The Archdiocese of Detroit – H.E. Adam Cardinal Maida
Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Rev. Dr. Victor Pentz
The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) Board of Directors announces awards to institutions and individuals for FY 2002. The awards are given for outstanding contributions that provide support to the Christians in the Holy Land. The Living Stones Award is given to institutions that have made significant contributions to the welfare of Christians in the Holy Land. The HCEF Award is given to individuals who have made a lifetime commitment to assisting the Christians living in the Holy Land.
H.B. MICHEL SABBAH, LATIN PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM, has become a symbol of Palestinian Christianity. He is a leader of the Christian community in Jerusalem and the Holy land in advocating for justice and peace in that troubled land. He does not hesitate to state that the military occupation is the root of the conflict and that ending the occupation will contribute substantially to peace in the region. During these recent violent months of the Palestinian uprising, he has been a calming presence for his flock in the Diocese of Jerusalem. He has given his full support to the work of HCEF as a means of strengthening the bonds between Christians in the Holy Land and those in North America. He serves as the Chair of the HCEF Advisory Board.
REVEREND DR. CRAIG BARNES, PASTOR, NATIONAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, WASHINGTON, D.C. encouraged the formation of a partnership of his church with Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Birzeit, Palestine. NPC sponsors annual pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Under the leadership of Pastor Barnes, NPC has become a model for other churches seeking to develop partnerships with their brothers and sisters in the Holy Land. Reverend Barnes provides his church as a “home” for HCEF meetings and conferences in Washington, D.C. He also preaches consistently about the significance of Jerusalem as the Mother Church of Christianity, thus helping to develop the bonds of solidarity between western Christians and Holy Land Christians. Dr. Barnes has also joined with Reverend Dr. Victor Pentz in leading HCEF’s Presbyterian initiative to invite Presbyterian Churches to join the Holy Land Christian Support Network (HCSN).
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF DETROIT. Led by Adam Cardinal Maida, his archdiocese has committed itself to provide 1,000 scholarships for Holy Land children through HCEF’s Child Sponsorship Program. The scholarships will go to children who are receiving their education in the Latin Patriarchate (Roman Catholic) School System in the Holy Land. Since his visit to the Holy Land during Pope John Paul II’s pilgrimage, Cardinal Maida has sought ways to ease the suffering of Palestinian Christians. In addition to the archdiocesan Child Sponsorship pledge, Cardinal Maida spoke at the HCEF Detroit Symposium in 2001. The archdiocese is sponsoring another symposium in September 2002 on the Christians in the Holy Land. The archdiocese will sponsor a fact-finding mission in September 2002 for more than 15 archdiocesan pastors. The archdiocese provides a program of education that informs its seminarians about the plight of the Holy Land Christians.
PEACHTREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, ATLANTA, GEORGIA – Led by Reverend Dr. Victor Pentz, his church became an active partner with Fatima Catholic Church in Beit Sahour, Palestine. His congregation has already sent several church members on a fact-finding mission to the Holy Land and will send another mission in 2002. The congregation pledged to sponsor 300 educational scholarships for Christian children through HCEF’s Child Sponsorship Program. Reverend Pentz’ church provides HCEF with a “home” for its meetings and symposia in Atlanta. Rev. Dr. Victor Pentz serves on the HCEF Advisory Board. He has also joined with Reverend Dr. Craig Barnes in leading HCEF’s Presbyterian initiative to invite Presbyterian Churches into the Holy Land Christian Support Network (HCSN).
HCEF is engaged in a number of projects that provide hope and support for Christians living in the Holy Land. Through its projects, HCEF encourages Christians to remain in the Holy Land so that the 2000 year long Christian legacy in the land where Christianity was born will remain unbroken. Most importantly, HCEF is creating awareness of the plight of Holy Land Christians and informs Americans about the impact that the Israeli military occupation has had on the spiritual, social and economic lives of all Palestinians.
* The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization., non-profit organization committed to improving the lives of Christians in the Holy Land by developing bonds of solidarity with Christians in the United States. HCEF, PO Box 6687, Silver Spring, MD 20906. (301) 951-9400, Fax (301) 951-9402. www.hcef.org. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Toll Free (866) 871-4233