The Words of the Jenkins Family
The 33rd Middle East Peace Initiative
December 7, 2007
Dear Ambassadors for Peace,
The 33rd Middle East Peace Initiative is now being held in Tiberias, Jerusalem and Ramallah. Active engagement of Faith leaders, NGO and Elected officials is once again in full motion.
We were welcomed by the leadership of the Druze community at their most holy site and conducted an interfaith service at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. It was beautiful to see, Dr. Glaubach, a Jewish scholar, a muslim cleric from Khazakistan, a Bhuddist Priest from Japan and a prominent Christian Bishop from Nazareth all offer prayers for the unity of God's people and appreciation to God for sending Jesus.
Through the consistent efforts of MEPI trust is being solidified on all sides. Over 170 delegates are now attending from 41 countries. Breakthroughs are being experienced that are coming on the foundation of the many years of MEPI development and the work of the Universal Peace Federation.
The Chief Rabbi of Acco joined together with the Former Bishop of Jerusalem of the Anglican Church Sheikh Asi also of Acco and a Rabbi Aaron from the Hasidic community. Rev. James Holly, civil rights leader and pastor of the Little Rock Baptist Church in Detroit was joined by Imam Dawud Assad of the Islamic Center of Central New Jersey. Mrs. Anjun a prominent Muslim Woman leader from the United Kingdom also contributed greatly. She is the first Muslim to be part of the official staff of the Anglican Church.
The leaders first expressed their appreciation for one another's faith. It afforded our MEPI delegation confirmation that there are many common values and principles that we share among the faith leaders of the Abrahamic family. It was as if there wasn't any problem at all - then the panel was asked to answer the question - what is the problem - why can we express love and unity in dialogue but our families and communities are fighting one another.
The Rabbi answered the problem is the faith leaders. They must take the lead and bring the faith communities together. Mrs. Anjun shared that the problem is that we are nice to each other and not really honest. We need to commit to stay together and share honestly - then real trust can build.
Bishop Riah of the Anglican church shared that what is needed now are prophetic voices like Isaiah and Jeremiah. Religious leaders must be courageous to speak out against the violence - however many only cooperate with the situation because they don't want to make trouble for themselves. We need faith leaders who are courageous enough to come together in the Middle East and stand publicly together against the violence. Rev. Holly highlighted the fact that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. exemplified this kind of courage.
The spirit of MEPI is instilling hope and courage in the people of faith both in the Middle East and around the world to come together and contribute to solving the problems in Palestine and Israel.
God is guiding us to come beyond all boundaries to come together as One Family Under God.