From Pastor Vida:
Most of us prefer to avoid rather than face conflict, or get into the messy work of searching for the underlying issues that contribute to it. This is especially true when the conflict is taking place many thousands of miles away. It is easier turn away, and keep living our comfortable privileged lifestyles, rather than take the risk to inform ourselves, which may then lead to an ethical obligation to do something. Avoidance was my default position toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict until October 7, 2023. But Hamas' brutal, terrorist attack and atrocities against innocent civilians, followed by Israel's disproportionate response seemed to bring the world to an inflection point, and I could no longer simply look away. As a Christian, I have a responsibility to grapple with world events and their implications in light of my faith. And as a pastor, I have a responsiblity to encourage the congregations I serve to do the same.
It is in this spirit, that I invite you to join in community to study Walter Bruegemann's book, "Chosen? Reading the Bible Amid the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict."
J. Nelson Kraybill, in his review of the book writes:
The title of this book is a question: Chosen? Are the Jewish people of Israel still God’s elect, the chosen ones of Genesis to whom Yahweh promised the land in eternal covenant? Unwilling to draw a direct line from biblical text to modern application, Brueggemann gives a nuanced answer. He says that 21st-century Israel is a far cry from the sojourning family of Abram, from the band of escaped slaves at Sinai, and from exiles in Babylon. Still, Israel is God’s chosen people, and "the Bible makes no sense without this claim." But there’s more to it than that.
Let's together explore the "more" over four Thursday evenings in Lent, beginning on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 7:30PM. The book is available as a Kindle edition for $8.79. If you would like a paperback edition for $27 which includes shipping from the USA please let Pastor Vida know.
We will meet via Zoom. If there is a group of us that wants to meet in person at the church, others can join via Zoom, and we can meet in a hybrid format.
The dates again are:
Feb. 22, 29, March 7, 14 with an optional 5th session on March 21. All sessions at 7:30PM. Zoom link will be sent closer to the date.