Rev. Marianna Harris of North Vancouver will speak and show images from her May, 2010, visit to Palestine and Israel at St. Andrew’s United Church, 311 Fitzwilliam Street in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter, at noon on Sunday, October 24, 2010. The title of the talk is “It’s All About Land. How Can Justice be Brought About?” Ms Harris visited Israel and the West Bank with a group led by two members of the United Jewish People’s Organization (UJPO). The tour leaders, who are from Toronto, also have a home in Israel. Retired, they see their work as trying to stop the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.
This was Ms Harris’s second trip to Israel. Her interest in the Israeli/Palestinian situation was piqued by a “Holy Land Today” email list with many postings from Lutherans working in Israel at the Augustana Hospital. “In retrospect,” says Ms Harris, “my first glimmerings that there might be another narrative (other than that found in Exodus by Leon Uris) was in 1969 when my husband and I met an Egyptian couple who talked about Palestine. In 2006 I attended the General Council of the United Church and was struck by the comment of Rabbi Jeremy Milgrom. He said ‘imagine a chair pressing down on your foot. Would you be able to enter into dialogue while you were experiencing the pain/pressure of that chair?’ When the 2009 General Council passed a motion encouraging congregations and presbyteries to study these issues I felt a call to follow up and find people who would work on this issue.”
Minister of St. Andrew’s United Church in North Vancouver for eight years, Ms Harris was at Campbell River United Church for six years prior to that. She has been “very moved by the books of Elias Chacour, a Palestinian clergy person who speaks about ‘walking the hills near Nazareth and feeling close to Jesus, my compatriot’“
The presentation will be followed by discussion. Members of the public are welcome and lunch will be available by donation. This event is sponsored by the Social Justice Committee of St. Andrew’s United Church, Brechin United Church, Trinity United Church, and KAIROS Nanaimo. For more information call Eva or Jim Manly at 250-758-0966.