From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[PCUSANEWS] Moderator to host Middle East conference at

Date 31 Jan 2003 07:52:02 -0500

Note #7576 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:

Moderator to host Middle East conference at Montreat
January 29, 2003

Moderator to host Middle East conference at Montreat

by Jerry L. Van Marter

MONTREAT, NC - With the United States inexorably headed for war with Iraq,
General Assembly moderator Fahed Abu-Akel - a Palestinian Christian - and
Montreat Conference Center are teaming up for a conference that will explore
the historical, religious and social dynamics that shape the Middle East.

	Abu-Akel, who was born in Galilee and emigrated to the U.S. while a
teenager, will be keynote speaker  for the March 20-23 "Moderator's
Conference on the Middle East." He will be joined by the Rev. Victor Makari,
area coordinator for the Middle East and Europe in the Worldwide Ministries
Division. Makari is an Egyptian-American.

	Conference worship will be led by the Rev. Eileen Lindner, a
Presbyterian minister on the staff of the National Council of Churches.
Lindner served on the White House staff of President Jimmy Carter and is a
member of the steering council for the Children's Defense Fund.

	The conference will also feature numerous small group discussions
designed to integrate information with advocacy and grass roots organizing
around Middle East issues. 

	Discussion group leaders include: Makari and staff of the
Presbyterian Peacemaking Program on women's issues in the region; Rhana
Khouri of Bethlehem, director of Leadership Center in Bethlehem on economic
issues; Clark Plexico, Raleigh, NC, Presbyterian elder and business
consultant on the church in the Middle East; Mitri Rahib of Bethlehem, a
Lutheran pastor currently serving as an International Peacemaking Partner in
the U.S. with the PC(USA); staff of Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice
in the Middle East, Asheville, NC, on grass-roots organizing; and the Rev.
Alexa Smith of the Presbyterian News Service, who is currently on long-term
assignment in Jerusalem, offering a journalist's perspective.

	The conference will include an interfaith discussion with leaders
from Muslim, 

Jewish, and Christian religious communities and a concert by
internationally-renowned folk singer David LaMotte of nearby Black Mountain,

	For more information about the Moderator's Conference on the Middle
East, contact Montreat by phone at 1-800-572-2257 or visit the website

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