Methodist President and Church of Ireland Bishop Embark on Peace Pilgrimage to Israel and Palestine
Today the President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, Rev Brian Anderson along with Bishop Patricia Storey, Church of Ireland, set off on a Peace Pilgrimage to Israel and Palestine.
Rev Anderson said he was excited about the trip but anxious about leaving the coutry at this time: “It is really a trip to understand how some groups are trying to bring reconciliation to two ideologies, as they clash, with at times deadly results.
Part of me is reluctant to go because I am fearful of what may happen to the Executive at Stormont. Yet again we stand at the edge of the precipice of a black hole, this time because of a lack of trust. I see the similarities in the two countries’ stories. One can’t trust the other, so progress is stalled.
The poet Ben Okri describes our past as sometimes a ‘bully’ who comes along and with unreasonable force, bullies his way into our present, spoiling it. Whether they have gone away or not, it is certain the past has not and until we find a way of bringing it out into a safe space that some structure can permit we will stay close to this deadly precipice.
I wish to call all Methodists to prayer. Please urgently uphold our leaders, political, commercial, church or community, that God would direct our pathway in the way of peacemaking, and that a settled government will lead us.”
The trip had been planned for a long time. Bishop Pat Storey said it had been a long time personal ambition to visit Israel and Palestine. The Group is made up of different denominations and both the President and the Bishop thanked the Student Chaplain of Trinity College, Dublin, Rev Dr Julian Hamilton for making the detailed arrangements.