Doesn’t my Lord see all this? (Lamentations 3:36)

President’s Blog
August 10, 2014

Doesn’t my Lord see all this? (Lamentations 3:36)


Early in the morning on July 18, 2014, I went to the curb to pick up the New York Times and saw this photo.  I was profoundly sickened and I have been haunted by it ever since.

My children are destroyed because the enemy was so strong (Lamentations 1:14)

1 NYT 
Four brothers playing on a beach when a missile strike killed them.






 

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Observations and Reflections on the 2013-2014 Israel-Palestine Cross-Cultural Trip

Through the efforts of Dr. Barry Bryant and the Center for the Church and the Black Experience, 13 African American Garrett-Evangelical students and 6 African American GETS graduates journeyed to Israel and Palestine [December 26,2013 – January 9, 2014] to participate in the Outrageous Hope: A Peace and Justice Immersion in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories cross-cultural trip.  Four trip participants have written short reflections on this life-changing experience.  We’re excited to share them with you.

The Gift of Peace

The gift of Outrageous HOPE.

The gift of seminarians, staff, friends and alumni.

The gift of crosses, water, shoes, scarf's etc.

The gift of children running in Hebron.

The gift of Archbishop Chacour, Sami Awad & Kairos Palestine.

The gift of the Salsa family, Grace Tours & Sindyanna of Galilee (fair trade for a fair society).

The gift of Tomme, meals shared and Palestinians hospitality.

The gift of Ramzi, Elias, & Yeman.

The gift of boycotting, divesting and sanctions.

The gift of the land flowing with milk and honey.

The gift of Peace in Palestine & Israel.

By Rev. Jeremiah A. Jasper
Master of Divinity Class of 1989
Pastor, Woodford Memorial UMC, Elkins, WV

 


 

For many years, the Palestinian story of oppression as an extension of the black struggle for liberation has not been a prominent one in African American communities. But that is changing. As the Outrageous Hope tour leader, I suspected that the presence of a large number of black travelers would have a profound influence on the dynamics of the trip, and it did.  With their experiences and newly acquired knowledge, our students have returned with a powerful witness, telling stories about their experiences still not largely available to black communities. 

Our students and graduates have boldly and fearlessly shared what they saw, heard, smelled, and experienced first-hand of apartheid. For some, the experienced confirmed suspicions; for others, it reinforced beliefs; and for others, the experience was theologically challenging. Palestinians became “neighbor” and “brother” and “sisters, as experiences of racial oppression were shared.

This experience however took on an unexpected dimension. Black folks nodded in agreement and solidarity as Palestinians shared stories of how suppressed history and culture have been suppressed, as well as the profiling, detainment, and imprisonment of Palestinian men by Israeli authorities. As white students began identifying with the Palestinian narrative, they came to better understand the African American struggl.  Then all three groups – black, white, and Palestinian – began to better understand how intertwined the Black and Palestinian struggles are. Those who undertook this trip through the generosity of CBE have returned home with many stories. Their witness and their solidarity have with it an invitation to understand more about the Palestinian struggle. What do you know about this struggle?

By Dr. Barry Bryant, Associate Professor of United Methodist and Wesleyan Studies
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary


 
 
 
“What do I see and hear in the Holy Lands?  I have to tell the truth: I am reminded of the yoke of oppression that was once our burden in South Africa.  For those of us who lived through the dehumanizing horrors of the apartheid era, the comparison seems not only apt, it is also necessary.  It is necessary if we are to persevere in our hope that things can change.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
 
“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
Nelson Mandela
 
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of the things that I’ll take away from this trip is reading the Scriptures from a Palestinian-Christian perspective. Let us look at what is happening to innocent babies. I once believed in the Zioninst movement, but let us look at what the movement is doing in Palestine today. Look around the Palestinian territories, and you will find refugee camps, trash everywhere, destroyed villages, and an ugly grey apartheid wall. 

I invite you to read Scripture through the eyes of a Palestinian Christian. We do not need a dispensationalist theology; what we need in this conflict is peace and healing. The killing has to stop and so does any form of oppressive theology, for, at the end of the day, we are all God’s children. The Bible says:

                “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all
of you are one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3.28). 
 

I choose to stand for the oppressed and to fight for justice. I am willing to have that Outrageous Hope in the God of justice and liberation of all people. I believe that this is the God that Mohandas Gandhi put his hope in. I believe that this is the God that Dr. King put his hope in. I believe that this is the God that Nelson Mandela put his hope in. And this is the God that I choose to put my Outrageous Hope in.

Minister Tiggs Washington, 2nd year MDiv student
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary


 

There were many awesome experiences on this trip. I was truly immersed into the Palestinian culture with the people, food, communities, and even the merchants. To hear a Palestinian remember me among so many people, and to call me by name, was like being home! I felt that I belonged with these people, as we lived together, laughed and cried together, argued, and made peace with each other. The hospitality was genuine and overwhelming. Since I’ve been home, I have carried the Palestinian and Israeli people in my heart. I’ve also experienced a strange phenomenon; I’ve felt the “presence” of the group with me throughout the day and throughout the house.

One of the most awe-inspiring moments of the trip was at the River Jordan, remembering my baptism there and throughout the day, ending at the Primacy of St. Peter, at the Sea of Galilee. Other key experiences that changed me for the better included our visits to Bethlehem Bible College [Dr. Awad] and the Holy Land Trust [Sammi Awad]. Listening and learning of the oppressive life conditions of the indigenous people, I was heartbroken and dismayed, as we talked about solutions to the problems of people and land. But on January 7th, the Spirit of the Lord arose when I heard the Awads speak of their mission and future aspiration of God’s solution of healing and forgiveness for a war-ravaged people and nation! What God had spoken to Sammi Awad quickened my spirit!

On Monday, January 20, 2014, as I listened to speeches and songs of liberation in honor of Dr. King, my heart ached and my soul cried out as I remembered those little boys and one little girl, running down the streets of Hebron, pleading and begging for pennies. And I only wished I had “change” enough at that moment, as the children stood around hoping that someone would give them something.  Another member of our group stopped to speak to the children, blessing them with the gift of money. As she walked away, the children looked at each other, and there, I saw the face of Christ, as they smiled together at the money she had given to them! I could tell that it meant the world to them. Through the gift of time and patience and money, the children knew that they mattered….I’ll never forget that moment…I’ll never forget the faces of the children.

Rev. Dr. Barbara Morgan
MDiv Class of 2001
Associate Pastor, St. Mark UMC

United Methodist Studies Online Courses

 


Barry Bryant copy"Garrett-Evangelical is committed to supporting a full compliment of Wesleyan and Methodist scholars in the areas of history, doctrine, and polity, as well as evangelism, missiology, and worship. These courses are taught by core faculty members who are in constant interdisciplinary dialogue and mutual support. Students at Garrett-Evangelical benefit greatly from this approach. The end result is the creation of a vital Wesleyan/Methodist ethos available to students near and far, on campus and now in the digital world."

Dr. Barry Bryant
Associate Professor of United Methodist
and Wesleyan Studies


 

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Garrett-Evangelical has agreements with institutions affiliated with a number of denominations to assist students who are seeking ordination in The United Methodist Church. If you are a student in one of the following institutions, please contact your registrar for information on how to enroll.

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Seeking ordination in The United Methodist Church? Looking for a way to fulfill your United Methodist studies educational requirements online?

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is proud to offer all six courses prescribed in the Book of Discipline in an online format. These courses explore topics critical to the contemporary church through a variety of perspectives and voices, and will equip you for congregational leadership in the 21st century.

Designed and taught by our core United Methodist faculty members, this is not a MOOC (massive open online course). Through these online courses you will receive individual attention, be stretched theologically, and exposed to new models of ministry. Contributors include senior faculty members in the fields of United Methodist studies, evangelism, liturgy, and church leadership. Combining the convenience of online education with rigorous academic, these classes set the hallmark of United Methodist studies in an online format.

Online Courses Offered Biannually

history       doctrine       polity    

United Methodist History
2 Credit Hours
Offered Fall 2014, Spring 2015
Fall 2014 Syllabus

In this course, students learn about the origins of the Wesleyan tradition and its expressions in the UMC. It explores the roots of the movement in the Anglican Church, the Wesleyan Revival of the 18th century, and the history of the institutional and theological development of the American Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren traditions.

     

United Methodist Doctrine
2 Credit Hours
Offered Fall 2014, Spring 2015
Fall 2014 Syllabus

This course helps familiarize students with the theology of John Wesley, specifically through the exploration of his sermons. The sermons are a starting point for understanding Methodist theology, which seeks to contextualize the Christian faith in a connectional structure within the church.

     

United Methodist Polity
2 Credit Hours
Offered Fall 2014, Spring 2015
Fall 2014 Syllabus

This course uses the Book of Discipline of the UMC to explore the ecclesiological forms, configurations of governance, and issues of church membership, as they are expressed in United Methodist polity.

   

 

Online Courses Offered Every Other Academic Year

worship       evangelism       mission copy    

United Methodist Worship
3 Credit Hours
Offered in 2015-2016
Sample Syllabus

The authorized worship resources of the UMC, with attention to their history, theology, and practice will be utilized in this course. In particular, we explore the shape and practice of Christian prayer, liturgical time, the relationship of word and sacrament, and the liturgical pastoral offices of the Church.

     

Theology of Evangelism
3 Credit Hours
Offered Spring 2015
Syllabus Coming Soon

Students in this course will be equipped to formulate their own conceptualizations of evangelism. They will do so by examining various theologies and biblical teachings, coming to understand evangelism as a practice of the church.

     

Intro to Global Christianity
3 Credit Hours
Offered Spring 2015
Syllabus Coming Soon

The course offers an introduction to Christianity as a worldwide movement. We will study factors that contributed to and sustain Christianity’s current shape, reach, and impact by examining cultural, ethical, and theological challenges facing mission and ministry in a world church.

   

Bold Leaders for the Church, the Academy and the World

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary continuously implements new and emerging technologies to reach out to as many people as possible and to prepare spiritual leaders in every stage of their lives and ministries. While we honor the traditional methods of instruction and rich heritage of academia we also embrace non-traditional methods such as online learning and hybrid classes. 

Founded in 1853, Garrett-Evangelical is a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church with an ecumenical outreach. Faithfully embracing the future, we are committed to preparing skilled, bold and articulate leaders for ministry in the 21st century. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 500 students from many denominations and various backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.

UMC Logo Garrett-Evangelical, a seminary related to
The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.