About the Series

Join our Senior Minister, Rev. Dr. Ben Boswell during the season of Advent for a conversation on the religious political history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and our response as people of faith and good conscience. We will meet in Heaton Hall immediately following worship for three consecutive Sunday (November 26, December 3, and December 10) at 11:15 am and at 6:30 pm on Mosaic Wednesday on December 6, to share our grief over the violence, war, and loss of life.

We will learn about the 110-year history of the conflict and the involvement of the United States. We will learn the history and appropriate use of terms like Zionism, Islamaphobia, anti-semitism, colonialism, apartheid, Genocide, just war theory, non-violence, and pacifism.

We will read also the book The First Advent in Palestine as our devotional and invite you to read it as well. You can find a copy here.

Dr. Boswell is uniquely equipped to lead this discussion as a former Army officer who worked on a Ph.D. in War and Peace studies at the Catholic University of America and has taught courses in Political Theology, Christian Ethics, War, Peace, and Revolution, and Ways of Peace in World Religions.

Session 1

Blessed Advent to you! We had a tremendous turn out of 55 people for the first week of our Advent series on Palestine-Israel. Thank you for your attendance and for your profound questions and engagement with the subject matter. I’ve received some incredibly positive feedback about our conversation, and I hope we can continue to build on that powerful energy together next week as we look at the history of Christian Zionism in America and its impact on this violent on-going geopolitical conflict.  

Attached below are three things:

  1. The link to the video shown during the session: The Israel-Palestine conflict: a brief, simple history
  2. Copy of the [incomplete] historical timeline Dr. Boswell created for this series: History of Palestine-Israel Territory and Conflict [Incomplete] Timeline of Major Events
  3. Link the devotional book we are reading together this Advent season: The First Advent in Palestine

Session 2

It was wonderful to have over 85 people in attendance this morning for the second session of our Palestine-Israel Advent study. Your response to this study has been amazing. It is a true testimony to how incredible our church is and an indication of how important it is for people to discuss this subject together in community.

Our conversation about Christian Zionism in America was powerful and revealing. Attached below are three things:

  1. Revised version of the Historical Timeline: Revised History of Palestine-Israel Territory and Conflict [Incomplete] Timeline of Major Events 
  2. Glossary of Terms discussed in this session: Palestinian-Israeli Conflict - Glossary of Terms
  3. Link to the video on Christian Zionism viewed during the session: Why Evangelical Christians Love Israel

Please don’t forget to purchase The First Advent in Palestine by Kelley Nikondha that we are using to ground ourselves spiritually and devotionally during this study together on this controversial topic.

Thank you so much for your interest and participation in this series. People of faith and good conscious who make the decision to truly educate themselves on the history and nuance of this conflict are the only thing that will help us cut through the noise of propaganda and guide our feet into the way of peace.

Session 3

We had another strong turnout for our third session of the Palestine-Israel Advent study. Our conversation focused on addressing three questions:

  1. What are the biggest myths and propaganda about this conflict?
  2. Why do Black Americans overwhelmingly support Palestine?
  3. How do we resolve this century-long conflict?

Attached below are documents and links from the 3rd session:

  1. Document Rev. Dr. Ben Boswell created on Challenging Myths & Propaganda: Palestine-Israel Conflict - Challenging Myths & Propaganda
  2. Video Deep Dive: A History of Black-Palestinian Solidarity
  3. Video Why the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is So Hard to Resolve

Session 4

Rabbi Asher Knight, the Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth El in Charlotte, was the speaker for our final session of 2023 on Sunday December 10 at 11:15 in Heaton Hall. Rabbi Knight prepared a document with longer and more detailed history of the conflict as well as some myths he believes need to be challenged.

Rabbi Knight is one of the finest religious scholars and leaders in our city and has been a close personal friend and colleague of mine for over seven years. I trust and respect him deeply, which is why I know this will be a fantastic event you that you won't want to miss. AND it's a true honor to have him at this time because he is giving up the third day of Hanukkah with his family and community to be with us.

We are happy to be able to share the session with you!

Palestine-Isreal Advent Study | Rabbi Asher Knight.

Our hope is that Rev. Dr. Ben Boswell's good friend GJ Tarazi, a Palestinian-American, whose family in Gaza has been impacted by the bombardment, will be able to speak with us in 2024.

Thank you again for joining us for this Advent series!

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