“Pilgrimage to Holy Land” program set Feb. 11

By Mary Mergenthal,

Three regionally known and nationally active interfaith religious leaders will reunite for a program running from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 11, at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church, to reflect on their 2019 pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

The trio is Rabbi Andrea London, senior rabbi of Beth Emet Synagogue, and the Rev. Michael Nabors of Second Baptist — both currently serving in Evanston, Illinois, and the Rev. Daniel Tallon Ruen, co-pastor at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church.

Led by Mejdi Tours (mejditours.com) in 2019, the three leaders, with members of Rabbi Andrea’s congregation, traveled through major sites in the Holy Land escorted by both an Israeli and a Palestinian guide. Mejdi Tours provides guides from different worldviews and experiences to provide challenging and enriching tours.

“Our pilgrimage was not only a deep dive into historic divisions and opportunities in Israel/Palestine,” Ruen told me. “It was simultaneously a deep dive into U.S. divisions and opportunities.”

During the Feb. 11 “A Story of Hope from the Holy Land” program there will be time for interfaith meditation, music, panel discussions, small group breakouts as well as displays of photos and videos of the trio’s time in Israel and Palestine. SAP Lutheran Church is located at 2323 Como Ave.

Lunch also will be served. Please RSVP to the church office (651-645-0371 or to office@saplc.org) to hold your order and schedule a $15 payment to cover the lunch. This is a freewill offering, so RSVP regardless of your ability to pay.

The Feb. 11 Holy Land program comes as some people from St. Anthony Park Lutheran (saplc.org) and Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran (gachurch.org) are planning to make their own pilgrimage to the Holy Land in March. Members of the two congregation are invited to attend the Feb. 11 event, along with the general public, to get a different perspective on trip philosophies and chosen sites.

Additionally, on Sunday, Feb. 12, after the 9:30 a.m. worship service at SAP Lutheran, the Rev. Michael Nabors and Rabbi London will lead an adult education session about the historic vote by the city of Evanston to become the first municipality in the nation to codify a commitment to Black reparations. This vote occurred in 2019 to address the injustice toward Black Evanstonians who were systematically denied housing and land ownership.

Feel free to attend St. Anthony Park Lutheran at 10:45 a.m. on Feb. 12 to hear this story from an interfaith perspective, and learn about how the local community might create a similar interfaith commitment to reparations in St. Anthony Park.

For more information, please call Pastor Ruen at 651-645-0371. 

Mary Mergenthal lives in St. Anthony Park and is a member of St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church.

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