Pilgrimage opens heart and mind

Unite Church minister Juanita Austen will share her experiences during a pilgrimage to Israel and Lebanon on Sunday, March 16.

  • Mar. 11, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Last November, Rev. Juanita Austen travelled to Israel and Palestine where she participated in a conference at the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre in Jerusalem.

She will share her experiences in ‘Pilgrimage to Palestine and Israel: A Journey of Contradictions’ at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 16.

Sabeel is an organization working for justice, peace, and reconciliation in Palestine-Israel.

The conference brought together about 230 people from a variety of different countries.

Following the conference, Austin and about 20 others visited a number of communities including Nazareth, Joppa (Jaffa), Bethlehem, the Palestinian village of Jayyous, and Hebron.

“To go to the Holy Land has always been on my list, but I knew I wanted to go as more than just a tourist, and even more than a pilgrim,” says Austen. “I wanted to have my heart and mind opened. This journey gave me that opportunity. For that I am deeply grateful, and compelled to share what I experienced.”

Austin served for four years as minister at First United Church, Salmon Arm.

Currently, she is the minister at Sicamous United Church, and will give her talk as part of the church service there on March 23 at 10 a.m.

The March 16 event at St. John’s Anglican Church is a free public program sponsored by the Salmon Arm Ecumenical KAIROS Committee, a chapter of the national organization, KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, which unites 11 churches and religious organizations in faithful action for ecological justice and human rights.

Everyone is welcome. For more information, call Anne or Ray Morris at 250-833-5773.