Sunday, 13 November 2016
Israel never far from its thoughts
For the Church of Scotland, Israel (and of course Jews) are never far from its thoughts:
World Mission Council 4 WM/16/31.4 Middle East Committee
31.4.1 Update on Meeting of 1 June 2016 Maureen Jack highlighted the following points:
The Committee had agreed to give financial support to a student from North Sudan who was completing a course at the Evangelical Theological Seminary, Cairo (ETSC). Following that, Kenny Roger received an appreciative note from the ETSC, which also said how glad they were to have Colin Johnston there.
Kenny Roger would be returning to Scotland to be based in the department from mid-August 2016. Prior to his return Kenny would undertake meetings with Rev. Páraic Reamonn in Jerusalem and Rev. Kate Reynolds in Tiberias who will be picking up responsibility for linking with partners in I/OPT.
Things had been very difficult for hotels and guesthouses in Jerusalem. Each incident in the city led to cancellations but the Guesthouse staff were working hard to maximise income.
There were rumours about the Greek Orthodox Church planning to build a hotel on the plot of land they owned by the guesthouse. Kenny was making further investigations.
The Committee was encouraged to receive a very positive report from the Principal at Tabeetha School, Margaret MacDonald.
In September 2015 Tabeetha had joined other Christian schools in Israel in a strike. The strike had been resolved after an agreement by the Ministry of Education to carry out a review and also give 50 million shekels to be shared amongst the Christian schools to compensate for previous cuts in funding. The date for this payment had passed and no payment had been made. Some other Christian schools were facing closure on financial grounds. If Tabeetha were forced to join the Israeli schools system there would be significant implications for the school. Kenny was engaging with the issues.
A WM tour to I/OPT was being planned for November 2016. Accommodation would be provided in the Guesthouse, Hotel and also the Lutheran Guesthouse in Bethlehem. Information would be available soon.
31.4.2 Update on Scots Hotel Business Plan The Council noted that no further update was available on the Business Plan as advice on various issues was still to be received.
31.4.3 Renovation of St. Andrew’s Church, Tiberias The Council noted the proposal and costs put forward by the MEC for the renovation work needing to be carried out at St. Andrew’s Church, Tiberias. Approval was required by the WMC to allow the MEC to move ahead with preparing a full plan and costings which would be presented to the Church of Scotland Trust and the Council of Assembly for approval. The Council agreed that the preparatory work should be completed for the refurbishment of the building.