Sermon preached at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, Atlanta
For you shall go out in joy, and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
I greet you this morning on behalf of Dr. Henry Carse, director of Kids4Peace, who would normally be standing here on this Sunday morning, to bring you words of gratitude and hope from the Jewish, Christian and Muslim kids and families of Jerusalem and from our peace pals and peace parents here in the Diocese of Atlanta.
It is an honor to be here at St. Anne’s, and to offer to you, on behalf of Kids4Peace, our gratitude for allowing us to make your home – our home, for a while–– a place of refuge, safety, and welcome on our difficult journey of building peace. It has been an honor for me to serve as a counselor and dialogue facilitator with Kids4Peace over these last three years, to share with 72 Jewish, Christian and Muslim young people from Jerusalem and Atlanta their lives, their struggles and joys.
And there are many struggles and many joys here at Kids4Peace, as a new group of twenty-four children of Abraham from Palestine, Israel and America come together each summer to spend two weeks at Camp Mikell and here in Atlanta learning about each other’s religions, cultures, and ways of life, in order to develop friendships strong enough to last in the face of conflict, division and pain. In these last two weeks, we have shared the struggles of living in close quarters, sometimes too close for comfort.