I am writing to let you know of an upcoming opportunity to share some time with Wisam Salsaa, our good friend and outstanding tour guide for each of our Louisiana Holy Land tours. Most usually he has been the guide for the Bishop and for those on the Ordinands bus, but I think that most of us who have taken part in previous Holy Land tours with the Conference would remember him.
Wisam is a Palestinian Christian whose family has lived in Shepherds Field since the time of Christ. Many of his family members are also world known for their skills as woodcarvers, specializing in carving olive wood into religious art. He is extremely talented and is a wealth of knowledge in Biblical history and history of the Holy Land.
Wisam will be visiting in Louisiana during a tour of the States this August. We are hosting two conversation groups, one in the north and one in the south of the state. The dates and locations are Saturday, Aug. 16 at 10 a.m. at Broadmoor UMC, 3715 Youree Dr. in Shreveport, and Sunday, Aug. 17 at 3 p.m. at First UMC, 930 North Blvd. in Baton Rouge.
The conversations will center on Wisam’s sharing of the Israeli-Palestinian concerns, though there will be opportunity to hear about Holy Land tours. His sharing will be from the perspective of a Palestinian Christian in an area of the world continually in the news due to centuries of unrest and hate of neighbors. It is an opportunity to hear and have conversation about an ongoing battle in the area that most persons honor as the most holy place on earth.
I hope that you will be able to join us for this time together. Please invite others to come with you. This time will be challenging and informative, even if persons have not been on a tour.
I look forward to seeing you at one of the gatherings.
Grace and Peace.
Rev. Don Cottrill