PORT TOWNSEND — An Arab Anglican bishop whose ministry is to bridge the gulf between Muslims and Jews in the Middle East brought his message of peace to a local parish last week.
Suheil Dawani is bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem, and a founder of “Kids for Peace,” a program that takes groups of Muslim and Jewish children on trips together out of the Middle East to promote interfaith friendships.
On Thursday, he came to Port Townsend to share the Eucharist, a potluck dinner and a message of hope with people who share his vision at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
“We want to take away war and replace it with friendships,” Dawani said.
“Our ministry is your ministry. We are one family.”
During his 10-day visit to the Northwest, Dawani is scheduled to speak at five Seattle-area churches and one in Olympia.
But he asked to make a visit to Port Townsend to meet the people in this small-town parish.
St. Paul’s is one of 10 Episcopal churches in the Puget Sound area to have established partner relationships with an Anglican church in Israel, according to Mary Pneuman, chair of the diocese’s Committee for Peace and Justice for Israel/Palestine.
“There’s a growing awareness of the need for the American churches to support the Christian presence in the Holy Land,” Pneuman said.