Bethlehem Christmas Lutheran Church

A Summer in Bethlehem

What it was like to live in Bethlehem? During the summer of 2017, I had the privilege to live in Bethlehem, Palestine and work through the Methodist Liaison Office. I am grateful for the funding I received from the Candler Advantage Program and the support that made my experience possible, as well as those of […]

Week 10-Preaching at Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem

As I completed my summer in the Holy Land, I had the privilege of preaching on Sunday, July 30, 201, at the Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem. Here the complete sermon on what I learned from the people of Palestine. Sermon: How I came to Support Palestine J.R. Atkins, 3rd Year M.Div. Student Romans 8:26-39   […]

World Council of Churches

Week 5 – World Council of Churches

This week marked the 1/2 way point of my 10-week work in Bethlehem with the high point being my attendance at the meeting of the World Council of Churchs and the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine. The event provided an opportunity to reflect on the last 50 years since Palestine has been occupied by Israeli forces […]

Week 3 – That Went Fast!

As I complete my 3rd of 10 weeks in Isreal and Palestine this summer, I’m finally settled in enough to compose another blog about my experience. My accommodations are nice, a small rooftop apartment in Beit Jala, next to Bethlehem. Although there is no air-conditioning, a fan and the cool nights make it acceptable for sleep. The […]

Week 1-Honoring the Sabbath

Week 1-Honoring the Sabbath

Church in Tel Aviv Why would the Lord ask us to honor the sabbath, to rest, to remove ourselves from work for one day each week? As I rest this Sunday in Tel Aviv I am conscious of the encouragement of Rev. Tim Lloyd to make sure I take a day of rest each week. […]

J.R. Atkins

Prepping for Bethlehem, Summer 2017

During the summer of 2017, I’ll have the privilege and opportunity to work in Bethlehem, Palestine thanks to funding from Candler School of Theology. Each year, Candler selects 12 -14 students to receive funding for an advanced contextual education experience between their 2nd and 3rd year of seminary called the Candler Advantage Program. When I heard about […]

Understand the Israeli – Palestinian Issue with Infographics

Beginning with the The Forced Exile of The Palestinian People, comparing travel restrictions of Blacks in the US during segregation and ending with the Apartheid Wall, these graphic images will tell a story the main stream media can not tell due to political and monetary pressure. Get informed and share.

Links for Palestine-Israel Interest

For those who have an interest in the issues of Palestine-Israel, here are some helpful links. Denominational Work United Methodist Kairos Response: Israel-Palestine Mission Network of PCUSA: Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine-Israel Network: ELCA Peace not Walls: Information on Economic Advocacy (BDS): Travel & Partnerships (this is the conference taking place during Spring […]

positive light on refugees

A positive story about refugees

We have seen the gut wrenching stores about refugees in recent news; about their plight, harsh treatment, their pain, long travels, loss of life, loss of homes, loss of family, …. so much loss. In hopes of shining some positive light on this horrific situation, please take 2 minutes to watch this story on CNN […]

Church and Community Analysis, Gatesville FUMC

Church and Community Analysis, Gatesville FUMC, J.R. Atkins

As a part of my Masters of Divinity, I was asked to complete a Church and Community Analysis of Gatesville First United Methodist Church. Since several people contributed to my research and they and others may want to see the results,  I am sharing my findings here.   Church and Community Analysis, Gatesville FUMC, J.R. Atkins, […]

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