Guest speaker on Middle East peace at First Presbyterian Church
The First Presbyterian Church of Tecumseh, 211 W. Chicago Blvd., will welcome Michael Spath, founder and executive director of the Indiana Center for Middle East Peace based in Fort Wayne, Ind., Sunday, Aug. 22 as guest preacher. Spath will also give a special presentation following the worship service and will review the itinerary for a 2022 “Living Stones” tour of Palestine and Israel June 17-22.
Spath holds a Ph.D. in historical theology, with an emphasis in Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in New Testament. He also serves as the co-chair of the Board of Directors of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (based in Jerusalem), is a member of the Global Kairos for Justice Coalition (based in Bethlehem), the United Church of Christ Palestine-Israel Network, and the Poor People’s Campaign Prophetic Council.
Worship service will take place from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
The “Living Stones” tour will include sacred sites of Jesus, a guided tour of Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque (pending approval), a walk of the Segregation Wall, and inspirational presentations from local organizations.
Spath was a Fulbright Graduate Scholar and National Security Education Program Graduate Fellow (1998-99) at the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies, in Amman, Jordan, where he served as a researcher for HRH Prince El Hasan bin Talal, King Hussein’s brother. He has traveled throughout the Middle East, with over 25 research and work trips to Palestine and Israel, where he also has led 14 “solidarity tours” in which participants meet with Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious, political and NGO leaders committed to conflict resolution, non-violent resistance and social transformation, including participating in the Bethsaida Excavations Project archaeological dig on the Sea of Galilee (2000).
He has also led study trips throughout Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and Greece.
In 1993, he hosted H. H., the Dalai Lama, for the Inter-Faith Service of Prayer for Peace, in St. Louis (which included leaders of 14 other world’s religions). He was a founder and leader of the Mayor’s Commission on Inter-Faith Understanding, Fort Wayne, Ind., convened after September 11, 2001; Confluence: Fort Wayne Interfaith Dialogue; the St. Louis World Religions Dialogue; and past board chair of the Fort Wayne Urban League.