Sunday, November 23rd at 4:00pm
First Congregational Church Old Lyme (FCCOL)
2 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, Connecticut
(If using GPS, input 4 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 06371)
There will be an orientation meeting for all those who might be interested in the journey on Sunday, November 23rd at 4:00pm in the library of The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. Please come, and invite your friends to learn more about this journey! If you have questions, please feel free to address those to the FCCOL Minister Emeritus, Rev. David W. Good at email@example.com.
Please consider joining the next Tree of Life Journey and learning about artistic expression as a way of resisting violence. On this interfaith trip we will have the honor of visiting our respective sacred sites and learning from a variety of voices of conscience, Israeli and Palestinian–Jewish, Muslim, and Christian. While Palestinians and Israelis experience many dehumanizing consequences of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, they also find ways to withstand and challenge a culture of violence by creating enclaves of beauty. Read more »
Learning about Eco-Resistance through an Olive Harvest
Journey to Bethlehem – October 7-15, 2014
On returning from the Olive Harvest Journey, trip co-leader Erinn Staley made the following remarks during the October 19th service at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.
This past Tuesday, I gathered for lunch with my fellow Tree of Life journeyers at a farm near Bethlehem. After spending three days visiting with the family who owns the farm and helping them harvest olives, we all felt quite attached to them.
Our Tree of Life group gave the children of the family some parting gifts, including new backpacks for school. One little girl name Noor was absolutely swimming in her backpack. I went to help her tighten the straps so the backpack would stay on. My fellow traveler Maureen asked me if I thought Noor was about the age of my own daughter, and I said I thought they looked about the same size. Maureen, who speaks Arabic, asked the little girl how old she was, and Noor replied that she is four years old. Maureen explained to her that my daughter also is four years old. She exclaimed again with a surprised look, “I’m four years old!”
Featuring violinist Michael Dabroski
Performing music by JS Bach, an original Suite for Gaza, and Palestinian melodies, and sharing notes from a concert trip to Gaza City in December 2013
March 29, 2015 4:00pm
First Church of Christ, Congregational
25 Cross Highway
Proceeds from the concerts will go to Middle East Children’s Alliance, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine, and Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City/American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem
Michael Dabroski is a Vermont based violinist praised for his “sensitive, charming, beautifully nuanced, and clearly articulated” playing. Mr. Dabroski serves as Artistic Director of Music in the Great Hall – a world-class chamber music series serving Baltimore, Maryland in its 41st season. To learn more about him visit dabroski.com
A speech offered at the First Presbyterian Church of Hartford on the occasion of a demonstration against the massacre in Gaza
July 31, 2014
A few weeks ago I saw a production of Shakespeare’s “King Lear”, and the last lines of that great tragedy come to me as I think about the carnage, indeed the massacre taking in Gaza. “The weight of this sad time we must obey, Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.”
Over 50 young Israeli soldiers killed in this insanity. For me, these are not just nameless, faceless soldiers, for I have been there – 12 times in the last 12 years — and I have seen their faces; I have seen them at checkpoints and I have seen them in the streets of Hebron, and I have seen them in cafés, so full life and laughter, and yes, I have seen their arrogance as well; I have seen the terrible things done to the human spirit when you put a gun in someone else’s hands.
I am very pleased to announce that Erinn Staley has accepted the unanimous invitation from our Tree of Life Board of Directors to become our Tree of Life Minister/Executive Director. This is great news, and I very much look forward to sharing this ministry with Erinn and our legion of volunteers! In this part-time position, I am very confident that Erinn will help us to honor how the prophet Habakkuk said, “Write your vision; make it clear on the tablets, so that a runner may read it.” In our collective “race” against inhumanity and injustice, we must do all that we can to articulate the vision of our Tree of Life ministry, so that all of us “runners” can be reminded of what this is all about.
Also, I know that Erinn will help us to remember the words of Thoreau, “You have built your castle in the sky, that is where it should be; now build the foundation underneath.” Our Tree of Life ministry has enjoyed remarkable growth, and now, as we try to make it sustainable — for the long run (to continue that metaphor) — we need do what we can to build the foundation for this ministry, and I know in this regard Erinn will bring considerable wisdom, energy and experience.
Below you will also see a description for our next Tree of Life Journey – an Olive Harvest – which will be led by Erinn and Nancy Boldt McLaren. Thank you Nancy and Erinn!
Please join me in welcoming Erinn to our Tree of Life Educational Fund!
David W. Good
Chairperson for The Tree of Life Educational Fund
I look forward to meeting you and learning about your hopes and visions for Tree of Life Educational Fund. Tremendous volunteer effort has built and grown this organization, and I am honored to join your work. Together, we will continue building a network for amplifying voices of conscience and supporting efforts for justice and peace.
Tree of Life Minister/Executive Director
Erinn Staley is an experienced theological educator and writer, and her work long has focused on promoting the well-being of marginalized people. She has worked in non-profit, church, and educational settings and on justice issues including hunger relief and early childhood education. She received her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Yale University and her M.Div. from Yale Divinity School.
Click below to learn about the Olive Harvest Journey…
These words from the song, “Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel come to mind as one walks alongside the 28-foot concrete wall that imprisons Palestinians, separating them not only from Israelis but also from their olive orchards, places of employment, water resources and other Palestinian communities. This wall is the location for some most remarkable works of art, including the prophetic work of the anonymous British artist who goes by the pseudonym, “Banksy.” Read more »
By The Rev. David W. Good
Chairman of the Tree of Life Educational Fund
Tree of Life Educational Fund has it’s own 501c3 non-profit status, but as a part of the ministry of The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, it benefits enormously from the moral, spiritual and financial support of the church out of which this ministry was born, and so now that our 2013 TOL series has been completed, I want to say how grateful I am for the church’s ongoing support of this ministry that this year was able to bring our Tree of Life programs, conferences and concerts to Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Georgia, Oregon and Washington DC with 22 events from September to November 2013.
New book, new authors…including David Good
Seven more concerned Christians have added their voices to the growing chorus of support for justice in Palestine. The book Zionism through Christian Lenses: Ecumenical Perspectives on the Promised Land (edited by Burnett, published by Wipf and Stock) features representatives of various Christian denominations and walks of life who ponder the plight of Palestine and Israel from various angles: Read more »
In January 2013 the Honoraria Trust provided nine scholarships for students from Beit Sahour to go to Bethlehem University. This is an annual part of our Tree of Life ministry. We are grateful to both the Mission Board of the Old Lyme Congregational Church and to individuals who have made generous contributions to the Tree of Life Honoraria Trust. Without this generosity, these scholarships would not be possible!
Consider a contribution to our Tree of Life Honoraria Trust, a fund that we use to support those organizations in the occupied territories and Israel that are working toward a just and peaceful future for us all. We like to think of these organizations as “parables of hope” and in our annual Tree of Life journeys we’ve had the privilege of witnessing first-hand the excellent work that they do. Read more »