Rev. Rob Schenck a VIP Guest at Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Speech
It had to be a unique event for Faith and Action president Rob Schenck to catch a red-eye from Seattle back to Washington DC, causing him to go on nearly 32 hours of no sleep. And quite the occasion it was: Rev. Schenck was invited as a VIP guest of congressional leadership for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech on the Middle East, which was delivered on Capitol Hill at the beginning of the week.
Mr. Netanyahu’s speech was of extraordinary importance for reasons primarily having to do with the contextual circumstances surrounding the visit. His visit comes at a time when the United States is changing its policies toward Israel and the Middle East. It comes during a tumultuous time in that region of the world. Further, it comes at a time when churches and evangelical Christians in particular are reassessing their attitudes and ideas about the modern state of Israel vis-à-vis the continuing conflicts with Palestinians. In sum, it is a historically vital time for a visit from the Israeli Prime Minister, and Rev. Schenck had the opportunity to take the proverbial temperature in the room.
It is a rare thing for the two congressional houses to get together in the chamber at the same time. Virtually every member was present for the Israeli Prime Minister. This, in itself, speaks volumes about the importance of what was being presented. Rev. Schenck commented that what he will remember most about the atmosphere surrounding Mr. Netanyahu’s speech is the repeated standing ovations which signified bipartisan unity. In this way, America’s disposition toward Israel tended toward the affirmative.
At the same time, it seems quite clear that the underlying policy toward Israel is changing under the Obama administration. While this may disturb traditional evangelicals and be construed as anti-Israel, this was not the tone of the reaction in congress at all. New policy may at least result in a more fruitful conversation whereby support of Israel can be measured with appropriate criticism and the aspirations of Palestinians can be considered more generously.
- Closing out the week with Evangel University Interns March 7, 2014We had a great week with our interns from the Washington Studies Program at Evangel University, here’s a quick recap of the highlights with Rev. Rob Schenck, two of our interns, Ryan and Elliot, and Prof. Sanders from Evangel.The post Closing out the week with Evangel University Interns appeared first on Faith and Action in the Nation's Capital.
- Ash Wednesday on Capitol Hill- Remembering that We’re Not God! March 5, 2014The Faith and Action team attended one of many Ash Wednesday services held in the U.S. Capitol today, and really enjoyed the service led by U.S. House Chaplain Patrick Conroy, including well-chosen Biblical passages, and a great message about perspective on our relationship to God (He’s God, we’re not – something that could use repeating […]The post Ash Wedn […]
- U.S. House Chaplain Patrick Conroy’s Ash Wednesday Message March 5, 2014The Faith and Action team attended one of many Ash Wednesday services held on the hill today, this one was led by the U.S. House Chaplain Conroy, who shared this message for the beginning of Lent 2014.The post U.S. House Chaplain Patrick Conroy’s Ash Wednesday Message appeared first on Faith and Action in the Nation's Capital.
- Why Celebrate Ash Wednesday on Capitol Hill? March 5, 2014The Faith and Action team, along with our Evangel University Interns who are here this week, headed to one of many Ash Wednesday services held on Capitol Hill today. Why do Christians observe Ash Wednesday?The post Why Celebrate Ash Wednesday on Capitol Hill? appeared first on Faith and Action in the Nation's Capital.
- #SCOTUS Case intro: Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius March 5, 2014You’ve probably heard about the objections by some groups to the part of the new healthcare system in the U.S. that says they have to provide things like birth control to their employees. If you haven’t you may have been hiding under a rock, or otherwise off the grid – in which case, welcome back. […]The post #SCOTUS Case intro: Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woo […]