United Methodist Minister and Former Missionary to the Middle
East to Give 4th Annual Wesley Lecture at Reinhardt College on March 22,
2007 Simulation game planned for March 21
Rev. Sandra Olewine, a clergy member of the California-Pacific Annual
Conference of the United Methodist Church and a former church liaison to
Jerusalem, will present the fourth annual Wesley Lecture at Reinhardt
College. The public is invited to join students, faculty and staff to
hear "Peace in Palestine & Israel: Roadblocks & Possibilities"
at 2:30 p.m. on March 22, 2007, in the Hagan Chapel (Waleska United
Methodist Church) on the Reinhardt campus in Waleska, Ga.
Reinhardt Chaplain the Rev. Leigh S. Martin coordinates the
annual event, and like last year, the speaker was selected to coordinate
with the College's Year of program; this year the focus is on the
"The Middle East is a region in our world that has a long
history of political strife," Martin said. "It is revered as Holy Land
by Jews, Christians and Muslims. Finding a peaceful solution may not be
in the near future, but as people of faith, we must learn as much as we
can about the region in order to be more informed advocates for
Born in Maryland and raised in California, Olewine is a
graduate of the Claremont School of Theology and has been a pastor and
missionary for more than 20 years. For nine-and-a-half years, she served
as the UM Church Liaison to Jerusalem through the denomination's
General Board of Global Ministries. There, carrying out a ministry of
solidarity, her work focused on connecting people from around the world
with Palestinians and Israelis across the religious, political and
social spectrums, helping visitors to hear the dreams, fears and hopes
of the two peoples of the three faiths living in the Holy Land. Living
in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, she experienced first-hand the traumas and
joys of the peoples of the land, particularly that of the Palestinian
Christian community. She has been given numerous awards recognizing her
work for peace and justice in the Middle East.
Throughout her ministry, Olewine has worked across social,
racial and economic borders, attempting to create a sense of solidarity
among diverse communities. She is driven by a passion for the Gospel
that compels her to seek the healing of creation through acts of
compassion, justice and mercy. Known as an inspired preacher, writer and
teacher, she is working to start a new ministry in downtown Long Beach,
Calif., a role she accepted in July 2006. She continues to write and
speak with authority about life under occupation and its effects on both
Palestinians and Israelis.
In addition to giving the Wesley Lecture, Olewine will also be
leading a simulation game on Wed. March 21, from 1 - 2:15 p.m. in the
Community Room of the Gordy Center.
"This will be a really neat way to draw students, faculty and
others into the situations that people in the Middle East experience,"
Martin said. "It's one thing to talk about it; it's quite another to
feel and live them. Rev. Olewine comes to us fully aware of the
roadblocks to peace in the region. Her experience isn't theoretical,
it's first-hand. And it's not based on a visit or two; she lived there
for many years. I think we can learn a great deal from her
In addition, Olewine will be the featured speaker at the
student-led worship experience, Real Deal, on Wed., March 21 from 8 -
9:30 p.m. in the Main Dining Room, Gordy Center.