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Who knew?

December 19, 2008

Communication.

It’s still weird for me to call Dallas home. I was born on the western slope of Colorado and grew up with the mountains at my back; it was a rather unpleasant shock when my parents moved us to the big skies of north Texas. I’ve (proudly) never said the word “y’all,” though I will admit to having a slight drawl on words like “fire” (fah-yur) or – and this is particularly embarrassing, considering where I go to school – “discipleship” (dih-SAH-puhl-ship). Couple that with the fact that I pronounce words like “box” like a Northerner (bahks) and I even seem to slip into a Canadian accent at times (a-boot), communicating is always an interesting experience for me.

Nevertheless, I’m back in Texas for the holidays, and it’s good to be home. We are nothing without our histories; it is much easier to have a handle on where we’re going if we know where we’ve been. I’d like to think that that’s true not just for individuals, but for Seminary classes and foreign countries as well. To that end, I have two comments:

1) Over the next couple of weeks, in the run-up to the trip, we’ll be posting about some of the books and other materials that the class has read over the past semester in preparation for the trip. We’re hoping that these won’t just be book reports, but that they’ll be opening points of conversation about your experiences with the Israel/Palestine crisis.

2) I have to say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the amount of dialogue this blog has already generated, especially given that it’s less than a week old; special thanks to Barbara Chaapel and the CommPub office for putting us on your radar. In particular, the number of PTS alums with connections to Israel/Palestine has been rather exciting, and I thank those of you who have already begun to share your experiences. Please, continue to share, and pass this blog along to your non-PTS friends; the point of this dialogue is to include as many voices as is possible.

I’m enjoying the conversation that’s beginning to emerge, so my question for today is this: what are the barriers to communication that our group might face while we’re over there? Hebrew and Arabic aside, what might prevent the 21 of us from communicating faithfully with our Israeli and Palestinian brothers and sisters?

Barring any misunderstandings over my outrageous accent, that is.

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