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November 14, 2018
Archbishop Suheil Dawani visit to Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia.


At the invitation of Dr. Robert Heaney, Director of The Center for Anglican Communion Studies, Archbishop Suheil Dawani addressed a standing-room-only crowd last Wednesday, November 14th at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. The topic of his lecture was "The Anglican Communion in the Middle East." First presenting some historical background on the establishment of Anglicanism in the Middle East, the Archbishop went on to outline his three principal goals for the Anglican Communion in the Middle East.

The first of these, he said, was for the Communion "to be a model missionary church, proclaiming the mighty acts of the one who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). The second goal was that the Communion must be committed to a ministry of reconciliation between estranged individuals and communities of different ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs. Finally, the Archbishop said, the Church in the Middle East must be dedicated to relieving the suffering of the poor, the needy, and the marginalized, especially through its diocesan hospitals, clinics, senior centers, schools, and vocational training facilities.

Following the Archbishop's address, Dr. Heaney moderated an interactive discussion with three panelists: Dr. Stephen Cook, Professor of Old Testament Language and Literature; Dr. Hannah Matis, Assistant Professor of Church History; and Dr. Zeyneb Sayilgan, Assistant Professor of Islamic Theology and Religious Pluralism.

During his visit to Virginia, Archbishop Dawani also preached at the Seminary's worship service on the morning of his address. In addition, the day before he met with several Senators and government officials in order to brief them on the difficulties resulting from the recent cuts to humanitarian aid to Palestinian charitable institutions. For the relief of those suffering from circumstances beyond their control, the Archbishop urged these officials to work towards the restoration of this humanitarian funding.


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