Bringing Peace

December 11, 2017



Written By: Mike

By Mike Bussey

Since its founding in 1878 and the subsequent opening of the landmark building in 1933, the Jerusalem International YMCA (JIY) has been unrelenting in its mission to bring peace to the land and glory to God.

It’s a commitment that has brought to Jerusalem’s diverse and historically contentious communities peaceful coexistence and a quality of life that allows people of all faiths to connect significantly to their faith, as well as to each other. It’s also a commitment that in 1993 resulted in JIY being nominated for the Noble Peace Prize.

In a city with a rich and complex history, places that are open and welcoming to all are few, but never have they been more needed. In the past week, as the city has experienced yet another period of unrest, this was the message JIY sent out to its supporters:

What can we say to our friends during such a volatile time? What can we say to our communities when some are celebrating and others are grieving, some are ecstatic and others angry?

We promise to remain a place for everyone.
We promise to remain yours… and yours… and yours…
We promise to welcome all who want to meet and get to know each other.
We promise to welcome those who are not yet ready to meet, but hope and will work towards a day when they will be.
We promise to continue to find ways of bringing them all together, if and when they are ready.
Though pre-school education, events, activities, art, music, drama and of course sports, we promise to continue to find ways of bringing everyone to the same place.

Come, help us foster and develop mutual respect and peaceful interaction between all Jerusalem communities.

Your local community may be as rife with conflict as Jerusalem, or it may be a much more peaceful place. But is your mission as vital, as urgent, as JIY’s? I believe that if you thought about the difference your church or school or nonprofit makes to people, you too could send a message to your supporters this holiday season that isn’t about fundraising goals or end-of-year tax benefits, but instead reinforces your promise to those you serve.
The holiday season in Jerusalem is as multi-layered as you might expect. At the JIY, the season is marked by a series of celebrations reflecting Jewish, Christian and Muslim cultures. Perhaps these images offer a glimpse of what “bringing peace to the land” looks like today, and what it might look like in the future.

This Christmas season, may we all find ways to bring peace to our communities and Glory to God as we celebrate the birth of Christ.

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10 responses to “Bringing Peace”

  1. Jerry Haralson says:

    Mike, you inspire me. Thanks for reminding me that the Jerusalem Y has a unique mission. Susie and I will send money to World Service today and designate some of it to JIY. please continue to speak out for the great work in Jerusalem. We need your reassuring voice. Your friend, Jerry

    • Debra Scoular says:

      Thank you Mike! What an encouraging and powerful story as well as a reminder that good things are happening amidst all the chaos. The work JIY is doing is obviously more critical now than ever. We will keep them in our prayers.

  2. Helen Flores says:

    Beautiful and encouraging

  3. Bob Kahle says:

    Nice work Mike. Your peaceful nature comes through in your writings. Continue to be the gracious example of strength and humility. Have a Joy-filled Christmas Season.

    • Mike Mike Bussey says:

      Hi Bob!

      Thanks for your note regarding my JIY Blog. I first connected with the JIY back in 1975 and a World Service Worker and am still as big an advocate as ever for their important work in the Holy Land.
      With all best wishes for a wonderful Christmas Season!


  4. Norris and MaLes Lineweaver says:

    Great message, Mike. What a rush for MaLes and I to see the current images from Jerusalem as they celebrate Christmas. It is done in a very special way by JIY. We are finalizing our charitable giving for 2017, and of course, JIY is on the top of the list. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  5. Jo says:

    Amen, Mike!!

    • Mike Mike Bussey says:

      Hi Jo,
      Thanks for reading DBD Blogs and for your comment about my recent Jerusalem YMCA blog. I was in Jerusalem last month and continue to be amazed by work they do in a very contentious environment. Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas Season!

  6. Dean Ehrenheim says:

    Mike. Thanks for your service to the Y and the Y in Jerusalem. God bless!

    • Mike Mike Bussey says:

      Hi Dean,
      Thanks for reading DBD blogs and for your note regarding my recent blog about the Jerusalem YMCA. I first connected their back in 1975 as a YMCA World Service Worker and am still a big advocate for the amazing work they do in a ver contentious environment. With all best wishes for a wonderful Christmas Season!