|Emeritus professor Dr. Walt Davis honored by Palestinian Christian peace group
Dr. Walt Davis, professor emeritus at San Francisco Theological Seminary, received the first annual Desmond Tutu Award for courageous leadership at the Northern California Friends of Sabeel gala on Oct. 13.
Friends of Sabeel advocates for a just peace in Palestine/Israel. It honored Davis and First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo for their dedicated work on behalf of Palestinian rights. The pastor at First Presbyterian Church is Rev. Dr. Joanne Whitt, an SFTS board of trustee member who earned her Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from the seminary in 1997 and 2007, respectively.
Davis was the general editor of Steadfast Hope: The Palestinian Quest for Just Peace, a publication of the Israel-Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The document is used in many U.S. congregations and has been adapted for use in the Episcopal Church.
Along with David Jones, also a member of the San Anselmo congregation, he wrote a three-week study plan of another IPMN publication, Kairos Palestine – A Moment of Truth, to be used in churches. Both men have served on the IPMN steering committee and have been “overture advocates” concerning Israel-Palestine at PC(USA) general assemblies.
Davis has been a delegate to two conferences of the Palestine-Israel Forum of the World Council of Churches, the Bern Consultation on the Bible and the Promised Land in 2008 and the official launching of the Kairos Palestine document in Bethlehem in 2009.
He has inspired and supported the San Anselmo church in its ecumenical project, Keep Hope Alive, a program in partnership with the YMCA of East Jerusalem and the YWCA of Palestine. The project sends two groups to Palestine each year, to plant olive trees in February and to harvest olives in October.
NorCal Friends of Sabeel supports the work of Sabeel, an ecumenical organization of Palestinian Christians. Archbishop Tutu is the international patron of Sabeel. For more information, see the Friends of Sabeel-North America website, www.fosna.org.