Today, in the framework of the ACT Palestine Forum - APF, the newly ordained Pastor Sally Azar visited our office of DSPR Central Office in Jerusalem and told us a little about her first time. Predictably, there was a lot of positive feedback, but also some negative. She is happy to be able to contribute to changing society. The role of women is a big issue in society and everyone has to get used to it a bit. Not only from a theological point of view but also from the perspective of society. Sally also feels this in her community in Beit Sahour. So there is a lot of uncertainty about how to properly deal with a female pastor. Her parishioners wonder, for example, how she can wish the Orthodox priests "Happy Easter" or wish the Muslim friends "Happy Ramadan" at Ramadan. There are many of these questions. She has especially noticed that when she walks through the old city now, people start talking to her in English. Then she answers in Arabic to make sure she is still one of them. Some people are unsure how to talk to her or how to address her.
But she is looking forward to the coming Easter period when the whole church in Jerusalem will celebrate together. She assumes that the point has now been passed where people have voiced their criticism and they can now move on. She continues to be grateful for the overwhelming support, not only from the church but also from society and the Act Palestine Forum and internationally. It helps her to know that she is not alone as a pastor. And then, she is in close contact with pastors all over the world. Muslim friends and Jewish rabbis were also present at her ordination, which shows that the role of women is also an interreligious issue.