The Mideast Focus Ministry of Saint Mark's Cathedral works through mission, prayer, education, and action to bring understanding and to promote advocacy for justice and peace in the Middle East region, both within the Saint Mark’s congregation and to the greater Seattle community. Contact ministry leaders Doug Thorpe and Steve Moen to learn more.

Learn about the April 20, 2022, Mideast Focus Ministry Wednesday Night forum with Zeiad Shamrouch of the Middle East Children’s Alliance here.


The Holy Land: What's Next? A Conversation Among Faith Leaders Witnessing to Peace and Justice in Israel-Palestine

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1–4 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall or online via Zoom.

UPDATE: a complete video is now available here.

The Mideast Focus Ministry of Saint Mark's Cathedral, the Bishop’s Committee for Justice & Peace in the Holy Land, and Kairos Puget Sound Coalition present this symposium, which brings together prominent voices from different religious backgrounds to ask where the struggle to achieve justice and peace in the Israel-Palestine goes from here. Participants include:

Rev. Naim Ateek – Founder, Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
Rev. Richard K. Toll – Founding Exec. Director, Friends of Sabeel North America
Rev. Don Wagner, former National Program Director, Friends of Sabeel N.A.
Jonathan Kuttab, Executive Director, Friends of Sabeel North America
Mark Braverman, Ph.D. - Executive Director, Kairos U.S.A.
Alice Rothchild, M.D. – Jewish writer and social activist for peace
Ranna Harb – Co-Founder, Falastiniyat (Palestinian diaspora collective)

Jerusalem’s Old City—A Holy Story
A Presentation by BBC Journalist and Author Matthew Teller

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2022, 7–8:30 p.m., in person in Bloedel Hall or online via Zoom

Co-sponsored by Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, University Book Store, Seattle, and Other Press Publishers, New York

UPDATE: A complete video is now available here.

In Jerusalem, what you see and what is true are two different things. The Old City has never had “four quarters” as its maps proclaim. And beyond the crush and frenzy of its major religious sites, many of its quarters are little known to visitors, its people ignored and their stories untold. Nine Quarters of Jerusalem lets the communities of the Old City speak for themselves. Ranging from ancient past to political present, it evokes the city’s depth and cultural diversity.

Matthew Teller’s highly original “biography” features the Old City’s Palestinian and Jewish communities, but also spotlights its Indian and African populations, its Greek and Armenian and Syriac cultures, its downtrodden Dom Gypsy families, and its Sufi mystics. It discusses the sources of Jerusalem’s holiness and the ideas—often startlingly secular—that have shaped lives within its walls. It is an evocation of place through story, led by the voices of Jerusalemites.

The Mideast Focus Ministry's Ninth Annual Film Series ran from March 11 through May 13, 2022. is happy to announce the opening of our Ninth Annual Film Series!

For the 2022 Film Series, film screenings and discussions were offered online only. Most films were made available to viewers to watch on their own, and the post-film discussions on Zoom included filmmakers, experts, and other guests with special knowledge about the topics. Please email to learn more or to get involved! Contact to be added to the Mideast Focus Ministry mailing list, or use this form. (Check the box marked "Mideast Focus.")



The theme for this year’s Film Series is Sumud. This is a Palestinian word that means “steadfastness” or “steadfast perseverance.” It has become a cultural value in Palestine. There is no possible way Palestinians can defend themselves in the face of one of the most well-equipped military powers in the world. They practice sumud which sometimes is an act of making breakfast, sometimes walking the children to the checkpoint on the way to school, sometimes, joining a peaceful protest at a blocked crossroad, just to say “We are here!”

In this series we will meet a young Israeli woman who also practices her own sumud as she resists joining the Israeli military. We will discover what sumud looks like in the devastation we call “Gaza”, and in the tragedy we call “Hebron.”

To receive links to the film (watch on your own time within 48 hours of the discussion) and the Zoom discussion, send a message to

MARCH 11, 7 P.M. (discussion)


Blind Trust celebrates the life and work of psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Dr. Vamik Volkan, a five-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee who has spent over four decades bringing enemy groups together in areas of conflict all over the world. This look into his pioneering fieldwork and peace-building missions in Europe, the Middle East, and the US sheds light on how large-group identity and shared trauma can both unite us and divide us for generations.

Learn more here.

Guests: Molly Castelloe, the director of the film, and Jonathan Kuttab, Executive Director of Friends of Sabeel North America

You can listen to the audio of the discussion here.

MARCH 25, 7 P.M. (discussion)


Objector follows Atalya to prison and beyond, offering a unique window into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the perspective of a young woman who seeks truth and takes a stand for justice.

Learn more here.

Guests: Molly Stuart, director of the film, and Assaf Oron, a refuser

You can listen to the audio of the discussion here.

APRIL 8, 7 P.M. (discussion)


Gaza brings us into a unique place beyond the reach of television news reports to reveal a world rich with eloquent and resilient characters, offering us a cinematic and enriching portrait of a people attempting to lead meaningful lives against the rubble of perennial conflict.

Learn more here.

Guest: Gerri Haynes, nurse for Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility

You can listen to the audio of the discussion here.

APRIL 22, 7 P.M. (discussion)


In Mission: Hebron six young Israeli men who served in the army from the age of 18 give an account of their mission in Hebron, a Palestinian city in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Footage documenting numerous appalling situations corroborates their compelling stories, from soldiers taking pot shots with rubber bullets and conducting humiliating searches of passersby to arresting ten-year-olds and turning entire households upside down. What effect did these military duties have on their moral compass? Looking back and growing older, how do they feel about this mission now?

Learn more here.

Skies above Hebron is a coming of age story depicting three boys coping, each in his own way, with physical and mental obstacles enclosing life in their Palestinian hometown of Hebron.

Learn more here.

Guest: Marla Byrne, WA State Policy Manager and Board Member for the Rachel Corrie Foundation, and Rona Segal, director of Mission: Hebron

You can listen to the audio of the discussion here.

MAY 6, 7 P.M. (discussion)


During the Syrian civil war, the district of Yarmouk, home to thousands of Palestinians, became the scene of dramatic and ferocious fighting. Little Palestine: Diary of a Siege is a film that follows the destiny of civilians during the brutal sieges, imposed by the Syrian regime, that took place in the wake of the battles. With his camera, Abdallah Al-Khatib composes a love song to a place that proudly resists the atrocities of war

Learn more here.

Guest: Julia Pitner, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

You can listen to the audio of the discussion here.

MAY 20, 7 P.M. (discussion)


Mustafa lives on the Palestinian-controlled side of the wall, and Salwa and their children on the Israeli side. One day he gets the call every parent dreads: his son has been in an accident and is in the hospital. He will do anything to reach his son, and after being denied access through the checkpoint on a technicality, Mustafa embarks upon a journey to cross the border illegally.

Learn more here.

You can listen to the audio of the discussion here.




The Mideast Focus Ministry presented its eighth series of films focused on the story of the Palestinian people—but with a difference this year. In response to the U.S. apartheid-like parallels to Palestine in our own country, the 2021 series explored the links between the struggle for justice in Palestine to Black Lives Matter and the story of Indigenous people in America.



In February of 2020, the Mideast Focus Film Series launched as planned with a reception, screening, and discussion of Tel Aviv on Fire. Of course, plans then changed. The remainder of the films were presented as online screenings followed by virtual conversations over Zoom. These virtual events were a great success. 



More about the series:

Mideast Focus Ministry Mission:
This ministry works through prayer, education and action with Saint Mark’s and the greater Seattle community, to educate and promote understanding about the struggle for peace and justice in the Holy Land.

Mideast Focus Film Series Goal:
Our concern is to help balance the limited and confusing media coverage of the Holy Land. We use compelling films as an entry point for reflection and discussion. As Christians, we respond to Christ’s call to seek justice and love the oppressed. As Americans, we ask: Can we reconcile this calling with our government’s massive financial support of Israel’s military operations? We hope the time will come when Jews, Muslims and Christians will again come together in harmony in the Holy Land.

Why These Films?
As our country presents less than humane greetings for refugees at our border, we want to recommit ourselves to a more conscious, caring and Godly response—to recognize and serve our brothers and sisters who are, for a difficult time, homeless. In this series we explore what it is to be a refugee.