Read letters from Doug Dicks
For older letters, contact Mission Connections
About Doug Dicks' ministry
Doug Dicks has been under appointment as a PC(USA) mission co-worker in the Middle East since 1995. He now serves as the PC(USA)'s regional liaison for Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt. Since May 2007 Doug has made his home in Amman, Jordan. For the previous 12 years Doug lived in Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Doug’s arrival in the Middle East in September 1995 coincided with several historic events unfolding in the region. The Oslo II accords between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority were signed in Washington, and IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) troops redeployed from several West Bank cities later that year, including the city of Bethlehem where Doug lived.
The late prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated by a right wing Israeli student in November of that same year, an act clearly meant to undermine the peace process. Likewise, a militant Palestinian group carried out a series of suicide bombings beginning in 1996, equally trying to disrupt the probability of any mutual reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. Today, as both sides of the conflict inch toward a final agreement, key issues such as Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Israeli settlements, water and borders have yet to be resolved.
Doug’s work brings him in contact with heads of churches as well as with elected government officials, human rights groups and prominent members of Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli societies. Over the years, Doug has hosted numerous visitors to the region and escorted many of them to the Gaza Strip to view firsthand the medical clinics and vocational training centers run by the Middle East Council of Churches serving many of Gaza’s poorest residents—Palestinian refugees from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
From his home in Amman, Jordan, Doug continues to foster relationships between the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and its partner churches and organizations in the region. In addition, he communicates to fellow Presbyterians and congregations in the United States through an email list, providing a regional perspective on today’s headlines coming out of the Middle East.
The newness of life offered through Jesus Christ continues to sustain believers in the Middle East, the birthplace of the Christian faith. They remain steadfast in their commitment to Christ as they face wars, economic hardship, religious discrimination, and more recently the events of the Arab Spring. Beginning in the 19th century, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) added its voice to the historic Christian witness in the region. Several primary and secondary schools as well as colleges and universities, seminaries and hospitals were begun by Presbyterian missionaries. Today the PC(USA) helps its Middle Eastern partners build the church’s capacity for Christian witness. The PC(USA) and its partners in the Middle East work together on issues such as justice, peace, education, interfaith understanding, human rights and religious liberty for all.
About Doug Dicks
“There is meaningful work that we, as a church, can contribute to in the Holy Land and in the Middle East," writes Doug, "and both the challenges that we face and the hope that we seek to be a part of enable our own understanding and interpretation of peacemaking and reconciliation.”
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Doug earned an associate degree in education from Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown, Virginia, before graduating from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with a Bachelor of Science degree in anthropology and archaeology. He did post-baccalaureate studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Prior to his assignment in Jerusalem Doug was an airline pricing analyst with Airline Tariff Publishing Company at Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia.
Birthday: October 9