On Thursday, December 3, Rev. Deborah Dresser will
present "Christians in Palestine" as part of the Steinthal lecture
The Steinthal Lecture Series was established in memory of former
Mount professor and noted physician Dr. Eric Steinthal, who taught
religion, philosophy, literature, and art at the College for 27
This event is free and open to the public.
Christians in Palestine
Christians have populated the Holy Land from the time of the
Pentecost. Beginning in the reign of Emperor Constantine, churches
were built throughout Palestine to commemorate the life, death, and
resurrection of our Lord. In 1948 Christians of various
denominations made up 20% of the total population of the Holy Land.
Today, Christians number less than 1.5%. The migration of
Christians is due, in large part, to the Israeli/Palestinian
conflict as the majority of Middle Eastern Christians are Arabs.
What will the Holy Land look like without the presence of
indigenous Christians whose families are rooted in the first
Rev. Dr. Deborah Dresser
The Rev. Dr. Deborah Dresser
moved to Newburgh in 1996 having accepted a call to be the Rector
of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Newburgh. During her tenure she
served as Chair of the Newburgh Interfaith Dialogue, which included
the first public forum on Islam and received a certificate from
Georgetown University Continuing Studies Program on Interfaith
Dialogue for Christian Pastors. Rev. Dresser’s degrees are a Master
of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, NYC and a Doctor of
Ministry from New York Theological Seminary, NYC. She served as
President of the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of New
York and represented the interests of Jerusalem on the New York
Diocesan Global Mission Commission. She received the Bishop’s Cross
in 2008, in part, for her work in Jerusalem.
In 2013, Rev. Dresser completed a term as the Chair of the Board
of Trustees of the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of
Jerusalem, a US humanitarian foundation that financially supports
and advocates for the 27 institutions of the Diocese of Jerusalem
that span Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. She has
recently returned from leading her fourth pilgrimage to the Holy
Land which took place at the high of the recent conflict.
Deborah and her late husband Dr. Robert Dresser have enjoyed
enriching connections with Mt. St. Mary College over the years. She
welcomes this opportunity to share the story of Palestinian
Christians in the land of the Holy One.