Tuesday, November 13, 2007

News from ELCA Middle East Network

The newsletter of the Evangelical Lutheran Church's Middle East Network came out earlier this month. ELCA Peace Not Walls is at http://www.elca.org/peacenotwalls/

Newsletter - http://ga6.org/elca_advocacy/notice-description.tcl?newsletter_id=12673754


- U.S. Religious Leaders write Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about upcoming Annapolis peace conference
- ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson responds to letter from 138 global Muslim leaders
- Congregational Resources for Annapolis Peace Summit Available

1. U.S. Religious Leaders write Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about upcoming Annapolis peace conference

On January 29, 2007, Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders representing the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East (NILI), including the heads of twenty-five national organizations, met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. They expressed strong support for renewed high level U.S. efforts for Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace. Following that meeting NILI delegations have met regularly with Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns to hear reports about preparations for the Annapolis peace conference and to present their concerns and recommendations.

A NILI delegation will meet again with Under Secretary Burns on Friday, November 9. The following is a Letter to Secretary Rice sent by the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative on November 1, urging a more assertive U.S. role in preparation for the Annapolis conference and urging U.S. support for principles and practical ideas for resolving the final status issues, ideas developed by Israelis and Palestinians and reflected in documents such as the Geneva Accord.

NILI's November 1 letter to Secretary of State Rice can serve as a model for letters to Secretary Rice and to members of Congress. http://www.elca.org/advocacy/issues/middleeast/07-11-01-nili.html

NILI's October 3 urgent message about the November peace conference - http://ga6.org/elca_advocacy/notice-description.tcl?newsletter_id=11403129

NILI's December 2006 consensus statement, "Arab-Israeli-Palestinian Peace: From Crisis to Hope" - http://www.elca.org/advocacy/issues/middleeast/06-12-14-nilistatement.html

2. ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson responds to letter from 138 global Muslim leaders

"A Common Word Between You and Us," calls Christians and Muslims to work together for peace. An excerpt: "Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world's population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians. The basis for this peace and understanding already exists."

Full text: http://www.acommonword.com/index.php?lang=en&page=option1

Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson's response letter to Muslim leadersExcerpt:"The letter attests to both the love of God and our shared heritage of true hospitality to one's neighbor. These commandments convey prophetic witness for mutual and vital co-existence that Christians and Muslims must embrace in one another. The letter further references how the commands to love God and neighbor are linked 'between the Qur'an, the Torah and the New Testament.' I encourage everyone everywhere to read the beauty of these passages found in the sacred texts of the Abrahamic faiths, which signify God's vision for how and whom we love in a broken world. This common vision for Jews, Muslims, and Christians signifies fidelity and fellowship in a world where conflict offends our common heritage as children of God."

Full text: http://www.acommonword.com/index.php?page=responses&item=2

October 12 ELCA news release, "ELCA Presiding Bishop Responds to Letter from Muslim Leaders" - http://www.elca.org/ScriptLib/CO/ELCA_News/encArticleList.asp?article=3749

Responses from many Christian leaders and scholars - http://www.acommonword.com/index.php?lang=en&page=responses

3. Congregational Resources for Annapolis Peace Summit Available

Churches for Middle East Peace has produced resources appropriate for prayer and advocacy by congregations and church leaders to generate Congressional and public support for the international meeting on Israeli-Palestinian peace that is planned for Annapolis this fall. These resources, including a prayer for peace, bulletin insert, and sample letter to Congress, should be used anytime between now and the end of the summit (which is not yet scheduled). Learn more at http://www.cmep.org/Alerts/2007Oct26.htm

You can sign up for Evangelical Lutheran Church in America e-Advocacy Network at http://ga6.org/elca_advocacy/join.html?r=N1LYbS5159AgE

To receive bulletins from Ann Hafften, go to http://voicesforpeace.blogspot.com/

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