The ELCA issued a call for prayer and action during the Annapolis Peace Conference:
These aspects are addressed in the alert:
- Lutheran Holy Land Bishop, Other Faith Leaders Make Peace Commitments
- Lutheran Bishop in Holy Land Meets Former President Carter
- Bishop Younan: "An Open Letter to Annapolis Leaders: Half Empty or Half Full?"
- National Interreligious Leadership Initiative (NILI) Launches New Web Site
- Prayer Resources for Middle East Peace Available
- Historic Unanimity of Major Christian Leaders, Liberal and Evangelical Alike, Marks Response To Unprecedented Overture By Influential Muslims To Christians Worldwide
Several of these items have already been featured here. I was in contact with Ron Young a few weeks ago about a NILI web site, and I'm pleased to see it announced today: http://www.nili-mideastpeace.org/index.html
To receive regular advocacy alerts from the ELCA, go to: http://ga6.org/elca_advocacy/join.html?r=YpLYbS51L9ksE--- -- ---
(NCC News) NCC hopeful as Annapolis Mideast peace talks begin
New York, November 26, 2007--Leaders of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) are expressing encouragement and prayers for this week'sMideast peace talks in Annapolis, Maryland.
Writing to President Bush on Nov. 20, the NCC leaders reaffirmed the ecumenical group's longstanding support to "the goals and principles that are central to a lasting peace: an end to the Occupation, and a viable two-state solution; a renunciation of violence by all parties and an affirmation of the rights and security concerns of both Israelis and Palestinians; and a shared Jerusalem, which can one day be a symbol of the peace that is central to the faith of Christians, Jews, and Muslims."
The letter was written at the urging of the General Assembly of NCC and Church World Service, the NCC's partner humanitarian ministry. At the General Assembly's annual gathering last Nov. 6-8, Dr. Fahed Abu-Akel, moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA), proposed that such a letter be sent to President Bush. The letter was signed on behalf of NCC's 35 member communions by the Rev. Michael Livingston, president of the NCC, Ms. Clare J. Chapman, the acting general secretary of the NCC, and Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos, NCC's associate general secretary for international affairs and peace.
The General Assembly delegates also unanimously reaffirmed their three decade old commitments to Middle East peace.
"These same commitments lead us today to pray for the success of this peace conference in Annapolis, as a new beginning in a process that will one day lead to the realization of a just peace in the Holy Land," concluded the NCC's Nov. 20 letter to President Bush.
The National Council of Churches USA is the ecumenical voice of 35 of America's Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican, historic African American and traditional peace churches. These NCC member communions have 45 million faithful members in 100,000 congregations in all 50 states.
---Latest NCC News at www.councilofchurches.org---
November 20, 2007
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Bush:
On behalf of the churches that comprise the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, we write to you in support of the international conference you have called, to take place in Annapolis, Maryland, to reinvigorate the peace process in the Middle East. In the spirit of the Thanksgiving Season during which this conference is scheduled, we express our gratitude for this initiative, especially for the glimmer of hope it brings to a bleak situation.
Indeed, the urgency of such an initiative as this cannot be overstated. Conditions in the Holy Land, and in the wider Middle East, have deteriorated precipitously over the last few years. This reality has been confirmed to us in our many visits to the region, visits intended to demonstrate our solidarity, not only with Christians there, but with all people there whose lives are impacted by the ongoing violence. This conference signals to all--Israelis, Palestinians, and others in the MiddleEast and throughout the world--that the United States is ready to reassert its leadership in bringing all parties back to the table.
We know that this conference will not be able to address all issues that pertain to this conflict, such as refugees, settlements, and final borders. Nevertheless,we do know that this conference can reaffirm the goals and principles that are central to a lasting peace: an end to the Occupation, and a viable two-state solution; a renunciation of violence by all parties and an affirmation of the rights and security concerns of both Israelis and Palestinians; and a shared Jerusalem, which can one day be a symbol of the peace that is central to the faith of Christians, Jews, and Muslims.
The thirty-five churches that come together ecumenically through the National Council of Churches collectively represent forty-five million Christians in one hundred thousand congregations across the country. At the Council's General Assembly held just two weeks ago, the delegates of these churches reaffirmed our long-held commitments to peace in the Middle East. Some thirty years ago, these commitments guided the Council's Track II diplomacy efforts that provided a backdrop to the Camp David Accords. These same commitments lead us today to pray for the success of this peace conference in Annapolis, as a new beginning in a process that will one day lead to the realization of a just peace in the Holy Land.
Rev. Michael Livingston
Ms. Clare Chapman
Acting General Secretary
Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos
Associate General Secretary for International Affairs and Peace
cc: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
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