Tuesday, May 13, 2008

International Church Action for Peace in Palestine and Israel

I haven't heard much about this inititave, but the web page is full of links to resources and ideas for action. Please take a look and see what works for your congregation or community.

International Church Action for Peace in Palestine and Israel
4-10 June 2008
A joint advocacy initiative convened by the World Council of Churches

The World Council of Churches is inviting member churches and related organizations to join a week of advocacy and action for a just peace in Palestine and Israel. Participants will contribute to a common international witness for peace in early June 2008. The tragic events in Israel and Palestine call people of faith and goodwill to act on their shared hopes that justice will be done.

Who are you joining?

Churches and specialized ministries in 12 countries and the global Pax Christi network have signed on for the week so far. Jerusalem’s churches and related organizations in Palestine and Israel are at the center of the initiative, including the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme of the WCC. A growing circle of participants now reaches five continents -- Australia, Belgium, Canada, Hungary, Israel/Palestine, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States. More are welcome and needed.

What for?

To promote a just peace, together. During one week churches in different countries will send a clear signal to policy-makers, interested publics and their own parishes about the urgent need for a peace settlement that secures the legitimate rights and future of both peoples. The action week organizers are asking all participants to plan their activities around these points:

1. Pray with churches living under occupation, using a special prayer from Jerusalem on Sunday, June 8, for parishes worldwide: http://www.oikoumene.org/fileadmin/files/wcc-main/2008pdfs/Jerusalem_prayer_for_ICAPPI_08_E.pdf

2. Educate about actions that make for peace and about facts on the ground that do not

3. Advocate with political leaders using ecumenical policies that promote peace with justice: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/events-sections/icappi-2008/resources/wcc-policy.html

4. Public Action - in order to stress the depth of church concern.


To seek justice for Palestinians so that both Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace. This year is 60 years since the partition of Palestine hardened into a permanent nightmare for Palestinians. It is also 41 years since the occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza overwhelmed the peaceful vision of one land, two peoples. This year’s celebrations of the establishment of the State of Israel reflect the fulfilment of one dream at the expense of another. The action week’s message is that now "It's Time for Palestine": It's time for Palestinians and Israelis to share a just peace; time to end 60 years of conflict; time for freedom from occupation; time for equal rights; and time for the healing of wounded souls: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/events-sections/icappi-2008/action-week-message.html


Participants will lobby legislators, visit foreign ministries, hold public forums, and plant (or sponsor) olive trees. As in 2006 and 2007, the June action week will include prayer vigils, special services and meeting with Muslim and Jewish people on the urgent need for peace: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/events-sections/icappi-2008/previous-years/icappi-2007.html

The Heads of Churches in Jerusalem have issued a prayer for the action week. Parishes around the world are invited to use it to pray with Palestinian Christians on Sunday, June 8: http://www.oikoumene.org/fileadmin/files/wcc-main/2008pdfs/Jerusalem_prayer_for_ICAPPI_08_E.pdf

Plan events using the four action categories above. (For more ideas, see what churches in Australia are doing: http://www.oikoumene.org/fileadmin/files/wcc-main/2008pdfs/ICAPPI_enewsMarch08Final.pdf)

Make use of the action week message "It's Time for Palestine" all events during the week and leading up to it. Spanish, French, Dutch, German versions also available. One group is putting the message to music.

For further information or to share information about your plans, please contact the WCC Offices in Geneva: Beatrice.Merahi@wcc-coe.org

4-10 June 2008.

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