Tuesday, May 26, 2009

World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, June 4-10, 2009

The World Council of Churches' (fourth) annual "World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel," 4-10 June, is taking shape. The special event website is - http://www.worldweekforpeace.org/

An ecumenical worship service to be held in East Jerusalem on Sunday, 7 June 2009, sponsored by the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, will anchor World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.

Prayers are the first action of World Week, and people and parishes around the world are invited to send prayers for peace to aei@p-ol.com in Bethlehem (some 40 countries responded last year). A church-related NGO there shares the prayers for worldwide use on-line during World Week and for local use – to be read aloud at the Wall or near settlements, and in Palestinian parishes and schools including in Gaza. Peace stories, diaries, reflections and religious songs from the OPT, especially from women, are also available.

A community festival in early May served as a lead-up event to World Week with prayers projected onto the Wall at night, peace music traveling over the Wall from concerts, roofs and balconies, and people with candles forming a large key in the face of many locked gates. The theme is ‘sumud’ (steadfastness).

Ecumenical Accompaniers are blogging about settlements and their impact: http://www.eappi.org/en/news-events/blog-its-time-to-speak-out.html

Sabeel is sponsoring a youth cultural event or demonstration for World Week. Palestinian civil society organizations including church-related groups are appealing to the European Union not to upgrade its relations with Israel because of the war in Gaza in addition to on-going occupation. Churches abroad are invited to advocate on the issue, including during World Week.

Ireland has produced a liturgy this year. It's a participatory service with stories and photos of young Palestinians and Israelis, a prayer from the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem,
prayers by a Jewish rabbi in Jerusalem and a Muslim carpenter in Gaza. The liturgy can be found at the website - http://www.worldweekforpeace.org/ - at the "resources" link.

Here are the prayers from
Ecumenical Worship - It's Time For Peace

Leader: Let us pray

Prayer 1: We remember all the people of Israel/Palestine who suffer – Jewish, Christian, and Muslim, Israeli and Palestinian – all those who have been victims of violence, who are bereaved, who are isolated by checkpoints and walls, who are in prison, and all those who live in fear.

We ask that you will intervene and allow all people of faith to join together to make their beliefs a driving force for peace. Let the power of your Redemption and your Peace transcend all barriers of cultures and religions and fill the hearts of all who serve you, of both peoples - Israeli and Palestinian - and of all religions. Lord, we pray for Peace.

RESPONSE: O Lord hear our prayer

Prayer 2: (A JEWISH PRAYER FOR PEACE, by Rabbi Arik Ascherman, Jerusalem. The full text is included as an Appendix and may be used.)

Eloheinu V’Elohei Kadmoneinu (Our God and God of our Ancestors), strengthen us to overcome our fear and to be Your partners in creating the world that You envisioned when You promised our ancestors, “Through you shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:1, 26:4, 28:14).

When we think that we protect ourselves by doing to others what has been done to us, help us realize that today it is we Israelis who have the overwhelming power to act justly or unjustly.
Both we and the Palestinian people with whom we are destined to share this land strive to strengthen our claims to this land by denying claims of the other. May we all come to understand that two peoples have deep roots in this land. Both we and those with whom we will either live together or die together have desecrated Your Image as we have harmed each other. However, we all so deeply feel our own victim-hood that we are furious when accused of being victimizers.

Help us all to understand that violence corrupts even when our cause is just, and that the difference between being a victim and a victimizer is less than a hair’s breadth (Rabbi Shmuel Tamerat). We Israelis and Palestinians know how to see each other as strangers – as “other”. Yet the word shalom (peace) comes from the same root as shalem (whole). Open our hearts to perceive that through your Oneness, we are all one.

Help us to overcome and grant us courage. Though we know in our hearts the path we must take, we have failed to do so. Barukh Ata Adonai (Blessed are You Adonai) Sovereign of the universe, who gives strength to the weary.


Prayer 3: (A CHRISTIAN PRAYER FOR PEACE, by Elise Aghazarian, Jerusalem)

We pray for more active voices that challenge ambivalence.
For a more effective, profound, and empathetic spirit of solidarity.
For Palestinian farmers whose lands are expropriated, for families whose houses are demolished, for people who are losing their right to live in their cities.
For West Bankers who are not allowed to pray in Jerusalem.
For students who are tired from standing on checkpoints.
For Palestinian women.
For political prisoners.
For those challenging different forms of pain.
For the besieged in Gaza.
For horizons that challenge walls, for steadfastness that challenges despair.
For the freedom of Palestine.


Prayer 4: (A MUSLIM PRAYER FOR PEACE, by Abd Al-Rahman, a carpentry student at the Vocational Training Center, in Gaza, a Church-related institution)

In The Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate, Liberate our prisoners. Assist us, for our homes are destroyed. Protect us from frightening Wars.

Lead us everywhere Show us the right Path Let it rain and do not leave us thirsty. Make our country safe. Fix our hurt from corruption.

Mend our internal affairs in this country. Make this country peaceful Protect us from air strikes. Free us from occupation.


Prayer 5: We thank you for the links of Churches worldwide with Bethlehem, root of our Christian faith, and throughout the Holy Land. We thank you for the friendships of ordinary people worldwide with Christian communities in the Holy Land.

We remember the humanitarian work of aid agencies and their local partners in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and Israel, who work to make peace possible. For the pastoral care of many doctors and nurses, and the work of many teachers, priests, and religious, who give committed service working together for the good of others; Father, we thank you.

RESPONSE: O Lord hear our prayer

Prayer 6: We thank you for the work of the World Council of Churches and of Churches throughout the world that lift up the need for solidarity with the Christians in the birthplace of Christianity and with their neighbours, all of whom are suffering very much.

We remember the work of the Ecumenical Accompaniment teams who stand with ordinary people, of all faiths, in daily lives so marked by Occupation. Father, we pray for peace.

RESPONSE: O Lord hear our prayer

Prayer 7: We ask for your mercy and support for the Christian presence in the birthplace of Christianity, and at this time we remember especially the tiny Christian community in Gaza, and all in Gaza who live in the midst of despair, isolation and immense suffering.

We ask that they will feel your light working to bring them through the darkness. We ask that the people of Gaza will be inspired by peace, resist oppression with love, and that the siege of Gaza will be lifted and dignity restored to all.

Jesus, through your birth, life and death, you gave us a ministry of reconciliation. We ask you to give strength to all who work for peace in Israel/Palestine and to all who promote the need for dialogue and understanding. Lord, uphold them in their work.

RESPONSE: O Lord hear our prayer

Prayer 8: (A JERUSALEM PRAYER FOR PEACE, from the Churches in Jerusalem)

Leader: Finally, as part of this World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, the Churches in Jerusalem have sent us a prayer for peace. We are invited to pray with them, joining churches around the world, and saying together:

Heavenly Father, We give you thanks and praise for the gift of your Son, Jesus – his birth in Bethlehem, His ministry throughout the land we call ‘holy’, His death on the cross, and His glorious resurrection and ascension. Jesus came as the ‘Prince of Peace’ and we give thanks that around the world the Churches and Christians are praying for the peace of Jerusalem and this land.

We pray for all leaders who dedicate their lives to a just peace for their peoples. Send us political leaders ready to dedicate their lives to a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis. Make them courageous enough to engage in a process that puts an end to the occupation imposed by one people on another - granting freedom to Palestinians, giving security to Israelis, and freeing all from fear.

We pray specifically for the people of Gaza to be freed from their unending trials and threats, for all those living in refugee camps in the region, and for those now living abroad. Free all the people of this land from the sin of hatred and violence and bring us together to work for peace.
We seek your blessing especially on the children and young people, that their fear and the anxiety of conflict may be replaced with the joy and happiness of peace. We pray for the well-being of the elderly and those with special needs, and for their contribution to the future of this land.

All this we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen

THE LORD’S PRAYER: Said by all in their own language

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Support U.S. Action on Settlements and Gaza

Churches for Middle East Peace - Web: http://www.cmep.org/
May 20 bulletin: Tell President Obama You Support U.S. Action on Settlements and Gaza

Special Event Reminder: CMEP conference call Friday at 12:30 PM EST with Ori Nir of Americans for Peace Now on the Obama-Netanyahu Meeting and U.S. - Israel Relations -- click this link for more information- http://www.cmep.org/events/2009May21Conference_Call_Ori_Nir.htm

In a much anticipated White House meeting Monday, President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met for the first time and discussed U.S. and Israeli positions on the peace process and Iran. Click here for an analysis of the meeting by CMEP's Director Warren Clark.

Churches for Middle East Peace welcomed the President's strong affirmation of the two-state solution and his demand that all parties - Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab States - take actions in pursuit of peace, including his focus on the need for settlements to stop and for progress to made on the Gaza humanitarian situation. On the issue of how to sequence pursuit of Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking and addressing Iran's nuclear capacity, CMEP also welcomed the President's affirmation that the U.S. has to move "aggressively on both fronts" and wants Iran to be "a full-fledged member of the international community."

Send an email to President Obama - http://action.cmep.org/t/4317/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=748 - Let him know that American Christians support robust U.S. diplomacy to establish a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel and foster a more peaceful and secure Middle East.

President Obama strongly affirmed his previous statements that it is in the interest of all parties, "to achieve a two-state solution" and stressed that "all the parties involved have to take seriously obligations that they previously agreed to," including in the road map and at Annapolis.
Obama pressed Netanyahu on the difficult steps Israel must take, stating unequivocally that "settlements have to be stopped in order for us to move forward." His statement came as construction is underway for a new West Bank settlement called Maskiyot.

Obama addressed the humanitarian situation in Gaza emphasizing that while rocket attacks on Israel are unacceptable, the fact that the people of Gaza "have no hope…can't even get clean water" and the "border closures are so tight that it is impossible for reconstruction and humanitarian efforts to take place" is not compatible with moving forward on peace. The President also said that Palestinians must do more to provide Israel with security assurance and that Arab states have to be "bolder in seeking potential normalization with Israel."

Let President Obama know that you welcome his attention to the issue of settlements and Gaza and support his vigorous diplomacy with both Israel and the Palestinians to ensure meaningful progress toward peace.

During the press conference, Netanyahu stated his desire to "to start peace negotiations with the Palestinians immediately" with the goal of ending the conflict, but failed to utter the words two-state solution or Palestinian state. He also set up various conditions for successful negotiations, including once again the demand that Palestinians "recognize Israel as a Jewish state."

President Obama is set to meet with Palestinian President Abbas and Egyptian President Mubarak next week, followed by a major speech in Cairo on June 4. He needs to hear that American Christians welcome strong U.S. leadership on behalf of Middle East peace.




"The Common Goal is Peace," Transcript of Press Conference Following President Obama Meeting with Israeli Prime Minister, White House Blog, May 18, 2009 - http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/The-Common-Goal-is-Peace/

"CMEP Analysis of the Obama-Netanyahu Washington Summit May 18: What Happened and What Next?", Warren Clark, Churches for Middle East Peace, May 20, 2009 - http://cmep.org/Policy/2009518Netanyahu_visit.htm

"Emphasis Differs for Obama, Netanyahu," Scott Wilson, Washington Post, May 19, 2009 - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/18/AR2009051800825.html

"Settlement construction taking shape in Maskiyot", Joshua Mitnick, Washington Times, May 19, 2009 - http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/19/settlement-construction-taking-shape-in-maskiyot/

"Netanyahu caught between Obama, Israeli settlers", Joshua Mitnick, The Christian Science Monitor, May 18, 2009 - http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0518/p06s01-wome.html

"Obama Presses Netanyahu over Two-State Plan," BBC, May 18, 2009 - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8055105.stm

"Netanyahu: US to Present New Plan," Hilary Leila Krieger and Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post, May 18, 2009 - http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1242212406429&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


Churches for Middle East Peace
Email: info@cmep.org
Phone: 202-543-1222
Web: http://www.cmep.org/

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To receive regular bulletins from Ann Hafften, go to "A Texas Lutheran's Voice for Middle East Peace" - http://voicesforpeace.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Christian leaders work for Holy Land peace at the Carter Center

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Middle East Advocacy Network announced today that Presiding Bishop Hanson and other Christian leaders met with Jimmy Carter last week. Here is a link to the news report: http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Communication-Services/News/Releases.aspx?a=4139

The statement issued out of the event is at http://www.cartercenter.org/news/pr/christian-leaders-appeal-for-peace.html on the Web.

From ELCA Middle East Network
May 20, 2009

Christian leaders meet at Carter Center, seeking peace with justice in the Holy Land

A diverse group of Christian leaders, including the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop and president, Lutheran World Federation, and the Rev. Bruce H. Burnside, bishop ELCA South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, met at the Carter Center May 14-15 under the banner, “Towards a
New Christian Consensus: Peace with Justice in the Holy Land." The ELCA news story on the gathering appears below.

The meeting was an encouraging development, building on the work of organizations such as Churches for Middle East Peace which was represented there, to bring Christians together in pursuit of a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

At the conclusion of the conference, participants sent a short letter to President Obama supporting his efforts for a two-state solution and calling for the immediate opening of the Gaza borders.

[Here is the ELCA news story]

May 20, 2009

ELCA Bishops Join Middle East Meeting at Carter Center

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Two bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) were part of a diverse group of Christian leaders who pledged to President Barack Obama that they will "build constituencies that will advocate for a just political settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

The Christian leaders met privately May 14-15 at the Carter Center, Atlanta, and were hosted by former President Jimmy Carter, a longtime advocate for Middle East peace. The Christian leaders discussed strategies toward a resolution of the longstanding conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Among them was the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, and the Rev. Bruce H. Burnside, bishop, ELCA South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, Madison. Burnside chairs the ELCA Conference of Bishops' Middle East concerns committee.

In a May 15 letter to Obama -- in advance of his meeting this week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- the Christian leaders said they heard much despair about the situation in the Middle East. But they said they "sense a rising hope."

"That hope is grounded in the growing consensus across the Christian community that supports a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the new leadership that you bring, both of which will make more possible a real, just and lasting two-state solution and an end to conflict in the region that upholds the security and freedom of both Israelis and Palestinians," the Christian leaders said in their letter.

The Christian leaders requested that Obama ask Netanyahu "to embrace the principle of a two-state solution." They expressed concern about Israeli settlements on Palestinian land and said they want the Gaza border to be opened, respecting humanitarian and security concerns. After meeting with Obama May 18, Netanyahu stopped short of embracing a Palestinian state.

Calling the meeting "valuable," Hanson told the ELCA News Service it was "a new experience, a different configuration, that I felt was encouraging." Christians from mainline denominations, evangelical churches, historic African-American churches and advocacy organizations were represented, he said.

Both Hanson and Burnside said an urgent concern for most in the meeting was that the possibility of a two-state solution seems to be fading.

Among topics discussed were human rights, Israeli and Palestinian security, peace and self-determination, concerns about Christian Zionism, a "shared" Jerusalem for all people, the separation barrier and Gaza. Hanson was one of the religious leaders designated to respond to remarks from Carter.

"I talked about what religious leaders can do. We need to organize, mobilize and increase our support for and pressure on the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress to take an assertive leadership role now for a just peace," he said. Hanson said he emphasized the need for support of Palestinian Christians, discussed the "biblical story" that shapes Christian engagement in the Middle East, and called for renewed commitment to sustained national and international dialogue with Jews and Muslims.

"It was extraordinary to be included in such a diverse group," Burnside said. "President Carter's dynamic Christian faith, steeped in biblical understanding, and formed by his devotion to justice and human dignity, shaped this gathering and gave it momentum."

Burnside and Hanson were among 44 U.S. and Canadian Lutheran bishops who visited the Middle East in January to learn, build and renew partnerships, and advocate for peace. The ELCA has a detailed Middle East strategy for engagement in the region, implemented in its "Peace Not Walls" campaign.


The Christian leaders' statement is at http://www.cartercenter.org/news/pr/christian-leaders-appeal-for-peace.html on the Web.
Information about the ELCA Peace Not Walls campaign is at http://www.ELCA.org/Our-Faith-In-Action/Justice/Peace-Not-Walls.aspx on the ELCA Web site.

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or news@elca.org
ELCA News Blog: http://www.elca.org/news/blog

Monday, May 4, 2009

News from the EAPPI

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) presents a new web newsletter. The first issue is at this link: http://www.eappi.org/en/resources/newsletter.html
EAPPI is an effort of the World Council of Churches. A press release from the WCC follows information about the new EAPPI newsletter.

1. In mid-April, a new group of 24 Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) began their three months working with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). The new arrivals bring the total number of EAs to have participated in the programme to 541.

The 31st group of Ecumenical Accompaniers comprises 16 women and 8 men, from eight different countries (Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK). Among other professions, the EAPPI welcomes seven students, four teachers, two social pedagogues, an Anglican priest, a Catholic sister, an international hockey player and a journalist. Five EAs are returning for a second term. Profiles of the current EAs are posted on the EAPPI website.

EAs from the group are based in six placements: Bethlehem, Hebron, Jayyous, Tulkarem, Yanoun, and Jerusalem. Ecumenical Accompaniers, who serve a minimum of three months, work in various capacities with local churches, Palestinian and Israeli NGOs, as well as Palestinian communities to try to reduce the brutality of the Occupation and improve the daily lives of both peoples.

For more from the EAPPI newsletter, go to the website: http://www.eappi.org/en/resources/newsletter.html

While many of the EAs have their own blogs, a unified blog is provided at the EAPPI international website:

Opportunities for volunteers from the USA are available. See the EAPPI-US website - http://www.eappi-us.org/ - click on "application info."

Blogs written by the most recent American EAs are here: http://www.eappi-us.org/resources.htm

2. Here is a full-length story released by the World Council of Churches press office. You can read it online at this WCC link: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/news/news-management/eng/a/article/1722/palestinian-christian-fam.html

By Emma Halgren (*)

"A land is nothing without people, and people are nothing without a land." That's the maxim followed by Palestinian farmer Daoud Nassar. And when he speaks of the intimate connection between people and their land, he is talking from hard-won experience.

Nassar, a Palestinian Christian, lives with his family on 42 hectares (100 acres) of fertile land west of Bethlehem. His grandfather bought the land in 1916, and the Nassar family has farmed there ever since, growing olives, almonds, grapes, pears and figs.

In 1991, Daoud Nassar learned that the Israeli authorities were planning to confiscate three quarters of his land – a practice that is illegal under international law, but nonetheless widespread on the West Bank.

Since then, the family has been locked in a costly legal battle with the Israeli government, despite possessing all the land registration documents and other paperwork necessary to prove their ownership of the land, Daoud Nassar told a visiting ecumenical delegation on 10 March.

The ecumenical delegation – a Living Letters team travelling on behalf of the World Council of Churches (WCC) – visited the Nassar farm along with ecumenical organizations, church leaders and civil society groups in Israel and Palestine in March.

Amid the legal battles and harassment from surrounding Israeli settlers, the Nassar family has chosen a path of peace. It has opened up its land to locals and people from around the world to participate in educational and peace building activities.

The Nassar farm is part of a parcel of land, including eight nearby Palestinian farming villages, that Israeli authorities hope to annex in order to expand the Gush Etzion settlements, whose population is around 50,000.

Many West Bank families do not have the official documentation required to prove ownership of their land, let alone the resources to be able to fight lengthy court battles.

Since their first court appearance in 1991 to challenge the confiscation order, the Nassars have surprised the courts not only with the thoroughness of their documentation, but with their persistence. Daoud Nassar estimates that the family and supporters of the project have spent around 145,000 US dollars in legal and other fees, and attended numerous court hearings – with the result that, for now, the land is safe.

"We refuse to be enemies"

The Nassar farm is already surrounded by Israeli settlements, and like many Palestinians, the Nassars have endured harassment, threats and attacks from nearby settlers. In one such attack, Daoud Nassar's mother was threatened with a gun. In another, settlers uprooted 250 olive trees from the property.

It is acts like this, Nassar says, that can easily fuel violence among Palestinians. For many others, the only possible options seem to be to resign themselves to the situation, or to emigrate.

The Nassar family decided there should be another option – to refuse to be enemies. So they established on their land a project called the Tent of Nations. Its overarching aims are to build bridges between people of different backgrounds, and between people and land.

"We wanted to move away from a circle of blame, and channel our frustration into something positive," Daoud Nassar told the Living Letters team.

The Israeli authorities have forbidden any permanent infrastructure development on the site, as well as access to the electricity grid and public water, so the Nassars have refurbished seven underground caves, painting them, fitting them out with comfortable rugs and cushions and connecting them to electricity from a generator so that they could be used for meetings and other gatherings. There are now plans to install solar panels and build wind turbines on the farm.

Since the establishment of the project in 2000, the Nassars have garnered significant local and global support. Children from Bethlehem are given the opportunity to reconnect with the land through tree planting and helping with the grape and olive harvest.

A women's project equips women from the nearby village of Nahalin with English, computer and craft skills. Restrictive permit systems prevent many women from leaving the village for education or work, so the women's project provides a rare opportunity for women to pursue an education.

Each year, the Nassars run a tree planting campaign on the farm. In 2009, the goal is to plant 1000 trees on the land, with the help of the hundreds of people – including local Palestinians, Israeli peace activists and international supporters – who visit the site.

Volunteers also visit the farm throughout the year to help with the grape, almond, fig and olive harvests, and to take part in artistic projects.

Building bridges

In a show of solidarity, members of European Jews for a Just Peace visited the property in 2003 and planted 250 olive trees to replace those ripped out by settlers.

At the local level, Nassar says, the activities of the Tent of Nations have gone at least some way towards promoting understanding between Palestinian and Israeli people. In early 2008, a woman from a visiting group of peace activists invited her friend from a nearby Israeli settlement to come and visit the Tent of Nations. The woman had been living in the settlement for nine years but was not aware that there were Palestinians living in the surrounding areas. The visit gave her a powerful insight into the living conditions of the Palestinians in the region.

Actions like these may not change the reality of the Occupation, but they are a small step towards better relationships between these deeply divided groups, said Daoud Nassar.

He hopes that his project will encourage other Palestinians not to see themselves as victims, but rather to look at the future with some hope. "What we are trying to do here, in a simple way, is to motivate our people, and show them there is a future," he said.

(*) Emma Halgren, WCC Communication intern, is a member of the Uniting Church in Australia.

Tent of Nations:

Feature: "Israeli occupation puts strain on Palestinian Christians":

Photo gallery (high resolution versions available upon request):

Sixty Years of WCC Policy on Palestine/Israel, 1948-2007 (in brief):

WCC member churches in Israel/Palestine:

The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, from the Methodist Church in Kenya. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

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To receive regular bulletins from Ann Hafften, go to "A Texas Lutheran's Voice for Middle East Peace" - http://voicesforpeace.blogspot.com/

Saturday, May 2, 2009

ELCA Middle East News

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Middle East Network newsletter is now available on the advocacy website:

A few highlights include registration information about the Churches for Middle East Peace conference and a settlement report from the Foundation for Middle East Peace.

+ CMEP’s 2009 Advocacy Conference "Israeli-Palestinian Peace: Hope for Things Unseen" in Washington, D.C. on June 7-9, 2009 at the Kellogg Conference Center at Gallaudet University. Plan also to attend the ELCA-sponsored dinner and program on Monday, June 8. Details will be sent in a later mailing. Register now for the conference.

+ The Challenge Facing Obama; Foundation for Middle East Peace Settlement Report March-April 2009 - George Mitchell’s appointment as Middle East peace envoy has strengthened expectations that President Barack Obama will revitalize American diplomatic leadership committed to making peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

See the complete newsletter and ELCA Peace Not Walls for lots more: http://www.elca.org/Our-Faith-In-Action/Justice/Peace-Not-Walls.aspx

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To receive regular bulletins from Ann Hafften, subscribe at the blog, A Texas Lutheran's Voice for Peace - http://voicesforpeace.blogspot.com/