Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas, Hebron, and a calendar for the new year

Christmas peace and joy to all my readers!

See Loren McGrail's blog for a wealth of resources for Christmas and beyond.  Loren served as an accompanier through the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).

Loren writes a wonderful reflection, these are just blips from her introduction. Please read the whole piece.
"On an ordinary starry night, a birth happened in a cave for animals. On an ordinary night, our holy and reconciling God loved the world so much that he sent his only Son to be born as one of us, to become flesh and live among us, to illuminate our humanity so that we may find it shining forth in others and ourselves.
"Like John the Baptist then, we are called to testify to this light too, a light that shines both in us, through us, and around us. This light shines in the darkness and is not overcome by it. We are not the light but we are called to be light bearers. We are called to live into Christmas, to testify. (,,,)
"When I left Palestine in May, I was told that we would always be ecumenical accompaniers, that we had entered into a life long relationship and that our real work would begin when we returned to tell our story of what we saw, what we heard, what we witnessed. I am not sure what is more real but I do know that the work of remembering and telling, showing and describing is important and ongoing and that I can never return to not knowing or caring. The light has been turned on and I must go and tell it on the mountains, everywhere. The darkness of occupation too has been illuminated and must not be covered up or silenced."
See Loren's meditation at her blog, A Garment of Destiny.

Another Ecumenical Accompanier, Maria Santtos from Finland, provides just about the best thumbnail sketch of the Hebron situation on her blog, West of the Bank.

The yearly fundraising calendar for Gaza artists “Colors from Palestine” is ready. Support art in Palestine by ordering your calendars today. To view and order your copy of the 2012 “Colors from Palestine ” calendar click on the link below:
All proceeds from the sales of “Colors from Palestine ” 2012 Calendar will be donated to "The Young Artists forum" in Gaza.

--- --- ---

To receive regular bulletins from Ann Hafften, sign up at my blog - A Texas Lutheran's Voice for Peace:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bethlehem and Washington, D.C., joining for Prayer Service

Christ is Born, Glorify Him!
Save the Date!
Join friends in Bethlehem and Washington, D.C., for the fifth Annual Bethlehem Prayer Service

Saturday, December 17, 2011
10 AM  EST
Christ is Born, Glorify Him!
It's a joint simulcast service with the people of Bethlehem at the National Cathedral in Washington, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW, Washington, DC.

Are you in the DC area?  Then you are invited to join worshipers in the National Cathedral. If you are anywhere else, we encourage to you gather with others in your community to watch the service live at on the internet. -
In Bethlehem, Palestinian Christians continue to bear witness to their faith this Christmas as they have done for generations.  Once again, let us join our voices with theirs in seeking and offering hope for a better future.

Beginning with music from the Wartburg College Choir at 8:45am CST: simulcast from Washington National Cathedral with Palestinian participants: Lutheran Bishop Munib Younan (sermon); Pr. Mitri Raheb of Christmas Lutheran; Bishop Suheil Dawani, Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem. Via internet, you may join service live at

Prayers, readings, and hymns alternate between Washington, DC and Bethlehem via the Internet, bringing together people of different lands, languages, and ethnic backgrounds in celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace.
PDF Flyer available HERE.

Please post and distribute widely!


Here's a beautiful Advent prayer:

A Coming for All People
O God, I pray for peace and justice for all people.
O God, I pray for love and joy for all people.
O God, I pray for all children, women and men of the Holy Land.
Through my words and actions this day help me live as an instrument of
Your peace and justice.
Through my words and actions this day help me live as an instrument of
Your love and joy.
Let my expectations of God with us, of You with us, include all people.
Help me to be like Christ this and every season. Amen.

    —Doris Warrell (Churches for Middle East Peace)

Thank you, Doris.

--- --- ---

To receive regular bulletins from Ann Hafften, sign up at my blog - A Texas Lutheran's Voice for Peace: