Greetings again from the steering committee of the Mennonite Palestine Israel Network! As promised in our last email, we are passing along an update reporting on our recent steering committee meeting.
1. Steering Committee meeting:
In early June, the steering committee held its first face-to-face meeting in Lombard, IL, right outside Chicago. Attached you can read the notes from our time together, including some of the key issues and priorities we identified. What do you think of the directions described in these notes? We welcome your responses.
2. Outreach and networking:
One of the priorities we identified was network-building. For example, a networking goal we discussed was being able to identify a MennoPIN advocate in each of Mennonite Church USA’s 21 area conferences who could help give the network exposure at that level (e.g. workshops at annual conference meetings).
We also thought about this in terms of relationship-building and one-on-one conversations. And so each of us on the steering committee are very interested in giving you a phone call and discussing questions like:
- How did you come to be interested in Israel/Palestine?
- Who are the people in your local context (your church or the broader community) that share your interest in this issue?
- In what ways could the new Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network be a helpful resource to you?
- Educational resources (if so, what kind)?
- Suggestions for advocacy or action steps?
- Suggestions for speakers?
- Tips for facilitating discussion?
- What are you most eager to see happen in Mennonite Church USA related to Israel/Palestine? What do you think is most needed?
Would you be willing to spend about twenty to thirty minutes in a phone conversation with a steering committee member? If so, please pass along your phone number. You can also feel free to respond to these questions over email, but we welcome the chance to talk and get to know you all more.
3. MennoPIN website:
Another priority follow-up item is communication. We continue to think about effective ways to do this. One piece of this continues to be the website and social media outreach. It is still a work in progress but check out the recent updates to the MennoPIN website: https://mennopin.wordpress.com/.
4. Ohio Palestinian Christian conference: “Walking with Palestinian Christians…for holy justice and peace”
We want to pass along information about an upcoming conference with Palestinian Christian leaders on Thursday and Friday, August 7-8, 2014 called “Walking with Palestinian Christians…for holy justice and peace,” co-sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and Ginghamsburg Church. Speakers will include Alex Awad from Bethlehem Bible College, Zoughbi Zoughbi from the Wi’am Conflict Resolution Center, Tarek Abuata from Christian Peacemaker Teams, and Nora Carmi from Kairos Palestine. Through prayer, fellowship and study, participants will seek to put God’s call to love all our neighbors into action for justice & peace. You can learn more at http://ginghamsburg.org/grow/ministries/books-conferences/palestinian-christian-conference. Are any of you all living in Ohio interested in this opportunity? How can we get MennoPIN to promote this event among Mennonites in Ohio? Please pass along your contact info if you are interested in talking about this.
Finally, please continue to keep the people of Palestine-Israel in your thoughts and prayers.
Mennonite Palestine Israel Network Steering Committee
Sabeel Wave of Prayer, July 17, 2014
God of justice and mercy, we continue to fervently pray for the protection of the people of Gaza. At least 187 people have been killed so far – mostly civilians – children, women, people with disabilities, and the elderly. We pray for all those who lost their spouses, their children, their homes and their livelihoods. We pray for the orphans, the only survivors of whole families. Your people cry out to you: Lift them out of their desperate situation into your hope and peace. Lord in your mercy.
God of justice and mercy, we pray that the Egyptian initiative for a ceasefire would succeed so that all violence and destruction would come to an end and calm be restored to our troubled land. Lord in your mercy.
God of justice and mercy, give the leaders of the world the eyes to see the suffering and pain of your people in Gaza, and inspire them to act against such violence. Now is the time for the international community to rise up and demand that justice is done so that peace may reign. Lord in your mercy.
God of justice and mercy, our people are tired of temporary solutions, we pray that the international community through the UN will have the courage and determination to face the root causes of the problem and bring about a permanent resolution by ending the occupation of Palestine – West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. Lord in your mercy.
God of love and mercy, we pray for the joint Muslim-Christian Ramadan Iftar organized by both Sabeel and Al-Liqa Center in Bethlehem this week. Continue to bless the work of Sabeel and Friends of Sabeel, in Jerusalem, Nazareth, and around the world. Be in our events, our programs, and our lives this week. Lord in your mercy.