Greetings from the steering committee of the Mennonite Palestine Israel Network! We are excited to share several items with you in this month’s update.
Mennonite Church USA resolution: As we described in the last MennoPIN update, the advocacy/action subcommittee has been hard at work in preparation for next summer’s MCUSA convention in Kansas City. The major focus has been developing a resolution to move the Mennonite Church forward in response to what many of see as one of the key calls from the Kairos Palestine initiative, the call to boycott, divestment, and sanctions. Attached we are sharing with you a final draft version that we are inviting congregations to submit to the resolutions committee.
In terms of process, our goal is to get as many congregations to sign on to this resolution as possible by January 15, 2015. At that point we will submit this to the resolutions committee of Mennonite Church USA. If your congregation is interested in signing on as an official sponsor of this resolution, please email George Muedeking, chair of the advocacy/action subcommittee, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to inviting congregations to sign on to this resolution, the other approach we discussed as a steering committee was to invite congregations who want to submit this to the resolutions committee on their own the freedom to do that as well. If your congregation is interested in this approach, please do let us know. We welcome learning about the various approaches our many congregations are taking on this important issue.
As you continue these conversations in your congregations, we also wanted to let you know about a new website that AFSC has developed to help folks learn more about their investments: http://investigate.afsc.org/. “This investment screening tool is provided to help individuals and institutions identify companies on their investment portfolios that directly complicit in ongoing severe violations of human rights and international law as part of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory.”
MennoPIN website and facebook page: If you have been visiting the MennoPIN website, you’ll have noticed some updates to our look. And if you haven’t noticed, please do check it out: https://mennopin.wordpress.com/. You will find some great resources there. You can also find MennoPIN on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MENNOPIN/504464379657343. Please check it out and like us!
MCUSA webinar “Jesus Weeps”: Offered by the Peace and Justice Support Network, Mennonite Church USA, and Mennonite Mission Network, this one-hour webinar will be an introduction to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Learn more and register here: http://www.pjsn.org/Resources/congregations/Pages/Jesus-Weeps.aspx. You can watch and discuss the webinar with your Sunday school class or small group on December 4 at 8 p.m. (EST).
Kairos Palestine Advent resource: This December will mark the fifth anniversary of the Kairos Palestine Document (http://www.kairospalestine.ps/). Christians from around the world will join their Palestinian sisters and brothers in Bethlehem to mark this occasion. As they meet, please keep them in your prayers. And as you prepare for the Advent season in your congregation, check out this Kairos Palestine Advent resource: http://www.kairospalestine.ps/sites/default/images/English%20Christmas%20Alert%202014.pdf.
Finally, we close with Sabeel’s recent “wave of prayer”. Please continue to keep the people of Palestine-Israel in your thoughts and prayers.
Sabeel Wave of Prayer, November 27, 2014
Lord, we thank you for the beginning of Advent this weekend – for valuing humanity enough to become one of us, for taking on flesh and teaching us how to love. God, we ask for your guidance so that we not only reflect on this time with hope, joy, peace, love and joy, but also act upon it. Lord in your mercy…
We continue to worry about Jerusalem, including the city’s increased violence and Israel’s forms of collective punishment on Palestinians living there, such as home demolitions, revocation of residency rights and many other measures. We are also concerned with the increasingly negative economic effects experienced in the Palestinian community of East Jerusalem. God, we pray for an end to injustice and suffering in this already economically depressed area. Lord in your mercy…
Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian physician who has volunteered as a medical solidarity worker during the past three Gaza bombardments, has been banned from entering Gaza through Israel, currently the only possible way in. God of healing, we pray that this unjust ban by Israel is lifted and that he and other humanitarian workers are not prevented from doing their critical work in this devastated region. Lord in your mercy…
Lord, we pray this week for our community Advent program in Bethlehem, which will reflect on Luke 2:10 when the angel appeared to the shepherds, and for our Nazareth activities, including a youth retreat for Advent. This Thursday at the Dominican Church, Sabeel will hold an ecumenical prayer service for Jerusalem. Lord, comfort the community as it comes together in prayer. Lord in your mercy…
Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network Steering Committee:
- Jonathan Brenneman (Lima Mennonite Church, Lima, OH)
- Tom Harder (Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church, Wichita, KS)
- Joy Lapp (Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Mt Pleasant, IA)
- George Muedeking (Albuquerque Mennonite Church, Albuquerque, NM)
- Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach (Peace Fellowship Church, Washington, DC)
- Timothy Seidel (Community Mennonite Church, Lancaster, PA)