Dear Friends, in this update, we want to share a few items from our subcommittees.
Mennonite Church USA resolution: We have five congregations who have signed on to endorse this resolution! If your congregation is still considering endorsement, remember that our deadline is February 15. Please email George Muedeking, chair of the advocacy/action subcommittee, at firstname.lastname@example.org if your congregation wants to be added to the list. Thanks so much to all of you for working in your congregations. This is hard work, and we appreciate all of your efforts!
Kansas City 2015: We are happy to report that we had two workshop proposals accepted for this summer’s convention in Kansas City. And we are in the process of developing the MennoPIN booth. We have also learned that Alex Awad, Dean of Students at Bethlehem Bible College and pastor at East Jerusalem Baptist Church, will be a speaker at convention. There are several other convention events in the works and as the summer approaches, we want to compile a list of these events that will be of interest to MennoPIN folks. Are you going to be at convention? Are you aware of any events to be shared with MennoPIN? Please pass these along!
MennoPIN learning resources list: We are happy to share a list of learning resources compiled by our Education Subcommittee. In the attached you will find helpful ideas for further learning. And as a glimpse of some work in progress, work is being done to develop Kairos Palestine study guide for Mennonites. Stay tuned for more information. As always, check out the MennoPIN website for more information on Kairos Palestine, BDS, and more at https://mennopin.org/. Like us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MENNOPIN/504464379657343. And follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/MennoPIN.
MCC service opportunity: Mennonite Central Committee seeks individuals interested in using their leadership and peacebuilding skills for an important opening in Palestine. The MCC Palestine Representative oversees all aspects of MCC’s programs in Palestine and Israel. Responsibilities include program administration, partner relationships, advocacy, worker care and safety assessment. Interested individuals must have a strong commitment to peace, justice and reconciliation and an understanding of issues of life under occupation and war-torn contexts. MCC has worked in Palestine for 60 years and Israel for 40 years with projects focused on relief and development and promoting reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis on a solid foundation of justice. For more information visit http://mcc.org/get-involved/serve/openings/mcc-palestine-representative or contact email@example.com. Resume and letter of interest due by Feb. 28, 2015.
FOSNA opportunity: Friends of Sabeel, North America (FOSNA) is seeking 2 energetic and charismatic people with professional training as a national organizer to serve as FOSNA’s national organizers on a part-time basis. As an organization that represents the voice of Palestinian Christians and their struggles, FOSNA seeks candidates who are willing to engage closely with the various Christian denominations in the U.S. to unite and amplify the support of American Christians to the Palestinian cause. In this role, the National Organizers would become a part of a strong, intergenerational network that has a long history of working for justice in Palestine and Israel. You can find the description at the following link: http://fosna.org/seeking-part-time-national-organizer.
The Role of the U.S. Churches in the BDS Movement: If you are in the Washington, DC area, check out “The Role of the U.S. Churches in the BDS Movement” with Philip Farah and David Wildman, Wednesday, 4 February 2015, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. at The Palestine Center: “Spiritual groups have often been at the frontlines of human rights movements in the U.S. In recent years there have been dramatic positions taken by faith-based groups such as the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church, the United Church of Christ and the U.S. Mennonite Church, to divest from corporations that aid the Israeli occupation and contribute to human rights abuses against Palestinians. This panel looks at the role and significance of the churches in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the origins of this role, their landmark achievements and challenges along the way. Our panelists include Philip Farah of the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace and David Wildman of the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Global Ministries.” Learn more and register for the event at http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/d/EventDetails/i/50110.
Faith Forum on Middle East Policy: The Faith Forum on Middle East Policy is a network of Christian denominations and organizations working for a just peace in the Middle East. They send out action alerts monthly, focusing on different issues so that members of Congress hear consistently that their constituents support a just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel. This month’s action alert calls for elected officials to respect the right of Palestinians to sign international treaties and conventions.
After the defeat in December of a United Nations Security Council resolution on Palestine, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas signed a number of international treaties and conventions, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Israel responded by freezing the transfer of $127.6 million in tax revenues belonging to Palestinians, saying it is “only a first step in response.” The U.S. has expressed opposition to the freeze in funds, while also calling the Palestinian move to join the ICC “counterproductive.” Some in Congress are calling for immediate punitive measures, including Sen. Paul (R-Ky.), who has introduced a bill to stop U.S. aid until the Palestinians withdraw their ICC bid. Rather than punish the Palestinians for moves to sign treaties and conventions, the U.S. should support such nonviolent means of pursuing justice. Learn more and take action at: http://mcc.org/get-involved/advocacy/alert/respect-right-palestinians-sign-treaty.
Finally, we encourage you to keep the people of Palestine-Israel in your thoughts and prayers.
Sabeel Wave of Prayer
January 22, 2015
Last week the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it will launch a preliminary examination into Israel’s possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories, including Israel’s massive military offensive in Gaza last summer where Palestinians suffered heavy civilian casualties—including the death of around 500 children. Lord, we pray that in all investigations truth will be sought, justice will be done, and impunity will end. Lord in your mercy…
Tensions in the Negev in southern Israel have escalated since last week when a man from the Bedouin village of Rahat was killed on the patio of his home during a police raid. Contrary to an agreement, Israeli forces drove into this man’s funeral procession, triggering clashes. Around 20 people from Rahat were injured and one man died from inhaling tear gas. God of mercy, we pray for the end of Israel’s excessive use of force against the Bedouin citizens of Israel and the discrimination and displacement suffered in these indigenous communities. Lord in your mercy…
Eleven cars in the southeast Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa were vandalized last Wednesday in a “price-tag” attack by Jewish extremists who slashed tires and spray-painted anti-Arab graffiti on the hood of one of the cars. Lord, we pray that extremist acts driven by racism in the city and country will be replaced by tolerance, human rights, and justice and peace for all the people of the land. Lord in your mercy…
Lord, we continue to ask for your blessing on our Nazareth and Jerusalem events, including a Study Circle next Tuesday featuring a Skype link-up with author Alain Weaver to discuss his new book Mapping Exile and Return. 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)