Greetings! Here is another update from the steering committee:
Mennonite Church USA resolution
Since the last update, this resolution was submitted to the resolutions committee who then sent it on to the Constituency Leaders Council (CLC), for discussion at their meeting last week. We were happy to hear that the CLC recommended the resolution to the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board. Now we wait to hear for the outcome from the Executive Board meeting in early April.
In the meantime the full resolution packet is up on the MennoPIN website here: https://mennopin.org/resolution/. There you can also read about some of the anticipated reasons for supporting and objecting to this church statement as well as a brief history of Mennonite involvement in Palestine-Israel. There is also a link to resources for further learning as well as the list of MennoPIN suggested materials for your congregation.
In the coming weeks, as we get closer to the Kansas City convention, we will compile a list highlighting events and activities that will be of interest to folks attending the convention. Stay tuned!
Lenten reflections from Kairos USA
This Lenten issue features a powerful reflection on the meaning of Kairos in our modern world: http://kairosusa.org/a-litany-for-holy-week-troubling-days-in-jerusalem/. Also check out this heart-grabbing litany, specifically for Holy Week: http://kairosusa.org/a-lenten-reflection-my-kingdom-is-not-from-this-world/. And read this testimony about one person’s journey in support of Palestinian rights, tying his witness to his commitment to human rights here at home in the U.S.: http://kairosusa.org/walking-where-jesus-walked-led-to-the-proctor-conference/.
Pro-Israeli, Pro-Palestinian, Pro-Jesus
Former MCCer Ryan Rodrick Beiler has written a great piece lifting up the voices of Palestinian Christians like Rev. Alex Awad. Ryan writes: “Stun grenades and tear gas bombs exploded in the street outside of Bethlehem Bible College, forcing Rev. Alex Awad to end his class early. Down the block, youth threw stones at the Israeli separation wall that cuts deep into Bethlehem. Frequent clashes had erupted in the months since the Israeli offensive known as Operation Protective Edge killed more than 2,200 Palestinians in Gaza, most of them civilians. During that operation, 66 Israeli soldiers and seven civilians were killed by Gaza militants. In the months that followed, Jerusalem became the focal point of further violence. ‘Many people ask, what are signs of hope?’ says Awad. While the facts on the ground get worse, he names one encouraging trend: ‘Many evangelicals are moving from the Israeli side into what I think is the peace and justice side.’” Read more at http://sojo.net/magazine/2015/03/pro-israeli-pro-palestinian-pro-jesus. Also read Ryan’s piece “To evangelicals, Zionism an increasingly tough sell” at http://electronicintifada.net/content/evangelicals-zionism-increasingly-tough-sell/14357.
MCC Palestine: “There is no victory in war.” Mariam Zakout, Khan Younis, Gaza Strip
In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8 and March as U.S. Women’s History Month, MCC Palestine presents several stories of women involved in the search for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel. We highlight these stories not because women peacemakers are an exception to the rule, but because these are exceptional women committed to bettering their communities through nonviolence, in spite of systems of patriarchy and occupation. Whether consciously or subconsciously, these women have taken on oppressive systems of power, remained engaged despite obstacles, and continue to believe in a better future for their people. Read more: https://mccpalestine.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/there-is-no-victory-in-war-mariam-zakout-khan-younis-gaza-strip/.
A new item we will begin to share are regular prayer requests that you can use in your congregations. We will format them so you can include them as church bulletin inserts: https://mennopin.org/category/prayer-requests/. We also encourage you to continue to pray alongside Palestinians using prayers like those shared by Sabeel: http://www.sabeel.org/waveofprayer.php.
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. We welcome your feedback. Work continues as we develop a Kairos Palestine study guide for Mennonites. 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/mennopin. And follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/mennopin.
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)