Greetings! Here is another update from the steering committee:
Mennonite Church USA resolution:
As many of you already know, the Palestine-Israel resolution was affirmed by the Constituency Leaders Council, approved by the Executive Board, and will be presented to the Delegate Body at this summer’s convention in Kansas City! Many thanks to all of the folks involved in the drafting and dialogue around this resolution!
We continue to encourage all of you to be in conversation with your congregation’s delegates to Kansas City, providing them with whatever resources they might find helpful for their preparation. We hope to make available a brief list of frequently asked questions that we hope will be useful as you discuss with your delegates. In the meantime, remember that 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.
As the Kansas City convention approaches, we want to compile a list highlighting events and activities that will be of interest to folks attending the convention. In order to do this, we want to hear from you all. Who is going to Kansas City? What would be most helpful as you prepare? Please email us back at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In preparation for the Kansas City convention, we are organizing a MennoPIN booth. In addition to providing resources related to the resolution, we also want to provide more general information about Palestine-Israel and MennoPIN, something like a MennoPIN brochure. But as we prepare, we are realizing that we do not have any visual brand or logo for our network! That’s where we need your help. So calling all artists and graphic designers, we are asking for your submissions for a MennoPIN logo. For inspiration check out our website, especially our ‘about’ pages: https://mennopin.org/about/.
We want to highlight a couple of reflections on Palestine-Israel that have appeared in recent issues of the Mennonite World Review. Check out articles by Andre Gingerich Stoner (http://mennoworld.org/2015/04/13/columns/a-moment-of-truth/) and Tom Harder (http://mennoworld.org/2015/04/27/latest-issue/being-pro-jesus-on-israel-palestine/).
Also we recently learned that documentaries on Palestine-Israel produced by Mennonite Central Committee have been posted on their YouTube channel. Check out the videos “Children of the Nakba” (https://youtu.be/bVtmA5zCnfI) and “The Dividing Wall” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX7-w_gXYHM)!
“Without peace, you cannot live.” Shatha Al Azzeh, Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem
MCC Palestine continues to share stories of women involved in the search for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel. They recently highlighted the story of Shatha Al Azzeh, a young woman who runs the Lajee Center Environment Unit in Aida Refugee Camp. As part of her work Shatha conducts water consumption and safety trainings and carries out tests for bacteria and other contaminants in Aida Camp’s water sources. Water is “not just a local problem,” she emphasizes. “It’s a political issue.” During the hot Palestinian summers, access to clean water is severely limited, and not just for residents of refugee camps. Israel controls access to Palestine’s aquifers, redirecting almost 90 percent to Israeli West Bank settlements and towns inside Israel; Israeli water companies sell the remaining 10 percent back to Palestinian residents. Read more at https://mccpalestine.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/without-peace-you-cannot-live-shatha-al-azzeh-aida-refugee-camp-bethlehem/.
You can also keep up to date by checking in with these Mennonite-related websites:
Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)
MCC Palestine Update
Mennonite Church USA (MCUSA)
MCUSA Peace and Justice Support Network
Mennonite Palestine Israel Network
Again, please do let us know what your plans are for Kansas City and submit your MennoPIN logo ideas to email@example.com!
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)