Dear MennoPIN Friends,
Greetings! We are following up on our last update regarding Rev. Alex Awad and his availability to speak at annual conference meetings. Many of you know Rev. Awad. He is a Baptist minister and a significant evangelical Palestinian leader who has a long-standing and close relationship with Mennonites. He served as a headmaster at Hope Mennonite School near Bethlehem in the 1980s. When Bethlehem Bible College was founded with strong support from Mennonites, he became a professor and dean of students there. For years, Bethlehem Bible College has been a close partner of both Mennonite Central Committee and Mennonite Mission Network.
Over the next year, Rev. Awad has agreed to help us do the work that we committed ourselves to last summer in Kansas City (see “A statement of Support for our Palestinian and Israeli Partners in Peacemaking” in English and Spanish). He will be available to lead workshops, speak at area conference assemblies and be available for other kinds of conversation. This is where we need to act. Do you know if your area conference is taking advantage of this opportunity? Have you asked your pastor or area conference moderator to invite Rev. Awad to your annual meeting? (For a list of MCUSA area conferences visit here.)
In the steering committee, we see this as a great opportunity not only to learn more about the situation in Palestine-Israel, but to discern together ways to demonstrate accountability to our Palestinian and Israeli brothers and sisters. In particular, we hope that Rev. Awad’s presence at area conferences over the next year will help move Mennonite Church USA to support the original resolution presented in Kansas City (read in English and Spanish) and heed the Kairos call to support Palestinian and Israeli efforts at nonviolent resistance, in particular through boycotts and divestment.
Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network
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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)