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Partnerships

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IPMN shares the 2017 Kairos Palestine Christmas Alert

Let us all work together to spread the message of Palestinian Christians to the world!

This year the Christmas Alert sheds light upon and raises awareness of what Bethlehem has been experiencing since the Balfour Declaration, of partition and military occupation.  It encourages churches around the world to act!

"Everything that happens in our land, everyone who lives there, all the pains and hopes, all the injustice and all the efforts to stop this injustice, are part and parcel of the prayer of the Palestinian Church and the service of all her institutions." (Kairos Palestine)

 

Since the 2009 publication of the Kairos Palestine document, A Moment of Truth, the Israel/Palestine Mission Network has been an active partner in solidarity with Palestinian and global groups who have embraced the call of the document. Each year at Christmas and at Easter, Kairos Palestine publishes an Alert. These Alerts focus on current "facts on the ground" as they are evolving, and each Alert contains meditations and prayers written by members of the Kairos Palestine Movement.

The Christmas Alert features writers who are familiar, long-term partners and friends to IPMN, bringing the call of justice and hope from Palestinian Christians to each one of us.  May their witness serve to revitalize our own advocacy this Advent. During this Advent season, may we carry their truth and their call to our communities and to the wider world.

Katherine Cunningham
Partnerships Chair, IPMN


 

santa on wall
Breaking Down the Wall 
A Resource Guide for Praying, Educating, and Advocacy
Advent 2017
National YWCA of Palestine
 
Click here to read and print.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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fosna logoROSEMARY RADFORD RUETHER CONFERENCE 

FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE IN PALESTINE/ISRAEL

Decker Hall, 665 Avery Rd., Claremont, CA October 7, 2017

 

Co-Sponsors: Friends of SabeelNorth America (FOSNA), Claremont Area FOSNA, Claremont School of Theology, Women’s Studies in Religion Program at Claremont Graduate University 

 

reutherRosemary Radford Ruether has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a scholar, teacher, and activist in the Roman Catholic Church, and is well known as a pioneer in Christian feminist theology and liberation theology, especially in Palestine and Latin America. Among her 46 books are Faith and Fratricide: The Theological Roots of Anti-Semitism (Seabury Press, 1974), The Wrath of Jonah: The Crisis of Religious Nationalism in the Israeli- Palestinian Conflict (Fortress Press, 2002) with husband, Herman (Herc), and Integrating Ecofeminism, Globalization, and World Religions (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005).

 

 

braverman.jpegBeyond Christian-Jewish Dialogue: Palestine and the Ecumenical Challenge to the Church,by Mark Braverman, a Jewish American with family roots in Jerusalem. He serves on the advisory board of Friends of Sabeel North America and as Program Director for Kairos USA, a movement to unify and mobilize American Christians to take a prophetic stance for a just peace in Israel and Palestine.

 

 

 

cannon.jpeg“A Christian Vision for Justice and Peace,by Mae Cannon, executive director of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP). Her doctoral dissertation at the University of CaliforniaDavis focused on the history of the American Protestant church in Israel and Palestine. 

 

 

 

 

 

douglas.jpeg“The Doors She Opened: Introducing Rosemary Radford Ruether,by Jane Dempsey Douglass, Hazel Thompson McCord Professor Emerita of Historical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, and past President of the American Society of Church History and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. Her friendship with Rosemary Ruether began in the first years of her teaching church history at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University Claremont, which overlapped Rosemarys final years of doctoral study at Claremont Graduate University. This led to later collaboration on womens issues.

 

 

 

 

 

wagner.jpegLiberating Theology for a Faithful Path of Resistance in the US and Occupied Palestine,” by Don Wagner, currently a FOSNA Consultant in Theology. He is a past Director for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and professor of Middle Eastern Studies at North Park University in Chicago, IL, and past National Program Director for Friends of SabeelNorth America. While he was the National Director of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign, he worked closely with Rosemary and Herman Ruether.

 

 

ateek“Truth, Courage, and the Prophetic,by Naim Ateek, a Palestinian Arab Israeli citizen and Episcopal priest, who served parishes in Galilee and as Canon of St. Georges Cathedral in Jerusalem. He is and was the first to articulate a Palestinian theology of liberation.

 

 


CONFERENCE REGISTRATION (per person) includes the banquet and admission to all speakers.

 

BEFORE SEPTEMBER 13:

Students: $30.00 || Pilgrim Place Residents: $60.00 || General Public: $80.00
Optional box lunch: add $6.75 || If you wish to attend only the banquet
and Naim Ateek’s presentation: $30.00

REGISTRATION AFTER SEPTEMBER 13: add $5.00
Make checks payable to RUETHER CONFERENCE and mail to:
DarEll Weist, Registrar, 619 Leyden Lane, Claremont, CA 91711
For the program schedule, registration form, and accommodations information, 
go to:

http://2017rosemaryradfordruetherconference.net 

 

STRONG PARTNERSHIPS SUPPORT THE CHURCH IN PALESTINE AND ISRAEL

Presbyterians do Mission in Partnership!  This fundamental tenet of our denomination is particularly important in Palestine, where the people with whom we partner are under great stress, needing the on-going encouragement that comes from knowing that others around the world understand their situation and pray regularly for them.  Staying in relationship can also provide regular, up-to-date information, as events unfold.

Partnerships are not essentially about money but are instead about on-going personal relationships. In fact, money can get in the way of a good relationship, especially if finances become their central dimension.  We seek to “walk with our partners,” to learn from them, encourage them and be guided in our actions by them.

Our denomination has long-standing partnerships with various ecumenical bodies in Palestine: Episcopal, Lutheran, Orthodox and Catholic, as well as the Middle East Council of Churches.  The denomination also has long-term relationships with many church and para-church organizations. In visits and in conversations, we seek to honor and support those partnerships.

Many Presbyterians travel to Israel and Palestine seeking to deepen their spiritual roots.  While there, they often become aware of the conflicts that engulf both Israelis and Palestinians, returning home anxious to learn more, to share what they have learned and influence policies of our church and our nation.  Their ability to do that is strengthened if they learn about our denomination’s deep roots and long-term links with churches and church-based projects in the region, meeting and worshiping with fellow Christians while they are there.  We hope that one of the outcomes of trips will be an on-going relationship with one or more of those entities.  Repeat visits that maintain those contacts can be specially powerful.

Congregational partnerships come in many shapes and sizes, involving individual congregations, Presbyteries, or groupings of several Presbyteries. Some examples:

  • Memorial Presbyterian Church (Midland, MI) has given strong support to the music program at Dar al-Kalima College at the International Center in Bethlehem, including support for a new practice building and a new music computer lab.  They are providing scholarships for two fine arts school students at the College.  Several people from the College have visited their church; they hope to arrange a mission trip to Bethlehem soon.  For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • North Creek Presbyterian Church (Mill Creek, WA) is working with Bethlehem Bible College to help develop an Information Technology infrastructure to confront the pervasive economic hardships, enabling students to work in areas that provide IT employment.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

  • Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church (Lafayette, CA) has visited and given strong support over the years to two organizations in Gaza (Ahli Arab Hospital, and Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children).  They also participate in the Pilgrims of Ibillin, supporting the Mar Elias Educational Institutions, and are faithful supporters of our Regional Liaison, Douglas Dicks.  Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

  • Presbytery of Greater Atlanta’s partnership, through the Presbyterian Hunger Program, is with a consortium of six church and para-church organizations in Palestine: the International Center in Bethlehem, Bethlehem Bible College, Wi’am, the YWCA, Democracy and Workers Rights Center in Ramallah, and the Palestine Working Women’s Society for Development.  For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Mission Co-Workers based in Jerusalem, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Since 1999, Philadelphia Presbytery has had a partnership with the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East.  The Presbytery has initiated many reciprocal visits with church partners in Palestine and Israel as well as in Jordan and Lebanon.  Their members have been active participants in a 9-denomination Ecumenical Working Group for Middle East Peace, hosting conferences and workshops.  For further information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Keep Hope Alive is a Peacemaking program of three San Francisco Bay Area Presbyteries, in partnership with the YMCA of East Jerusalem and the YWCA of Palestine. Each year, two delegations go to the West Bank to help Palestinian families plant olive trees (Feb) and harvest olives (Oct). Without the presence of internationals, armed Israelis settlers seek to prevent the planting and harvesting, thus depriving Palestinians of their primary source of income. To participate in one of these delegations, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In addition to these projects initiated by congregations or Presbyteries, many congregations have on-going links with the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem, facilitated through Friends of Sabeel North America.  This group sponsors regular conferences in the US and in Palestine.

Other churches have links with Mar Elias Educational Institutions, the educational programs established there through the initiative of Archbishop Elias Chacour in Ibillin, Israel. These links are facilitated by the US organization, Pilgrims of Ibillin.

In the discussion above, partner organizations in Palestine and Israel are listed in bold.  A full list of our denomination’s partners in Israel/Palestine and more information about each of these organizations can be found at the PC (U.S.A.) website. For those wishing to make a financial contribution to these organizations, our denomination has special accounts called Extra Commitment Opportunities (ECOs).  For a list of current ECOs relating to Israel and Palestine, click here. For emergency and crisis situations, gifts can be made through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. For denominational guidelines for partnerships, click here. For advice on particular opportunities and approaches to partnering in Israel/Palestine, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

christians 4 PalestineOPEN LETTER

National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine

June 12, 2017

Open letter from The National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine (NCCOP) to the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement

 

Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.  ~ Isaiah 1:17


 

Background

As we meet this month in Bethlehem in occupied Palestine, we are still suffering from 100 years of injustice and oppression that were inflicted on the Palestinian people beginning with the unjust and unlawful Balfour declaration, intensified through the Nakba and the influx of refugees, followed by the Israeli occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza and the fragmentation of our people and our land through policies of isolation and confiscation of land, and the building of Jewish-only settlements and the Apartheid Wall.

We are still suffering because of one political declaration from a Western Empire, based on a twisted theological premise. Even some churches and few Christian leaders supported the establishment of the colonial state in our land, and totally ignored even dehumanized the nation, our people that had already existed here for centuries and paid the price for atrocities committed in Europe.

Hundred years later with thousands of lives lost, towns and villages razed from the face of the earth though not our memory , millions of refugees, thousands of homes demolished and continued incarceration of prisoners, our Nakba goes on.

Hundred years later and there is still no justice in our land! Discrimination and inequality, military occupation and systematic oppression are the rule. Today, we stand in front of an impasse and we have reached a deadlock. Despite all the promises, endless summits, UN resolutions, religious and lay leader’s callings – Palestinians are still yearning for their freedom and independence, and seeking justice and equality. Humanly speaking we have reached the “moment of impossible”, as Emeritus Latin Patriarch Sabbah said recently.

Could it be that we have reached this “impossible moment” because things were built from the very beginning a hundred years ago on an unjust premise? Should we expect that such an unjust declaration will create anything but strife and destruction?

Today is also an opportunity to remember the Amman Call which was proclaimed ten years ago. We are thankful to those who stood with us back then in costly solidarity; those who stood for truth and justice. We are also concerned that ten years later the situation has been worsening on on the ground and still deteriorating. Like other initiatives advocating end of occupation, the Amman Call did not achieve its goals in building and achieving just peace and we must ask ourselves today why?

We are also concerned by Israel’s systemic assault on Palestinian creative resistance, and on our partners worldwide who use this method to pressure Israel to end the occupation. Many new laws were issued in Israel and around the world to oppose this creative non-violent resistance unlawfully, and to stop all effort towards peace. Not only is this an attack on the freedom of conscience and speech but it is also an assault on our right and duty to resist evil with good. Israel is even now trying to prevent pilgrims from visiting Bethlehem the city of Emmanuel!

While we are grateful for the ‘costly solidarity’ articulated in the Amman Call and exercised by many churches around the world, we are concerned that some churches have weakened their positions in the last ten years as a result of this manipulating pressure. Many still hide behind the cover of political neutrality, not wishing to offend their religious dialogue partners.

Finally, we meet in an environment of religious wars and persecution in our region. Religious extremism is on the rise, and religious minorities have paid a heavy and painful price. We thank you for your efforts towards the refugees and towards ending the conflicts in our region. We also thank you for your support of persecuted Christians in places like Iraq and Syria.

Our Call

God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness (Justice), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me”. (Matthew 5:10-11)

As we stand in front of this “impossible moment”, it gives us no pleasure to say that “we told you so” eight years ago when we declared the moment as a Kairos moment! We stand facing the impossible, but we have not lost hope, since as followers of the Risen One, we are the people of hope. However, we need you and we need you now more than ever. We need your costly solidarity. We need brave women and men who are willing to stand in the forefront. This is no time for shallow diplomacy Christians. We urge you to hear our call and adopt the following:

  1. That you call things as they are: recognize Israel as an apartheid state in terms of international law and in agreement of what a person like Desmond Tutu said and as the UN ESCWA report said: “Israel is guilty of imposing an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people”. We are disturbed by the fact that States and churches are dealing with Israel as if the situation were normal, ignoring the reality of occupation, discrimination and daily death in the land. Just as churches united to end apartheid in South Africa and whereby the WCC played a courageous and pivotal prophetic and leadership role, we expect you to do the same!

  2. That you unequivocally condemn the Balfour Declaration as unjust, and that you demand from the UK that it asks forgiveness from the Palestinian people and compensates for the losses. We ask that churches and Christians to support the Palestinians in their request for justice. It was his infamous declaration, after all that laid the ground for the concept of an ethno-religious state the very same thing our region is suffering today.

  3. That you take a clear and the strongest theological stand against any theology or Christian group that justifies the occupation and privileges one nation over the other based on ethnicity or a covenant. We ask that you adopt and live the theology suggested by Kairos Palestine and that you organize conferences to bring awareness towards this end.

  4. That you take a stand against religious extremism and against any attempt to create a religious state in our land or region. We ask that you support us in combating the foundations of extremism and that you seek our council when acting against religious extremism so that you do not jeopardize and harm our standing here.

  5. That you revisit and challenge your religious dialogue partners, and that you are willing to even withdraw from the partnership if needed if the occupation and injustices in Palestine and Israel are not challenged.

  6. That you lead campaigns for church leaders and pilgrims to visit Bethlehem and other Palestinian cities on this side of the wall in cooperation with Palestinian tourist and pilgrimage agencies, in response to recent attempts by Israel. We ask that you publicly challenge any attempt by Israel or other Christians that discourage pilgrims from visiting Palestinian places.

  7. That you defend our right and duty to resist the occupation creatively and nonviolently. We ask that you speak in support of economic measures that pressure Israel to stop the occupation and go further to support sport, cultural and academic measures against Israel until it complies with international law and UN resolutions urging the ending of its occupation, Apartheid and discriminations, and accepts refugees to return to their home land and properties. This is our last peaceful resort. In response to Israel’s war on BDS, we ask that you intensify that measure.

  1. That you create lobby groups in defense of Palestinian Christians. We ask that you publicly and legally challenge Christian organizations that discredit our work and legitimacy.

  2. We therefore propose as a matter of the greatest urgency that you create a strategic program within WCC similar to the Program “To Combat Racism” to lead efforts to lobby, advocate and develop active programs towards justice and peace in Palestine and Israel and work on maintaining the presence of the Palestinian Christians through supporting their organizations, church work and peaceful efforts.

As faithful witnesses, we acknowledge, affirm and continue the long standing prophetic tradition, especially the one started by the Amman Call and articulated in the Kairos Palestine document. We fully grasp the pressure church leaders are facing here and abroad not to speak the truth, and it is because of this that we are raising this call.

Things are beyond urgent. We are on the verge of a catastrophic collapse. The current status-quo is unsustainable. This could be our last chance to achieve a just peace. As a Palestinian Christian community, this could be our last opportunity to save the Christian presence in this land. Our only hope as Christians comes from the fact that in Jerusalem, the city of God, and our city, there is an empty tomb, and Jesus Christ who triumphed over death and sin, brought to us and to all humanity, new life.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Cor. 4:8-9)

***

Jerusalem

 Arab Catholic Scouts Group

 Arab Orthodox Society, Jerusalem

 Caritas, Jerusalem

 Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees- Middle East Council of Churches

 Greek Catholic Sayedat AlBishara Association

 International Christian Committee

 Laity Committee in the Holy Land

 National Christian Association

 Pontifical Mission Palestine

 SABEEL – Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center

 Seeds of Better life

 Union of Arab Orthodox Club, Jerusalem

 Young Men’s Christian Association –YMCA

 Young Women’s Christian Association –YWCA

Gaza

NECC office

Bethlehem (NCOB) Network of Christian Organizations in Bethlehem

 The East Jerusalem YMCA /Beit Sahour Branch

 The Arab Educational Institute

 Holy Land Trust, Bethlehem

 Wi’am Center, Bethlehem

 Saint Afram Assyrian Society

 Holy Land Christians Ecumenical Foundation, Bethlehem

 Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI)

 Arab Orthodox Club, Beit Sahour

 Arab Orthodox Club, Beit Jala

 Arab Orthodox Club, Bethlehem

 The Arab Orthodox Charitable Society, Beit Sahour

 Bethlehem Bible College

 Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies

 Alternative Tourism Group, ATG, Beit Sahour

 Senior Citizen Charitable Society

 Environmental educational Center, Beit Jala

 Saint Vincent Charitable Society, Beit Jala

 Shepherds' Children Society, Beit Sahour

KAIROS PALESTINE

 

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