Available for download on this page is an Advent bulletin cover and possible (sample) worship service provided by the Education Committee of IPMN. Also available here is just the picture from the cover of the bulletin showing the Holy family outside the Separation Wall surrounding Bethlehem. The title is "Access Denied: Under Military Occupation." It lends itself to analogies between the Roman occupation 2000 years ago and the Israeli occupation today, supported by the U.S. and others.
IPMN has the permission of the Palestinian artist, Zaki Baboun of Bethlehem, to make this painting available for use in churches in the U.S.
When using this bulletin cover we suggest that the worship include the singing of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and that the description of Bethlehem Today be included somewhere in the bulletin. (See the box at the end of the sample worship service.) We also provide two new verses set to the tune of this favorite Carol that bring the today’s Bethlehem to life.
We encourage you to share this with your minister or your Worship Committee as we move into the Advent Season. This is an important opportunity to give folks a chance to be made aware that the situation in Bethlehem is not the way we think or sing about it in our Christmas narratives.
We would appreciate your feedback on your use of the worship service and bulletin cover as well as congregation reaction.
Peace, Carol Hylkema
O little town of Bethlehem how sad we are today.
The silent night we sing about seems very far away.
Although the Christmas angels brought tidings to this place,
We see the wall, we feel the pain of those within this place.
O Holy One of all our faiths, Christian, Muslim, Jew,
Show us the peace you plan for us so we may all praise you,
And share your holy city, to all so dear and fair,
Stop violence by human hands, join hearts and hands in prayer.