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Partnerships

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..

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