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Peace Not Walls

WHAT CAN WE DO?

This year, International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People coincides with the 1st Sunday of Advent on the Christian Calendar. In response, Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA )in solidarity with Palestinian Christians, and in partnership with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is inviting churches to "Preach Palestine" by incorporating Palestine in elements of worship on November 29. Can you help us achieve our goal of 100 congregations taking part? You can:

  • Endorse Keep Awake and share it through your organizational lists and networks. See sample announcement below.
  • Contribute worship resources making connections to the lectionary, to Bethlehem today and Advent, to the International Day of Solidarity with Palestine, or to indigenous sovereignty intersections, given it is the first Sunday after Thanksgiving. There is a great need for prayers and litanies. Send worship resources to advocacy@fosna.org by October 3rd.
  • Join the Digital launch party - Thursday October 8 at 6pm MDT. Fill out the participation form to get the zoom info. 
  • Sign up to attend the digital launch party or to receive resources: https://www.123formbuilder.com/form-5642369/

Learn more about FOSNA: https://www.fosna.org

MORE

Webinar series from the Lutheran World Federation, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
Saturdays, April 25-May 30, 10 am MDT - Join current webinar/watch past webinars!
  • April 25: Augusta Victoria Hospital and Lutheran World Federation on Healthcare challenges in light of COVID-19 Wach here
  • May 2: ELCJHL Bishop Azar and Pastors Munther and Ashraf, on the impact of the pandemic on the church and the wider community Watch here
  • May 9: Lutheran schools, impact and response Watch here
  • May 16: Lutheran mission personnel - Pastors Carrie Ballenger (Jerusalem) and Gabi and Meghan Aelabouni (YAGM Country Coordinators) on what they are experiencing in Jerusalem and West Bank Watch here 
  • May 23: Pastors in Amman, Jordan and Jerusalem on the impact of the pandemic for their congregations Watch here
  • May 30: Pastor Mitri Raheb, Executive Director of the DIyar Consortium, on the impact on the church, educational institutions, and the wider community Watch here
ELCA Churchwide Assembly Passes Actions Related to Israel and Palestine, 2019

Four actions related to Palestine and Israel, including the one we passed at our RMS assembly in May, "No Way to Treat a Child" (see below). Time now to write to our elected officials, especially Members of Congress, where they have an opportunity to co-sponsor Rep. Betty McCollum's bill, H.R. 2407, "Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act." (see "Take Action" below)

2019 Memorial to ELCA Churchwide Assembly - No Way to Treat a Child
Protecting the Human Rights of Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation - Each year Israel arrests and prosecutes around 700 Palestinian children. The No Way to Treat a Child campaign seeks to challenge and end Israel’s prolonged military occupation of Palestinians by exposing  the widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian children. Since 1967, Israel has operated two separate legal systems in the same territory. In the occupied West Bank, Israeli settlers are subject to the civilian and criminal legal system whereas Palestinians live under military law.
Learn more:

Take action:

Painting on the graffiti wall - 2019 RMS Assembly 

Thomas Mass Liturgy
The Thomas Mass is a Lutheran worship liturgy designed for contemplation, prayer, and questioning. It is named for the Apostle Thomas because of his questions in faith. The bulk of this service is an Open Phase during which worshippers are invited to participate in different worship stations as they feel compelled. This particular Thomas Mass has been developed by the Rocky Mountain Synod’s Peace Not Walls committee.  The service may be adapted for use throughout the year in various worship settings.

Direct Support to Palestinian Lutheran Ministries
Opportunity Palestine - supporting Lutheran schools in Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour and Ramallah: http://opportunitypalestine.org.
Bright Stars of Bethlehem - supporting ministries of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem - K-12 school and after school programs, elder care programs, Dar Al-Kalima University College and more: http://brightstarsbethlehem.org 
Two 2016 Churchwide Assembly Actions
  • Peace with Justice in the Holy Land: Urging the US to make our foreign aid to Israel contingent on Israel's cessation of settlement construction in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem 
  • Justice for the Holy Land through Responsible Investment: Asking for development of an ELCA human rights social criteria investment screen, specifically addressing Israel and Palestine

Read a FACT SHEET about the two memorials.

WHAT IS PEACE NOT WALLS?
In the Rocky Mountain Synod, we participate in a special ELCA campaign working for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel, through
  • Accompaniment
  • Advocacy
  • Awareness-raising

Peace Not Walls connects us with our Palestinian Lutheran companions—promoting dignity, full respect for human rights, healing and reconciiation. With our companions in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), we also accompany Palestinians and Israelis, Jews, Christians and Muslims working together for peace with justice. Learn more about the ELCA campaign.

Some other ways you and your congregation can be involved:

Take Action

Churchwide Assembly Memorials

Some resources and links for your congregation to study the issues and implement the resolutions. Members of the PNW working group (listed below) are available to help you plan.

Travel

  • Although this is the best way to learn meet Palestinian Christians and learn more, travel is, of course, not possible now during the pandemic.
  • Contact Jan Miller for suggested trips or to create one for your congregation

News Sources

RMS Peace Not Walls working group