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EAPPI September Newsletter

November 16, 2005

EAPPI September Newsletter

World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)
September Newsletter
Vol. 1, Num. 7

A theological reflection on accompaniment

The World Council of Churches Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) hosted a ‘Theological Reflection on Accompaniment’ from 28th – 30th September in Geneva. The meeting brought together over 30 past ‘Ecumenical Accompaniers’ (EAs), partners from the region, EAPPI staff and national coordinators and staff from across the WCC.

The EAPPI has now been running for three years, and over 200 participants have been involved during that time. The experience has proven to be a deeply spiritual one for accompaniers and accompanied alike.

The aim of the reflection, therefore, was to take stock, look back on the theological/spiritual insights gained so far, and to give a clear vision of accompaniment and its rooting in the ecumenical movement for all those involved in the programme. The reflection also aimed to share the experience of accompaniment and its theological impact throughout the whole of WCC.

The second day of the conference was opened by Bishop Munib Younan, who praised those who had taken the call from the Churches in Jerusalem to ‘come and be with us’. Accompaniment makes us a ‘living church’, he said. He also stated that we must not lose sight of why we accompany each other – to work together for justice. He spoke about the fact that for Palestinian Christians, seeing Christians come from around the world makes them feel that they are part of the Church of God. It also brings a different impression of western Christianity to the Muslim communities the programme works with.
The meeting brought together accompaniers from Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and the UK. During the meeting, from we heard testimonies of those who have served as accompaniers and EAPPI partners – the ‘accompanied’. We were pleased to have with us: Rima Tarazi (the General Union of Palestinian Women and EAPPI Local Reference Group) Nidal Abu-Zuluf (East Jerusalem YMCA and Network of Christian Organisations in Bethlehem) Angela Godfrey (Israeli Coalition Against House Demolitions) and Sharif Omar Khaled (Land Defence Committee in Jayyous). The reports and recommendations made by the group will be collated and submitted to the WCC.

New Group of Ecumenical Accompaniers Arrives in Palestine-Israel

The fourteenth group of Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) have arrived in town! Group 14 includes accompaniers from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the UK and Germany and they will be placed in seven areas across the West Bank, including Jerusalem.
As we said goodbye to the previous group, the teams took part in a handover ceremony, hosted by members of the EAPPI pastoral care team at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem. This provided an opportunity for a symbolic handing over of the activities in each placement, as well as a few words of encouragement from outgoing EAs to incoming EAs.

For more information on the new group and where they are placed, please go to: http://www.eappi.org/eappi.nsf  (CTRL and click to follow link)
International Day of Prayer for Peace
A commemoration for the UN International Day of Peace was held in Bethlehem on September 18th. Local Programme Coordinator, Hermina Damons, spoke about her experiences as a South African.

For the full speech, please go to: http://www.eappi.org/eappiweb.nsf/list/news-en.html
Articles this month
The following articles from our thirteenth group of EAs can be found on our website:
  • Bereavement, Carolyn Schneider (USA)
  • My first day in Hebron, Afiefah Osman (South Africa)
  • The feeling of uselessness is gone, Johannes Noord (Sweden)
  • The Imprisoned Children of H2, Heidi Kumpulainen (Finland) and Silje Kristiansen (Norway)
To view, please visit our website: http://www.eappi.org/eappi.nsf
News this month
School Girls in Checkpoint Protest
Pupils and teachers of the Cordoba school stage impromtu demonstration outside a new ‘high-tech’ checkpoint which has recently been installed.

To view in full, go to: http://www.eappi.org/eappiweb.nsf/list/news-en.html 

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) supports Palestinians and Israelis working for peace by monitoring and reporting violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, offering protection by accompanying local communities in daily activities, and by advocating with churches for a peaceful end to the Occupation. The programme, which began in 2002, is coordinated by the World Council of Churches (WCC). The WCC is a fellowship of 347 churches, in more than 100 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian traditions. Its office is in Geneva, Switzerland.


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