Prayers for Israel & Palestine: Luke 24:36b-48
We come before your presence today to express our gratitude for allowing us to serve you in the Land where you decided to become human. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to be witnesses of your love in a Land that is called holy but is often full of tensions, difficulties, injustices and wars. We celebrate the ministry you have given us; to be representatives of peace, reconciliation and hope, in a society characterized by conflicts, hatred, and despair.
We want to remember in this prayer our brothers and sisters in Bethlehem, where the good news of salvation were heard for the very first time in the voices of the angels. We would like to pray for peace and justice for the loving people in the Holy Land that struggle every day to affirm and celebrate the values of forgiveness and reconciliation. We present our lives, and also the lives of our colleagues in Dar al-Kalima College, because we want to be instruments of your peace.
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we pray… Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Israel & Palestine:
When Pastor Mitri Raheb asked Nohemi Pagán to help in the organization of "the Jesus' Birthday" program in Bethlehem, she was not aware of the challenges and blessings this opportunity would provide. She thought it was a matter of preparing some devotions and buying presents for around 100 children… But she was surprised by the grace of God!
After calling her students at the Dar al-Kalima College to help, Nohemi soon realized that the community was responding well to the invitation. The day of the program they were pleased to welcome over 500 children that enjoyed not only the gifts, but also a transforming program.
The importance of the event was not related to just the number of children that responded to the invitation. Nor the major achievement was that the majority of the families present were Muslims! Neither that the program was an extraordinary drama presented by the Diyar Consortium Drama Company! The heart of the success was that we affirmed the values of forgiveness and reconciliation in the midst of a society of full of hatred, injustices and despair. The most important part of the program was the affirmation of peace which is based on justice.
The children and Nohemi left the Church premises that afternoon with a sense of hope! They celebrated the birth of the Prince of Peace!
(Prayer and Mission moment by Dr. Samuel Pagán)
Video Resources for Israel & Palestine:
- Krista Johnson: http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/video-mission-moments/israelpalestine-young.html
- Eric Fistler: http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/video-mission-moments/israelpalestine-struggles.html
Global Ministries International Partners in Israel & Palestine:
- Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches was set up in the early 1950s to help Palestinian refugees with their newly acquired status following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The Department set up branches in five different regions: Gaza, Jerusalemand West Bank, Galileein Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon, with the clear mandate of working with the refugees, the poor, and the dispossessed. http://www.mec-churches.org/main_eng.htm
- Ecumenical Accompaniment Program 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 localcommunities 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). http://www.eappi.org/
- The EvangelicalLutheranChurchin Jordanand the Holy Land, the ChristmasChurchin Bethlehem, and the Diyar Consortium: The Diyar Consortium is a Lutheran Based, ecumenical oriented institutions serving the Palestinian community «from womb to tomb». Their main emphasis is on children, youth and the elderly, through transforming, contextual and holistic programs. Their initiatives are inspired in the Biblical message: «That they might have life and have it abundantly». In a context of too much politics, the EvangelicalLutheranChurchin Jordanand the Holy Land (ELCJHL), the EvangelicalLutheranChristmasChurchin Bethlehem (CCB) and Diyar Consortium believe in caring for the city and its citizens… In a context of exclusive forms of religion, ELCJHL, CCB and Diyar believe in investing in ecumenism, inclusion, dialogue, respect… In a context of too much disempowering aid, ELCJHL, CCB and Diyar believe in empowering the individual and the community, in the name of Jesus Christ… In a context of too much segregation, ELCJHL, CCB and Diyar believe in building bridges and platforms for international, intercultural and interreligious encounters, dialogue and mutual respect… In a context of despair, ELCJHL, CCB and Diyar believe in creating rooms for hope, forgiveness, reconciliation, justice, and peace… www.elcjhl.org and www.annadwa.org
- Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza of the Episcopal Diocese in Jerusalem was established in 1882 by the Church Mission Society and is located in the Gaza Strip area of Palestine. It became a service ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem in 1982, and continues to provide important medical and surgical care to all people of the Gaza Strip. Over 60 percent of the Strip’s residents live in refugee camps, and a significant portion of the hospital’s care is charitable as they serve a community of exceptionally poor citizens. Al-Ahli has also responded to the needs of the victims of crises, including providing medical treatment to those involved in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. http://www.j-diocese.org/
- SabeelEcumenicalLiberationTheologyCenter(Jerusalem) is an ecumenical grassroots liberation movement among Palestinian Christians. It's an ecumenical center for Palestinian Liberation Theology which seeks to make the Gospel contextually relevant. In Arabic Sabeel means “the way” and also a “spring of water.” Sabeel strives to develop a spirituality based on justice, peace, nonviolence, liberation and reconciliation for the different national and faith communities. Sabeel also works to promote a more accurate international awareness regarding the identity, presence, and witness of Palestinian Christians. The Center is located in Jerusalem, with programs taking place in different locations and participants coming from Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah, and other places in the West Bankand Israel. http://www.sabeel.org/
- The East Jerusalem YMCA was established in 1949 in a tent at Aqabat Jaber Refugee Camp, near Jericho and operates with all sectors of our Palestinian Society without discrimination. The East Jerusalem YMCA operates a variety of programs and functions related directly to the needs of Palestinian society in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, Beit Sahour, Gaza, Nablus, Hebron, Jenin, and Tulkarem. http://www.ej-ymca.org/site/
- The YWCA of Palestine is an ecumenical grassroots movement serving women of all faiths. The main aims are to promote women's full and equal participation at all levels of society through leadership opportunities and training; to work for social and economic justice through development and advocacy programs; and to mobilize women's collective power for action on issues of vital concern: women's rights, justice, equality, freedom, the dignity of human beings and integrity of their environment. Programs include vocational training programs; training courses in Computer skills, hairdressing and language; children and youth activities such as summer camps; social and cultural activities; income generating projects; and advocacy work in areas such as human rights. The YWCA headquarters are in Jerusalem. There are three localassociations in Jerusalem, Jerichoand Ramallah, and three centers in refugee camps: Aqabat Jabr, Jalazone and Kalandia. http://www.ywca-palestine.org/
- Rawdat el-Zuhur (Arabic for "Gardenof Flowers") is a primary school for Palestinian children in East Jerusalem. Established in 1952, it aims at bringing up a new generation that is aware of the principles of good citizenship, and concerned for the environment; capable of thinking creatively, and analyzing logically and critically, offering and accepting positive criticism, and excelling in performance; and equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to assume leadership in a democratic society which they would develop and preserve. It serves mainly the lower income community. Students at Rawdat el-Zuhur can be supported through the Common Global Ministries Board’s Child Sponsorship Program. http://www.rawdat.org/
For more info on Israel & Palestine: http://globalministries.org/mee/countries/israel-palestine/