Lectionary Selection: Luke 13: 10-17
Prayers for Israel/Palestine:
The Palestine/Israel peace talks resume, and all around the region there is both upheaval and yearning for order, reason, and eventual reconciliation. We pray for calm and good will to prevail, and for God’s spirit of counsel to guide leaders and those in authority onto the path toward peace.
We pray for support as we seek to live out our overriding commitment to the principle of “presence” by being an authentic witness to the love and the grace of our God.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Israel/Palestine:
It has been a little over a year since we arrived in this land and the depth of our experience here in daily detail goes beyond our appointed tasks: it is the shared presence and relationships that matter most.
The past year has been filled with learning, adjusting, renewing friendships and new relation-building and networking, as well as accomplishing.
My assignment as regional consultant to the Religion and State Program of the Diyar Consortium has kept me amply busy with the preparation and execution of a number of significant region-wide consultations, conferences and leadership training workshops that have addressed critical issues exacerbated by the so-called “Arab Spring.” The central questions for these ongoing events (encompassing 4 countries) are: “How much religion should be interposed in the affairs of the state, and how much state should interfere with religion?” and, “How to formulate and crystallize a shared vision for a new future for the Arab Middle East whereby full citizenship for everyone would be assured, human dignity could be preserved, and a decent quality of life could be accorded to all?” The methodology adopted examines different models where different states have dealt with these questions and have found a healthy and meaningful symbiosis between religion and state, and then come up with an authentic Middle Eastern vision for the future of this region.
Daily life of the people here is full of challenges, possibilities, hopes, worries, disappointments and fears. One can read these emotions on their faces in the crowded marketplace; in their drawn looks; in street demonstrations; in the way many defy rules and authority; and in the way many seem burdened and bent down. But life is also full of joys and potentialities. You can see it in their bright eyes; in their laughter and cheerful smiles; in children’s innocent play; and among youth, in their defiant confidence in a better future.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Victor Makari)
Mission Partners in Israel/Palestine:
- Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem
- Diyar Consortium
- East Jerusalem YMCA (Palestine)
- Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel
- Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
- Friends Meeting in Ramallah
- Rawdat el-Zuhur (Palestine)
- Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center (Jerusalem)
- Tantur Ecumenical Institute
- YWCA of Palestine (Palestine)
Video Resources about Israel/Palestine: ISRAEL/PALESTINE: Struggles of the Middle East (Eric Fistler, Global Ministries missionary)
More information on Israel/Palestine: http://globalministries.org/mee/countries/israel-palestine/
Global Ministries Missionary in Israel/Palestine:
Victor Makari serves as Regional Consultant for the Religion and State in the Middle East Program. Victor and Sara Makari serve with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with the Diyar Consortium of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. Sara serves as editor of publications of Diyar.