The World Council of Churches (WCC) is calling on Christians worldwide to join in prayer for just peace in the Holy Land by taking part in a Pentecost prayer service.
Tied directly to the churches’ celebrations of Pentecost, the service, entitled “Come, Spirit of Peace: A Global Day of Prayer for Just Peace in the Holy Land,” is meant to invoke the Holy Spirit to inspire further engagement by Christians everywhere in the quest for peace and justice in the conflictive arena of Israel and Palestine.
Arranged at the invitation of heads of churches in the Jerusalem area, the service will take place the day after Pentecost (Monday, 5 June 2017) at 11:00 a.m., Jerusalem time, in Jerusalem’s Upper Room (Cenacle) on Mount Zion. It will be followed by a session at the Dormition Abbey, where participants can share the various initiatives they are undertaking to build peace in the Holy Land.
Churches everywhere are invited to participate in the Jerusalem gathering on site or via the planned livestream of the service. Churches can also organize their own service on that day or the day before. An order for common prayer has been prepared and is available in a variety of languages for use in local churches (see link below).
Said WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, “We are calling on Christians everwhere to share in our witness to unity and to use this moment as a focus for prayers for peace in the Holy Land. Our vision is to make this moment of prayer truly participatory.”
Along with the regional leaders and local congregants, eight young ecumenists from various confessions and regions have also been invited to participate in the service, capping their several-day stay in Jerusalem visiting the pilgrimage sites there.
Participants around the globe will also be able to add their own prayers online to mark their solidarity with the event.
In his message to WCC member churches, Tveit placed the effort in context: “To pray for unity is our calling as an ecumenical family. To pray for peace in the Holy Land and particularly in Jerusalem at this time, is an affirmation of our commitment to the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace and our long history of engagement for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel through supporting the member churches in the region in their witness and ministry, encouraging member churches around the world to act in prayer and solidarity for peace with justice in Palestine and Israel, accompanying people suffering under occupation, and advocating in the United Nations for an end to the occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and for a just peace in the region.”
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