Lectionary Text and Prayers for Israel & Palestine: John 20:1-18
God who was in Christ, as we meditate on the cross, passion and resurrection of Jesus, asking that "thy will be done on earth," we acknowledge that, like the confused disciples at the tomb, we are not always prepared for or receptive to the answers you give us.
Remind us that we are all interconnected - when one suffers all suffer; inspire each of us to be agents of hope, following your footsteps in a pilgrimage of justice, seeking a future of liberation for the world and all that it contains.
Keep us faithful, like Mary at the tomb, keep us open and receptive, strengthen us to walk your via dolorosa - in the busy-ness of life, in the silence of Easter Saturday and in the joyous amazement of Easter Day - til we, with Christ, can shout out, "it is accomplished!" and the whole inhabited earth may rejoice in doing your will.
In the stunning surprise of this resurrection morning, as the cry rings out " Christ is risen! Alleluia! " we give thanks for all people in this land and around the world who "do justice, seek kindness and walk humbly with God". We celebrate Christ's victory over evil and death and we pray that the international community will guide the powerful and support the weak in seeking a true and holistic peace for Palestinian and Israeli together.
Loving God, we know that millions of people around the world experience similar events like that of Passion Week and Sad Friday*. Give them insight and strength to overcome evil through nonviolent struggle. May all who have been cursed by injustice feel the blessings of freedom and the joys of abundant life offered in Christ's resurrection. O God, open the hearts and consciences of all oppressors so that they might hear the cry of the oppressed and turn their Sad Fridays into bright and shining resurrection mornings.
Companion God, let the Easter shout delight, strengthen and encourage us in our own personal life-pilgrimages, rippling out far and wide from Jerusalem with enthusiastic acclamation: Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
* Arabic for Good Friday
(Prayer from Ian Alexander)
Having your home demolished is an increasing threat to the Palestinian community in East Jerusalem. The above demolition was photographed on Nov 5, 2008.
World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, 4-10 June 2009
During World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, 4-10 June 2009, churches in different countries send a clear signal to policy-makers, interested publics and their own parishes about the urgent need for a peace settlement that secures the legitimate rights and future of both peoples. Participants are requested to plan their activities around these points:
1. Pray with churches living under occupation, using a special prayer from Jerusalem.
2. Educate about actions that make for peace and about facts on the ground that do not, especially, settlements in occupied territory.
3. Advocate with political leaders using ecumenical policies that promote peace with justice.
Become an Ecumenical Accompanier
There have now been 600 ordinary people who have done something extraordinary by giving 3 months to support peace and justice groups in Palestine and Israel and then returned home to be advocates in their own countries for a just peace between Palestinian and Israeli. You can be one too. Today. firstname.lastname@example.org and www.eappi.org
International Sabeel Events:
Sabeel Young Adult Conference July 22 –August 2, 2009: Visit Palestinian and Israeli towns and villages; celebrate Palestinian culture; worship; Biblical reflections; volunteer experiences; advocacy workshops; share experiences and ideas with Palestinian and international young adults.
Sabeel Fall Witness Visit October 29 – November 6, 2009
This Sabeel international witness visit offers a window into the daily lives of Palestinians living under military occupation.
For more information please go to the Sabeel website or the Friends of Sabeel North America website.
Sabeel Wave of Prayer
Each week at 12:00 in Jerusalem Sabeel holds a Communion service that is open to the community. It is a time to join together to celebrate the eucharist, to discuss how the scriptures apply to our lives today, and to pray for the specific needs of this region. Join us at 12:00 on Thursdays, starting in the Pacific, passing through Asia, Palestine, Europe and continuing around the world to the Americas to pray for Peace with Justice. www.sabeel.org/etemplate.php?id=58
Sign up for it at: http://visitor.constantcontact.com/email.jsp?p=oi&m=1011324031170
Global Ministries International Partners in Israel & Palestine:
- Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center (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 where the majority of programs take place with participants from Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah and surrounding areas. 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 local associations in Jerusalem, Jericho and Ramallah, and three centers in refugee camps: Aqabat Jabr, Jalazone and Kalandia. http://www.ywca-palestine.org/
- Rawdat el-Zuhur (Arabic for "Garden of 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/
- 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, Jerusalem and West Bank, Galilee in 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
- 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/
- 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 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). http://www.eappi.org/