Israel and Palestine

 

Israel Palestine image link

Israel and Palestine 

Following the 2016 General Assembly resolution on Israel and Palestine, mission committee set up an Israel/Palestine task group. The report of its recommendations went to the 2018 General Assembly.

 

Image credit: © Philip Brooks

Educational Visit to Israel & Palestine 18-28 September 2019

This initiative responded to 2016 General Assembly resolution (see above): ‘to enable synods, local churches and individuals to become more aware and to respond with informed prayer, grace and solidarity... around the issues of the Israel/Palestine situation’.

In his role as Moderator to General Assembly, Derek Estill spearheaded the visit. 22 people took part, drawing from: URC Youth; Communications; Commitment for Life; Interfaith Relations; Global and Intercultural Ministries. There was at least one representative from each of the URC’s 13 synods. For most of the applicants, this was their first visit to the region. Each participant has given a commitment to share the experience and learning from the visit widely within their synod on their return.

This was a guided, educational visit, exploring parts of Israel, the occupied West Bank, annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The aim was to learn about their peoples, religions, politics and cultures. There was a particular focus on meeting with Palestinian Christians, in order to appreciate the immense challenges faced by the indigenous churches and their members. The visit explored some of the principal historical sites relating to the Abrahamic faiths. There were periods of reflection and bible study throughout, and especially by the Sea of Galilee towards the end of the visit.

Read an article by Diana Paulding, one of the United Reformed Church Youth representatives, about her experiences of the visit.

There will be more reports to follow. In the meantime here are reflections from a two of the participants. 

 

Yad Vashem

The members of the group were deeply moved by their visit to Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem.

See photographs of the group reflecting on their visit here.

 

Exhibition of Hope for Israel and Palestine

At General Assembly in 2018, we were delighted to host the World Council of Churches’ 12 Faces of Hope exhibition. Two years previously, Assembly resolved to increase our collective awareness of the situation in Israel and Palestine, focusing on: dialogue and action; peace building; justice and security for all.

The exhibition is just one response to this call. It represents a strong and touching expression of hope for justice and peace through the personal stories of 12 Palestinians and Israelis who all are victims of the occupation.

Since General Assembly, the pictures have been exhibited in several churches as well as the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland AGM. It is due to be shown at Wessex October Synod.

If you are interested in hosting this exhibition in your church or at a specific meeting, do please contact: carole.sired@urc.org.uk. The pictures are A1 in size, mounted in 12 click frames and easily transportable. The exhibition is available free of charge apart from minimal costs for its transportation.

12 Faces

 

 

 

 

Invest in Peace

The URC is proud to support the Israeli-Palestinian ‘Invest in Peace’ initiative which is organised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI). Peter Colwell, Deputy General Secretary of CTBI, reflects here on four Invest in Peace Events with Palestinian Yasser Khaldi and Israeli Meron Guttel.

Linda Rayner, URC Fresh Expressions Coordinator, attended a Parents Circle – Families Forum (PCFF) peace event in Manchester on 12 November 2018 and reports on it here.