Some avenues of faithful response are outlined below. Our links page can also connect you with possibilities.
"We hope the Church in the West would remember us in their prayers. And we hope that we would always be true brothers in Christ. "
|Prayer is the first act of the faithful, and, in many ways,
the most important thing we can do. Prayers don't have to be complex
or eloquent - God perfects our stumbling words.
Some thoughts on prayer:
"We Arab Christians living in the Holy Land, in Palestine, face many problems. Our voice needs to be heard. We need people to help us."
|Being well informed enriches our thoughts, our prayers,
our words, and our actions. The film Salt
of the Earth addresses some issues facing Palestinian Christians
specifically (such as their minority
status and the phenomenon of Christian
Zionism) as well as some facing Palestinians generally (such as refugees
separation barrier). In addition
to the resources posted for these issues, we
encourage you to explore other sources of information and history.
A short list of resources is below:
"Come visit us. See how we live, how we serve Christ. Then you will see that you need us as we need you."
|Now may seem like the worst time to go, but in may ways
it is the most important time to go - when people are feeling the most
hopeless and in need of solidarity and encouragement. Even the shortest
visit, when it includes meaningful connections with local people, can be
a transformational experience, unforgettable, and priceless.
Bring your church. Holy Land Trust's Travel and Encounter program and Sabeel Ecumenical Theological Center can help facilitate a pilgrimage visit with a mind to connecting with the "living stones" in the Holy Land. Sabeel also has regular conferences and solidarity visits in the Holy Land.
Join one of Fellowship of Reconciliation's Interfaith Peace-Builders delegations, which bring interfaith groups of Americans to Israel and Palestine to learn directly from Israeli and Palestinian nonviolent peace/human-rights activists and to spend time in Palestinian and Israeli homes. Mathame went on a delegation inthe fall of 2005; you can read his daily reflections.
Join The Christian Peacemaker Teams and spend a few months advocating basic human rights and engaged in violence-reduction in Hebron.
Spend three months accompanying Palestinians and Israelis in their non-violent actions and concerted advocacy to end the occupation with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, a project of the World Council of Churches.
The International Solidarity Movement collaborates with Israeli and Palestinian peace activist groups using non-violent, direct-action resistance to "confront and challenge the illegal Israeli occupation forces and policies."
Get your hands dirty building a house, protest the demolition of homes, and get educated about the issues through a visit with The Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions.
Be a volunteer through your church! Find out about your denomination's
"I ask one thing: speak to your decision-makers so they would view the issues here justly."
|The Christian call is to be in the world but not of it.
Voice your opinion by writing to (email@example.com) or calling (public comment line 202-456-1111 or fax 202-456-2461) the White House. Get to know and cultivate your senators and representatives; let them know how you feel. To see how your elected officials voted on key issues or how much related PAC money they receive, see the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs' "Congress Watch."
Use resources from Churches for Middle East Peace, an ecumenical working group of Christian organizations which maintains an on-going dialogue with Congress and the White House. Their newsletter facilitates well-informed and timely grassroots advocacy among Christians in the US.
Cultivate your local and national media. Write opinion pieces, letters to the editor. Hold them to standards of accuracy and impartiality for good journalism.
Find out about the ways your denomination advocates for peace and justice
and get involved.
"We want the world to have
compassion for us, to help us solve
our problems so we can live in peace.
We want peace."
|A handful of creative possibilities are below. Other exciting programs
to connect with and support can be found on our links
Throw a party to build a home! The Rebuilding Alliance is a grassroots, human rights action group, that lends support to Palestinian families as they rebuild their homes and schools. The alliance works with Palestinians, Israelis, and people around the world in a "hands-on process that builds relationships and reinforces the alliances needed to sustain conscience, encouragement, legal protection, and policy change." They can connect you with a speaker and provide a house party kit that includes a short video or slideshow, literature, invitations and extensive FAQ's.
Sponsor a child! World Vision's sponsorship programs are a key to their sustainable development programs especially in refugee camps and remote villages. The Palestine Children's Welfare Fund also coordinates a child sponsorship program focused especially on refugee camps. Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Fund runs a child sponsorship program for Christian students largely in Roman Catholic schools.
Encourage those at risk! Send a word of encouragement to the
Christian clergy and communities in the film - tell
them you learned about them and are praying for them. The Christian
Peacemaker Team's Campaign
for Secure Dwellings partners congregations with communities facing
home demolition, land confiscation or other threats; participating congregations
receive reports and occasional Urgent Action appeals. The Refusers'
Solidarity Network organizes people around the world to support refusers
(Israelis who refuse to serve in the military especially in the Occupied
Territories) when they go to prison.
||There are many organizations with traditional Palestinian
crafts, such as luscious embroidery, elegant olive wood figurines, natural
olive oil soap here are just a few. Consider including them at a Christmas
or Easter bazaar at your church.
Sunbula, housed at St. Andrew's Church of Scotland in Jerusalem, is a not-for-profit organization working to promote self-help craft groups in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. They act as an outlet for Palestinian handicrafts produced through women's cooperatives, schools for the disabled, refugee camp development projects, and the like. From their online catalogue, you can view beautiful traditional embroidery (and other crafts), and easily order them to be shipped worldwide.
The Palestine Children's Welfare Fund sells Palestinian handicrafts (embroidery, olive wood sculptures, olive oil soap). to support the Union of Health Workers Committees in Gaza and to help preserve Palestinian culture and lifestyle.
Presbyterian minister Elizabeth
Knott coordinates a volunteer ministry of importing Palestinian crafts
available on consignment orders all over the USA; monies go to the artisans
at fair trade prices and to Christian organizations to enable them to minister
to the increasing needs of the Palestinian communities.
Salt of the Earth itself is a film in nine chapters. It is available along with a study guide for Sunday schools, Bible Studies, small groups, etc. Salt Films is a not-for-profit; proceeds from sales of the film and any donations to Salt Films are used to support Holy Land churches and Christian institutions, with a priority given to those who participated in the film project.