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What Now?
So perhaps you've watched the film, or you've sifted through the website.  You're interested, maybe even inspired, and you want to respond.  What now?  Part of that depends on your own discernment, your own sense of how you feel moved, and where you think your gifts lie. 
Some avenues of faithful response are outlined below. Our links page can also connect you with possibilities. 
Pray
"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. "
 -Fr. Tomie
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: 

  • pray for the church, for its strength and perseverance and witness
  • pray for peace, justice, mercy, righteousness - these are God's desires for all of humanity
  • pray for all people; don't privilege one group against the other - all are children of God, all are created in God's image, all are worthy of our prayers
  • pray alone, with groups, Bible Study societies, with the whole congregation
  • let the churches know you are praying for them - we have listed their contact information
  • join with or establish a local prayer vigil
Listen and Learn
"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."
-Mughannam
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 and the 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:

News and Current Events:
Ha'aretz, Israeli daily paper (English language version)
The Christian Science Monitor
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Books:
Karen Armstrong, Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths
Naim Ateek, Justice and only Justice
Phyllis Bennis, Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
Gary Burge, Whose Land? Whose Promise? 
Elias Chacour, Blood Brothers
Colin Chapman, Whose Promised Land? The continuing Crisis Over Israel and Palestine
Amira Haas, Drinking in the Sea at Gaza
Benny Morris, Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict 1881-2001
Mitri Raheb, I Am a Palestinian Christian
Tanya Reinhart, Israel/Palestine How to Win the War of 1948
Eugene Ronan and Avi Shlaim, The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948
Edward Said, The End of the Peace Process 
Edward Said, The Politics of Dispossession: The Struggle for Palestinian Self-Determination
Tom Segev, Jonothan Shainin, and Roane Carey, The Other Israel: Voices of Refusal and Dissent
Edward Tivnan, The Lobby: Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy
Donald Wagner, Anxious for Armageddon
 

Visit
"Come visit us. See how we live, how we serve Christ. Then you will see that you need us as we need you." 
-Fr. Firas
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

Facilitate a university youth exchange with An-Najah National University's Zajel Youth Exchange or with the Arab American University of Jenin's e-ambassadors' Iyad Abu-Rub.

Be a volunteer through your church! Find out about your denomination's international programs. 
 

Advocate
"I ask one thing: speak to your decision-makers so they would view the issues here justly." 
-Sa'ed
The Christian call is to be in the world but not of it. 

Voice your opinion by writing to (president@whitehouse.gov) 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. 
 

Do
"We want the world to have 
compassion for us, to help us solve 
our problems so we can live in peace. 
We want peace."
-Yvonne
A handful of creative possibilities are below. Other exciting programs to connect with and support can be found on our links page. 

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. 
 

Buy


 

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. 
 
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