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Peace Not Walls

Join the World Week for Peace in Palestine/Israel Sept. 22-28

Grafitti from the Separation Barrier

Graffiti from the Separation Wall near Bethlehem.

The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches invites member churches, faith-based communities, and civil society organizations to join together in 2013 for a week of advocacy and action in support of an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel. Congregations and individuals around the globe who share the hope of justice shall unite during the week to take peaceful actions, together, to create a common international public witness.

The theme of the week in 2013 is: “Jerusalem, the city of justice and peace.”

As part of the most recent World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, from 28 May to 3 June 2012, churches in at least 25 countries around the world sent a clear signal to policy-makers, community groups, and their own parishes about the urgent need for a peace settlement that ends the illegal occupation and secures the legitimate rights and future of both peoples.

During World Week for Peace 2013, participants will organize and join in events and activities around the following three principles:

1. Praying with churches living under occupation, using a special prayer from Jerusalem and other worship resources prepared for the week. Note that Tuesday of this week falls on  Sept 24, the date of the monthly prayer vigil called for by ACT Palestine. 
2. Educating about actions that make for peace, and about facts on the ground that do not create peace, especially issues related to the city of Jerusalem.
3. Advocating with political leaders using ecumenical policies that promote peace with justice.

Find more information and resources at the PIEF webpage, including:

• The Jerusalem Prayer from the Churches in Jerusalem
• The liturgy “Jerusalem, the City of Justice and Peace,” written by Palestinian Christian laity and clergy for Sunday 22 September
• Proposed common action and advocacy for Sunday 22 September, based on the theme: “To pray, you need a military permit!”
• A resource on Jerusalem created by our international working group, with information, theological reflections, and advocacy suggestions for each day of the Week
• Testimonials from the Wall Museum near Rachel’s Tomb, a project of the Sumud Story House of the Arab Educational Institute
• A policy paper on Jerusalem, published March 2013 by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung office in East Jerusalem

Join Bethlehem/Washington DC Simulcast Worship Saturday, Dec. 17

 Join worshipers in Bethlehem and at the Washington Cathedral for the fifth annual joint simulcast Christmas service on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 9 am Central Standard Time. Prayers, readings, and hymns alternate between Washington, D.C., and Palestine via the Internet, bringing together people of different lands, languages, and ethnic backgrounds in celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace.   The service is webcast live from the Cathedral’s home page.

 In Bethlehem, participants include the Rt. Rev. Suheil Dawani, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem; the Rt. Rev. Munib Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land; and the Rev Dr. Mitri Raheb from Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem. Participants in Washington include the Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington; the Rt. Rev. Richard H. Graham, bishop of the ELCA Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod; the Rev, Canon Jan Naylor Cope, vicar of the Cathedral; and the Rev. Canon John L. Peterson.

Click here to watch last year’s service.