Thursday, June 25, 2009

25/6/09 - Français

L’élection en Iran prouve une fois de plus que l’intégrité et l’honnêteté sont une nécessité en démocratie. Alors que les heurts se poursuivent prions pour qu’une solution pacifique puisse être trouvée avant que plus de gens ne soient emprisonnés ou tués.

Cette semaine, Sabeel accueille un forum public pour que les palestiniens chrétiens de Jérusalem échangent sur leur vision de la communauté locale. La rencontre mettra l’accent sur les modalités créatives dont les individus peuvent contribuer à la santé de leur société. Prions pour que cette expérience encourage les gens dans leurs luttes pour obtenir la justice et la paix pour tous.

La fin de l’année scolaire en Palestine signifie que des milliers d’enfants sont en quête d’activités pour meubler leurs journées. Prions pour qu’ils trouvent des solutions constructives et stimulantes cet été. Prions aussi pour les centaines d’adultes qui se portent volontaires pour les camps d’été. Puisse ce temps constituer une expérience valorisante et agréable pour toutes les personnes impliquées.

La semaine prochaine, le Rev. Naim Ateek va entreprendre une tournée de cinq semaines de conférences et de plaidoyer sur la côte ouest des États-Unis. L’invitation à effectuer cette tournée, la prise de position ferme du président Obama contre les colonies, et les récents succès du mouvement en faveur d’investissements moralement responsables sont des signes d’un intérêt croissant pour la cause palestinienne - aux États-Unis et ailleurs. Prions pour que le séjour du Rev. Ateek aux États-Unis incite davantage de gens à rechercher une paix véritable par la justice. 

25/6/09 - English

The election in Iran proves once again the necessity for integrity and honesty in democracy. As clashes continue, we pray that a peaceful resolution can be found before more people are imprisoned or killed.

This week, Sabeel is hosting an Open Forum event for Palestinian Christians from Jerusalem to discuss their vision for the local community. The meeting will emphasize creative ways for individuals to contribute to the health of their society. We pray that this experience will encourage people in their struggles to achieve justice and peace for all.

The end of the school year in Palestine means that many thousands of children are searching for activities to fill their days. We pray that they will find constructive and stimulating outlets this summer. We also pray for the hundreds of adults who are volunteering at summer camps. May this time be a valuable and pleasant experience for all involved.

Next week, Rev. Naim Ateek will begin a five week speaking and advocacy tour of the American west coast. The invitation for this trip, President Obama’s firm stance against settlements, and recent victories in the morally responsible investment movement are indications of a growing interest—in the United States and elsewhere—in the Palestinian cause. We pray that Rev. Ateek’s time in the United States will inspire more people to seek true peace through justice.

This week we join with the World Council of Churches in praying for: Argentina, Paraguay,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

18/6/09 - English

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech on Sunday seemed intended to slow the path toward justice and peace. We pray that all parties involved in the conflict will take full responsibility for their actions and humbly pursue what all know to be the only just solution—an end to the Israeli occupation.

This month, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is kicking off events to mark 60 years of working alongside millions of Palestinian refugees. UNRWA is using the occasion to host academic and artistic events, launch new advocacy campaigns, and broaden its donor base. We thank God for the work of this vital agency and pray that countries around the world will continue to offer support.

On Saturday, President Jimmy Carter met with Christian leaders in Jerusalem and heard comments from Rev. Naim Ateek on the viability of the future Palestinian state and the importance of democracy for Palestine. We pray that President Carter’s trip to the region will help raise awareness about the current status of settlements and the rebuilding of Gaza. We praise God for all people who—like President Carter—work tirelessly for justice and peace.

Sabeel warmly welcomes 15 additional people to its governing board, called the General Assembly. We are grateful for the energy and new perspectives that these actively engaged people will contribute to Sabeel’s life and ministry.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

11/6/09 - English

Veolia, a French company, is attempting to withdraw from Israel’s light rail project that connects settlements to the heart of West Jerusalem and confiscates land in East Jerusalem. It appears that this recent development is partially a result of boycott and divestment initiatives around the globe aimed at companies who benefit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. We pray that this success story will embolden others who seek to end the occupation through economic means.

In his recent speech in Cairo, President Obama articulated strong opposition to Israeli settlements, demonstrated a good understanding of the Palestinian experience, and spoke of the need for a two state solution in Palestine and Israel. We pray that these inspiring words will lead to practical and positive action.

The World Council of Churches’ “World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel” ended yesterday, but the work of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) continues. Established by the WCC in 2007 to "catalyze and co-ordinate new and existing church advocacy for peace, aimed at ending the occupation," the PIEF core group will meet in Bethlehem this weekend. We pray for the members of the PIEF and that their work will be fruitful in helping churches work together to support a just and durable peace for Palestine and Israel.

This Thursday, Sabeel is facilitating a two day retreat in the West Bank town of Taybeh for the wives of Palestinian clergy. The gathering will focus on issues related to the family and Christian education In addition, a counselor from Nazareth will introduce the participants to methods for helping women in their communities who regularly face conflict. We pray that these women from the Galilee, the West Bank, and Jerusalem can find meaningful ways to apply what they learn within their own congregations. 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

4/6/09 - English

Tensions between Hamas and Fatah erupted once again in a deadly shootout in Qalqilya on Sunday. We pray that Palestinians can work through their internal divisions so that families already living under Israeli occupation need not fear yet another source of hardship and violence.

A UN inquiry team, led by Richard Goldstone (who headed UN tribunals in Yugoslavia and Rwanda), has arrived in Gaza to investigate Israeli war crimes committed in Israel’s three-week assault in December and January. Although Israel is refusing to cooperate with the investigation, we pray that the team’s findings will open the world’s eyes and set into motion events that will end the siege on Gaza.

This week marks the start of the World Council of Churches’ “World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.” Worldwide, Christians will be praying, acting, and educating about the realities of living in “The Holy Land.” The Jerusalem Christian community will participate in an ecumenical peace service at St. Stephen’s Cathedral on Sunday that will be shared around the world. Lord, in your mercy, hear our cry for peace.

Last Friday, an ecumenical group of Sabeel young adults joined the community in Jifna (north of Ramallah) to repair and clean Christian cemeteries that were defaced by vandals. We are thankful that even destruction of holy spaces can result in stronger relationships between disparate Palestinian communities, denominations and individuals.