United Methodists and Palestinian Christians Gather for Conversation and Prayer
Palestinian Christians spent two days sharing their experiences with United Methodists gathered to “Walk with Palestinian Christians . . . for Holy Justice and Peace.”
By Melissa Hinnen
Palestinian Christians spent two days at Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church sharing their experiences of what it is like to live in a land that is under occupation and their strategic dreams for working toward peace.
Nearly 300 United Methodists gathered at the conference “Walking with Palestinian Christians . . . for Holy Justice and Peace.” Co-sponsored by the General Board of Global Ministries, Palestinian Christians, missionaries, bishops, and other church leaders explored ways that God’s people can effectively respond with non-violent resistance to the conflict in a region that is known as the “Holy Land.”
Thomas Kemper who leads the mission agency explained that while the conference had been planned for a year, with the current crisis in Gaza, it was an especially important time to be in prayer and solidarity with Christian brothers and sisters from Palestine. In his welcoming comments he said, “We are here to join hands with fellow Christians, Palestinians, in considering how our faith commitments can contribute to holy justice and peace for all the people of Palestine and Israel.” He continued, “It would be quite unthinkable for us not to meet with other Christians in this cause.”
Through workshops, prayer, plenary sessions, and round table discussions, church leaders prayerfully discussed strategies for promoting peace and justice. Participants lifted up the importance of raising awareness, preaching about injustice, visiting Palestine, divestment options, engaging with the US Congress, and listening to voices of peace from Israelis and Palestinians. At the closing worship service, each person filled out a covenant form outlining an action plan to continue working for holy peace and justice.
These are some of the voices on social media from the conference: