Peace Not Walls
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Global Mission and Hunger
Peace Not Walls
Western Iowa Missions
Church of Damascus Road
South Sudanese Thanksgiving Lutheran
Feeding the Hungry in Iowa
Holy Land Travel Opportunity
The Western Iowa Synod Peace Not Walls Network warmly invites you to join in its
transformational travel opportunity to the
Join us as we listen, learn, and live into the Spirit’s call…
In recent weeks we have heard Jesus call to lift up the dignity of all human life and to follow him into servant love which gives itself into the suffering of the world, especially those who the world sees as having nothing to give in return. In Jesus day some of those people were women who were at the mercy of their husband who could at any time and for any reason write a certificate of dismissal and toss her out like trash, or children, who because they had no economic or social status to offer were often looked down upon by society.
It is no more difficult in our world to identify peoples who suffer and who are seen by the world as have nothing to offer and therefore no worth. I believe that if we were to compile a list of those people today, some at the bottom would be the more than 59.5 million refugees worldwide, and sadly our Christian Palestinian brothers and sisters.
In the Kairos Palestine document (www.kairospalestine.ps/) our faithful Palestinian brothers and sisters write: “Despite the lack of even a glimmer of positive expectation, our hope remains strong. The present situation does not promise any quick solution or the end of the occupation that is imposed on us….. Despite this, our hope remains strong, because it is from God.” (pg. 9) …..
They go on to write: “The cruel circumstances in which the Palestinian Church has lived and continues to live have required the Church to clarify her faith and to identify her vocation better. We have studied our vocation and have come to know it better in the midst of suffering and pain: today we bear the strength of love rather than of revenge, a culture of life rather than a culture of death. This is a hope for us, for the Church and for the world” (pg. 11)
Your invitation from our Christian Palestinian Brothers and Sisters: “In order to understand our reality, we say to the Churches: ‘Come and see.’ We will fulfil our role to make known to you the truth of our reality, receiving you as pilgrims coming to us to pray, carrying a message of peace, love, and reconciliation. You will know the facts and the peoples of this land, Palestinians and Israelis alike.” (Pg.15)
The world may see our Palestinian brothers and sisters as those who have nothing to offer and as worthless, but the world and the Christian Church needs the voice and the witness of the Palestinian Christian Church. Along with their invitation, the Western Iowa Synod invites you to “COME AND SEE!” Travel with us to get to know this church and their story. Be inspired by their continued faith and resolve in the midst of suffering. Show them we care, and that we are willing to enter their suffering; to hear their story; and to be changed by love.
Dates: March 27 - April 10, 2016
Cost: approximately $3,500 - $3,700 per person
Age: any adult in good health standing who is open and flexible within group travel dynamics
Itinerary inclusions (non-exclusive and subject to change) Augusta Victoria Hospital, Breaking the Silence, Bright Stars of Bethlehem, Tent of Nations, Jewish settlement, mosque, Deheishe Refugee Camp, Rabbis for Human Rights, Hebron, Sea of Galilee, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Christmas Lutheran Church, the Western Wall, Via Dolorosa, etc. See proposed itinerary on our website, www.wisynod.org.
Other points/expectations: opportunities to reside with local Lutheran families, hostels, churches, etc., will be sought where possible, as will opportunity to walk along side these brothers and sisters in their daily lives. Pre-trip orientation meetings are expected of participants. These meetings will work on travel logistics and, more importantly, preparation and discussion of the historical and current Holy Land realities so as to be reasonably informed prior to travel.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Nov. 30, 2015
If space remains, the offering will be extended to area full-communion churches.
Please mail completed applications to Western Iowa Synod, Attn: Cindy Wells, Director for Global Missions, 318 E 5th St. , Storm Lake, IA 50588 or email to email@example.com.
Peace Not Walls
Peace Not Walls connects ELCA members to our companions and promotes dignity, full respect for human rights, healing and reconciliation. With our Palestinian Lutheran companions, we also accompany Palestinians and Israelis, Jew, Christians and Muslims working together for peace.
A portion of the 2014 Synod Assembly offerings went to support the Augusta Victoria Hospital located in Jerusalem. AVH develops services for the Palestinian community, mostly on a charitable basis.
For more on what the ELCA is doing with Peace Not Walls, please click here.