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David Wildman of the General Board of Global Ministries and Sara Webb Philips, a pastor in the North Georgia Annual Conference attended the UMKR Planning Retreat in Des Moines, Iowa in October 2016

Events    UMKR Planning Retreat 2016


Planning the Future of United Methodists for Kairos Response

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Answering the urgent call from Palestinian Christians 
~ in Kairos Palestine:  A Moment of Truth ~ for effective action to end the Israeli occupation and achieve a just peace in the Holy Land.

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October 10, 2016 – United Methodists from four Western Jurisdiction conferences (Cal-Nev, Cal-Pac, Pacific Northwest and Oregon-Idaho) gathered with fellow clergy and laity from across the US in Des Moines, IA on Saturday, Oct 8th for the UMKR Planning Retreat 2016. Participants envisioned and planned the next chapter for the UMC movement that has made Israel/Palestine a leading justice cause in our denomination. The packed schedule for this one-day retreat began with broadening the movement’s stated goal beyond “ending the Israeli occupation” to seeking “freedom, justice and equality for all Palestinians and Israelis.”

Participants then reviewed the

accomplishments of UMKR since its

founding in 2010, which include

building a movement with activists in

over 35 annual conferences,

divestment-related actions taken

by 19 annual conferences, and two

landmark divestment actions by the

UMC General Board of Pension and

Health Benefits which made headlines

around the world. It was noted that

our church is the first “mainline”

denomination to divest from a company

specifically because of its human rights

violations in Israel/Palestine.

Participants spent considerable time in the

afternoon discerning where the movement

should focus its efforts in 2017 and beyond;

several primary focus areas received strong support.

Two of the action areas that were highlighted:

Education - widespread basic education (sometimes called “Palestine 101” education) is needed across the denomination, to teach the history of the conflict in Israel/Palestine, the current reality of life for Palestinians living under a harsh military occupation, the call of Palestinian Christians in the Kairos Palestine Document and the powerful methods of advocacy available to United Methodists working ecumenically with dozens of allied Christian movements.

Political Advocacy – ecumenical coalitions working with secular advocacy organizations have begun to see movement in the formally unquestioning bipartisan for all Israeli government policies. This area of action promises to be one of the most challenging and fruitful in years to come. Many feel that, due to the enormous potential leverage that the US has and the equally huge complicity of the US government in the ongoing oppression and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, this may well be the most vital advocacy work needed to achieve a just peace in the Holy Land.

The business portion of the retreat closed

with presentation of the proposed slate of

officers for the UMKR Steering Committee,

which will also be brought shortly to

entire movement for their consideration.

At closing worship, Rev. Alex Awad (photo),

retired Palestinian clergy and UMC

missionary in Palestine for over 20 years,

preached on Matthew 23, regarding the

challenges of confronting hypocrisy in

high places and doing it in love.

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The UMKR Planning Retreat 2016

Download the Registration Form

Send it by September 15th to Janet Lahr Lewis: jlahrlewis2@gmail.com


Join United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR) at our planning retreat on Saturday, October 8, 2016, hosted by First United Methodist Church, in Des Moines, Iowa.

During the retreat, we will evaluate the work of UMKR, discuss areas of focus for the future, and recruit enthusiastic and interested United Methodists to become part of the leadership in this growing movement to help end the occupation in Palestine.


Retreat Agenda
Friday, Oct 7:
Evening            Arrivals and opening gathering: introductions and overview
 
Saturday, Oct 8:                 
8:30                  Coffee and greetings
9:00                  Opening Devotional
9:15                  Session 1:  Evaluating the work from 2010-present
10:30                Break
10:45                Session 2:  Evaluating UMKR Organizational Structure 
12:00                Lunch
1:00                  Session 3:  Setting Goals and Vision for 2017 & beyond
2:30                  Break
2:45                  Session 4:  Nominations/Recommendations for
                         Steering Committee & Officers
3:30                  Assigning roles and tasks
4:00                  Open Forum
5:00                  Closing worship
6:00                  Closing dinner
 
Sunday, Oct 9:                                     
Opportunities to attend and/or speak in local churches
Departures


Register for the Retreat!
Download the registration form.
Fill out the form and send it attached to an email to Janet Lahr Lewis: jlahrlewis2@gmail.com.
Registrations should be submitted by September 15, 2016.

Accommodations

UMKR will pay for one night’s hotel stay for retreat participants,

as well as lunch and dinner on Saturday, Oct 8th.

UMKR has a group rate at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown:

$99 per night + tax.
700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone: 515-245-5500   •  Fax: 515-245-5567
Please note: Reservations at the UMKR group rate cannot

be made online.
You must call the hotel and ask for the "UMKR" group rate.
A free airport shuttle is available from the hotel.

Participants are responsible for paying for all hotel expenses

and meals that are not covered by UMKR.
Participants are expected to make their own travel plans and also their own hotel reservations, unless you are requesting a roommate: see that option in

the Registration Form.


If you cannot attend the retreat but would like to make a donation to support this event, you can do that by mail or online:
DONATE ONLINE –  You can make a quick and secure donation at the UMKR website - click here.  You can add a note to your Paypal donation that this is a ”Retreat Donation.”


DONATE BY MAIL – Please make your check payable to our fiscal agent “Open Table of Christ UMC” and write “UMKR Retreat” on the memo line.
Mail your check to: William Aldrich, 42 Gaspee Point Dr., Warwick, RI 02888.


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