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Two resolutions dealing with travel to the Holy Land, one setting out guidelines, the other calling for a conference-sponsorted trip for one person, to report back to the conference.
WHEREAS indigenous Palestinian Christians have asked their fellow Christians around the world to meet with them when visiting the Holy Land, stating: “We intend to fulfill 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 people of this land, Palestinians and Israelis alike.” (Kairos Palestine Document: http://kairospalestine.ps/index.php/about-us/kairos-palestine-document ); and
WHEREAS United Methodist mission personnel past and present have for many years invited United Methodists to “come and see” what they have seen during their time in the Holy Land (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKb8SYVB8KQ) and likewise have asked that those planning individual or group tours to Israel/Palestine both “consult with the United Methodist Liaison Office in Jerusalem to seek opportunities to worship with indigenous Christian congregations” and “visit United Methodist supported mission sites;” (2016, United Methodist Book of Resolutions #6031; and,
WHEARAS the conflict in the Holy Land has been raised repeatedly in General Conference resolutions, and understanding of the issue is critical to informed discussion among United Methodist laity and clergy (2016 United Methodist Book of Resolutions #6111),
IT IS THEREFORE strongly urged that clergy and laity of the _____________ Conference of the United Methodist Church who are planning individual or group tours to Israel/Palestine consult with the Methodist Liaison Office (MLO) in Jerusalem (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com) to seek opportunities to meet with United Methodist missionaries living and working in the region, visit United Methodist supported mission sites, worship with indigenous Christian congregations and include in their tours at least one overnight stay in Bethlehem in accordance with the 2016 Resolution #6031; and
IT IS FURTHERMORE urged that anyone from this annual conference intending to visit the Holy Land, before they travel, read the Kairos Palestine Document: “A Moment of Truth: A word of faith, hope and love,” and study the United Methodist Book of Resolutions with particular attention to Resolution #6111 and other resolutions dealing with Palestine, settlements in the West Bank, boycotting settlement products, interfaith relations, indigenous peoples, anti-Semitism, racism and human rights.
O Little Town of Bethlehem: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Whereas the issue of the conflict in the Holy Land has been repeatedly raised in General
Conference resolutions (2016 United Methodist Book of Resolutions #6111, p. 602-606, United Methodist Resolution #6031), and
Whereas a Christian presence in the Holy Land is rapidly diminishing
Whereas an understanding of the issue is critical to informed discussion among United Methodist laity and clergy, and
Whereas our United Methodist missionaries in the Holy Land consistently urge us to “come and see,” (http://www.alexawad.org/details.php?ID=27), and
Whereas our Palestinian Christian sisters and brothers plead with us to visit them, “the Living
Stones” of Israel and Palestine, and
Whereas our Jewish and Muslim sisters and brothers likewise urge us to understand the issues,
Whereas the entire ________________Conference would benefit from and be blessed by
learning about the conflict in the Holy Land from a representative who studied it as part of a
Therefore, be it resolved that the _______________Conference will send at least one conference
member who is willing and able to travel on a fact-finding pilgrimage to the Holy Land before
the next Annual Conference session, who will report on their trip in writing to the Bishop and the annual conference, and who will be available to speak about their trip to twenty church groups, and
Be it further resolved that from the appropriate budget, the _________________Conference will
fund up to $3,500 for this person’s air travel and the costs of a tour organization, and
Be it further resolved that the pilgrim will travel with a tour organizer such as Friends of Sabeel
North America (FOSNA), Interfaith Peace Builders (IFPB), Society for Biblical Studies or
another tour organizer that meets the guidelines for Holy Land Travel as specified in Resolution
6031, including spending at least one night in Bethlehem and being in contact with staff of the
Methodist Liaison Office in Jerusalem, both before and during this trip.