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UNITED METHODISTS IN PALESTINE
United Methodist leaders report on first-hand experiences with Israeli apartheid and Palestinian resilience in the Holy Land

Palestinian Christians have long called to us to "Come and See, Go and Tell" the stark reality of Palestine today, to dispel the world's misconceptions and to mobilize the global church to be effective justice-seekers and peace-builders. 

United Methodists are answering that call with prophetic truth-telling.


In November 2022, United Methodist leaders – representing the General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) and the General Commission on Religion & Race (GCORR), as well as United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR) – attended the international gathering convened by the Palestinian Christian movement Kairos Palestine, in Bethlehem, Palestine. They also visited a dozen or more Palestinian communities and projects during their intensive fact-finding mission.


In this webinar on 11 January 2023, they bring us their experiences and their personal insights as well as the messages they were tasked to carry home by our brothers and sisters in Palestine. 


Learn about the ongoing work at United Methodist-supported Advance projects and key Palestinian communities including: Wi'am, the Palestinian Conflict Transformation Center; the courageous village of Wadi Foquin; the Nassar family's remarkable peace project, Tent of Nations; the oft-besieged Aida refugee camp; the Palestinian civil society organizations under attack by the Israeli government, and more.


These United Methodist ambassadors report that, far from having a discouraging experience, they found themselves immersed in Palestinian hospitality, hope, and resilience. 


​Hear their thoughts on what United Methodists – and all people of faith and people of conscience – are called to do today in the face of escalating oppression in the Holy Land that continues to impact the entire world.


OUR SPEAKERS
HOLLY METCALF is the Peace with Justice Director at the UMC General Board of Church and Society, with responsibility for advocacy efforts on peacebuilding, conflict resolution, disarmament and nonproliferation, and gun violence prevention. Before joining the GBCS staff, Holly was a foreign service officer with the U.S. State Department, working on human rights, religious freedom, and refugee issues. Previously, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer and a high school teacher.
In her foreign service work, Holly engaged with persecuted religious minorities and victims of human trafficking, supported American citizens incarcerated abroad, and worked with asylum-seekers in Greece fleeing war and violence. She is currently completing her Master of Divinity at Wesley Theological Seminary and is a candidate for ordination in the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference.


ALKA LYALL is a member of the Board of Directors of the UMC General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), and an ordained elder in the Northern Illinois Conference (NIC), where she has served since 2000. She has twice been elected as a Northern Illinois delegate to General and Jurisdictional Conferences and is the first elected clergy to General Conference 2024. Alka was also a delegate to the World Methodist Council as a youth representative from India in 1986, later serving on its Presidium.  She has chaired the NIC Annual Conference committee and has served on the Board of Directors of NIC Justice for our Neighbors and the board of  Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN).


J. PAULA RODERICK is an employment discrimination and civil rights attorney practicing in the Chicago area, a Steering Committee member in United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR), and a justice leader in the Northern Illinois Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. She also serves on the board of Eyewitness Palestine and has made multiple visits to Palestine. Paula is a tireless activist and organizer with numerous social justice organizations tackling issues related to human rights, policing, Black youth, and Palestinian liberation, including Blacks4Palestine, Chicago Faith Coalition on Middle East Policy, and Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, among others.


Watch the webinar below.
Below the video, see other information shared during the webinar. 

Resources        Webinar



United Methodists are responding to Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth ,a statement of faith and urgent call to action from Christians in Palestine.  UMKR seeks, through nonviolent means and in partnership with Palestinian Christians, freedom, justice and equality for all Palestinians and Israelis.

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Links and information in this webinar

Israeli Apartheid:
See UMKR's website for in-depth reports, short videos, and many other good resources about Israeli apartheid:
https://www.kairosresponse.org/it_is_apartheid.html

World Council of Churches Statement, September 2022:
https://www.oikoumene.org/resources/documents/seeking-justice-and-peace-for-all-in-the-middle-east
World Council of Churches General Assembly puts Israeli apartheid on the global church’s table
https://mondoweiss.net/2022/09/world-council-of-churches-general-assembly-puts-israeli-apartheid-on-the-global-churchs-table/

Kairos Palestine and Global Kairos for Justice 13th Anniversary Conference Statement:
https://www.kairospalestine.ps/images/KP_GKJ_Conference_Statement_2022.pdf

The United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society (GBCS)
https://www.umcjustice.org/
Peace with Justice
https://www.umcjustice.org/what-we-care-about/peace-with-justice

The United Methodist Church General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR)
https://www.gcorr.org/
Resources on race/racism from GCORR:
What is race
https://r-squared.squarespace.com/library/what-is-race 
Overt and covert racism
https://r-squared.squarespace.com/library/overt-and-covert-racism 
Being the Church with the Oppressed: Four African Perspectives Bible Study - 
https://r-squared.squarespace.com/library/being-the-church-with-the-oppressed 
Podcast on Practicing Anti-Racism -
Episode 3: Mapping Prejudice: Racist Land Covenants and How One Church Responded 
https://r-squared.squarespace.com/library/podcast-r5kd6 
What is decolonization
https://r-squared.squarespace.com/library/what-is-decolonization

PLACES VISITED, MEETINGS HELD

Stand with the 6 Campaign
https://www.kairosresponse.org/stand_with_the_6.html

Wadi Foquin
https://www.friendsofwadifoquin.com/
https://umcmission.org/advance-project/3021565/

Aida Refugee Camp
https://www.unrwa.org/where-we-work/west-bank/aida-camp

Women in Hebron Cooperative
https://womeninhebron.com/

Hope School
https://www.hopesschoolbeitjala.com/
https://umcmission.org/advance-project/12018a/

Wi'am: The Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center
https://www.alaslah.org/
https://umcmission.org/advance-project/14910a/

Tent of Nations
https://tentofnations.com/

Friends of Tent of Nations North America (FOTONNA)
https://fotonna.org/

TAKE ACTION

Education about Palestine - resources from UMKR and GBCS
https://www.kairosresponse.org/education.html

GBCS Faith in Action: A Kairos Response for Palestine in 2023
https://bit.ly/3WOlPnz

Come and See: Go and Tell: Responsible Tourism
https://www.kairosresponse.org/tours.html

Ask your General Conference Delegates to support UMKR supported petitions:
https://www.kairosresponse.org/gc2020_resolutions_resources.html

Give to UMC Advance Projects in Palestine:
https://www.kairosresponse.org/umc_advance_projects.html

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