Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Each Thursday at noon in Jerusalem, Sabeel holds a Communion service that is open to the community. It is a time to join together to celebrate the Eucharist, to discuss how the scriptures apply to our lives today, and to pray for the specific needs of this region. Following the 2006 Sabeel International Conference, the Friends of Sabeel coordinators met and discussed the idea of "Waves of Prayer." The premise is that in their respective time zones, individuals and groups around the world will pray together at 12:00 on Thursdays, in solidarity with Sabeel in Jerusalem and with "Friends of Sabeel" worldwide. Starting in Australia, passing through Palestine, and on around the world we will pray for Peace with Justice and focus on specific issues each week.

Wave of Prayer, Thursday, 14th of May, 2009

The Dutch Witness Visit begins this Thursday and lasts until May 23. We pray for Sabeel staff member, Meta Floor, as she coordinates and leads this visit with the assistance of newly arrived Dutch volunteer, Freek van der Veen. We pray for the 16 participants as they meet with Israelis and Palestinians, as they hear their stories and see first hand the conditions under which the people live. We pray that they will return home from their experience challenged and empowered to speak and act on behalf of peace and justice.

On May 12th, a new Palestinian interim government was formed and will function until a more representative leadership can be agreed upon. We pray that dialogue will continue between Fatah and Hamas in order to create a more inclusive Palestinian government in the future.

May 15th is the day that Palestinians commemorate the Nakba, or the Catastrophe that resulted in the displacement and dispossession of 750,000 Palestinians. We pray for the refugees of the Nakba around the world and their following generations as they struggle with issues of rights and identity. We also pray for those affected by the ongoing Nakba, the continued displacement of Palestinians today in the form of land expropriation, home demolitions and evictions.

As the Pope’s visit to the Holy Land is coming to an end, we pray that he will convey the reality of his experience to other world leaders, both political and religious, inspiring them to work urgently for a just peace for Muslims, Christians, and Jews.

Wave of Prayer for Thursday, May 7, 2009

After several months of discernment, evaluation and prayer, Christian Peacemaker Teams have chosen to restart their Hebron team. We thank God for CPT's presence in the midst of violence and settlement expansion. We pray that they may remain safe and resolute in their work of "getting in the way."

Pope Benedict XVI will arrive in Israel and Palestine on Saturday. We pray that he will have opportunity to see and comprehend the realities of life in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. May his pilgrimage offer encouragement to the shrinking Palestinian Christian community who are leaving because of the brutality of living under occupation.

This weekend, Sabeel will host a dialogue event for young adults from Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Nazareth. The participants will spend two days together enjoying cultural events, sharing meals, and cleaning a Muslim cemetery and a church in Ma'lul, a mixed Christian/Muslim village that was depopulated during the Palestinian Nakba of 1948. We pray that these young adults will develop new relationships and learn from the story of Ma'lul.

Last Friday, the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs issued a report highlighting the issues of house demolitions and evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the increase in Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem. The UN called on Israel to uphold the Geneva Convention. We pray that Israel will follow this path and seek to act legally and justly.

** World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, 4-10 June 2009 **

During the week, churches in different countries send a clear signal to policy-makers, interested publics and their own parishes about the urgent need for a peace settlement that secures the legitimate rights and future of both peoples. Participants are requested to plan their activities around these points:

1. Pray with churches living under occupation, using a special prayer from Jerusalem.

2. Educate about actions that make for peace and about facts on the ground that do not,
especially, settlements in occupied territory.

3. Advocate with political leaders using ecumenical policies that promote peace with justice.

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