Thursday, June 11, 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 for Thursday, June 11, 2009

Veolia, a French company, is attempting to withdraw from Israel's light rail project that connects settlements to the heart of West Jerusalem and confiscates land in East Jerusalem. It appears that this recent development is partially a result of boycott and divestment initiatives around the globe aimed at companies who benefit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. We pray that this success story will embolden others who seek to end the occupation through economic means.

In his recent speech in Cairo, President Obama articulated strong opposition to Israeli settlements, demonstrated a good understanding of the Palestinian experience, and spoke of the need for a two state solution in Palestine and Israel. We pray that these inspiring words will lead to practical and positive action.

The World Council of Churches' "World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel" ended yesterday, but the work of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) continues. Established by the WCC in 2007 to "catalyze and co-ordinate new and existing church advocacy for peace, aimed at ending the occupation," the PIEF core group will meet in Bethlehem this weekend. We pray for the members of the PIEF and that their work will be fruitful in helping churches work together to support a just and durable peace for Palestine and Israel.

This Thursday, Sabeel is facilitating a two day retreat in the West Bank town of Taybeh for the wives of Palestinian clergy. The gathering will focus on issues related to the family and Christian education In addition, a counselor from Nazareth will equip the women with methods for helping women in their communities who regularly face conflict. We pray that these women from the Galilee, the West Bank, and Jerusalem can find meaningful ways to apply what they learn within their own congregations.

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