A Service Dedicated to Supporting Palestinians in their Struggle Against Oppression and Injustice
In 2017 Ineke Medcalf travelled to Palestine, and found herself in the middle of a tear gas attack by the Israeli military. Helped and cared for by teenage Palestinians for whom this was a regular occurrence, she found that they were more worried about her safety than about their own. This moment of grace in the midst of danger has stayed with her ever since.
The Palestinian struggle against oppression and injustice has been going on so long that it’s easy to tune it out – headlines from today could be headlines from twenty years ago, forty years ago. It is the stories of the people involved, like these young Palestinians who are regularly tear-gassed, who make it real.
We offer this worship service as a means of reconnecting with the people who live this conflict. Through image, song, testimony, prayer and preaching, we are invited into the lives of Palestinian Christians who are gracious enough to share their faith with us.
Come hear the stories of Jesus’ homeland, and let us sing, weep, and rejoice with the people of the land where Jesus sang, wept, and rejoiced.
Link to the service: https://youtube.com/watch?v=jHKdLiyEq6E You are welcome to insert local material as you wish.
Resource list: this list of resources doesn’t cover everything, but it does cover a lot! Whether you’re new to the conversation or are looking for fresh information; whether you prefer novels, videos, or reports, you’ll find it all here. Click here for the PDF.
You might like to include in your bulletin the link to the short animated video (6 and a half minutes) Israel and Palestine: A Very Short Introduction which provides a concise background to the Palestinian struggle. It was produced in 2013 by Jewish Voice for Peace. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y58njT2oXfE
Bulletin information about how you can support Palestinians by buying their products:
Support Palestinian farmers: Zatoun is a charitable organization, based in Canada, which supports Palestinian farmers by selling olive oil, olive oil soap, za’atar (a herb mix of thyme and sumac) and the wonderful Medjool dates. Bulk purchases only. The most economical purchase is the Peace Box for $240 which contains 10 bottles of oil, 4 bars of soap and 4 bags of za’atar. Comes with lots of information about Palestine. https://zatoun.com Medjoul dates can also be purchased through Karen Rodman at Just Peace Advocates firstname.lastname@example.org You can place a minimum order of 8 boxes (900 grams per box), for $160 which includes free mailing to one address. Best time to order is in the fall, just after harvest.
Support Palestinian craftspeople: Craftspeople rely on selling their crafts to make a living. Two organizations which support local craftspeople are Wi’am and Touch of Grace. Wi’am is a grassroots organization based in Bethlehem which works to promote peace and justice. It is worthwhile checking out their website. To contact their store go to
Shop-Wi’amsmallpdf.com.pdf To contact Touch of Grace go to touch-grace.com
Prices are in US dollars. Shipping is expensive. Add about 25% to the cost of the products for shipping. Both of these organizations also offer tours.
The service was developed by Rev. Brenda Curtis, Frances Kitson, Rev. Jeanette Liberty-Duns, Ineke Medcalf, Maureen McPherson and Renee Nunan-Rappard.
Rev. Brenda Curtis is the minister of Westminster United Church in Humboldt SK and Quill Lake Pastoral Charge and is a member of UNJPPI (United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel) and HRPI (Human Rights in Palestine and Israel). She was one of a group of ministers who travelled to Israel and Palestine in 2017 on a trip organized by the National Church under the direction of Rev. Adam Hanley.
Frances Kitson is a student minister in the Lanigan-Nokomis Pastoral Charge. Rev. Jeanette Liberty-Duns is a retired United Church minister who chairs the Outreach Committee at Silver Spire United Church in St. Catharines ON. She travelled to Israel and Palestine as part of a United Church delegation to visit our Palestinian partners.
Maureen McPherson is a member of St. Martin’s United Church in Saskatoon where she chairs the Outreach Committee.
Ineke Medcalf is a member of Silver Spire United Church and the co-founder of the Niagara Movement for Justice in Palestine Israel. She served as an Ecumenical Accompanier and has made many trips to Israel and Palestine.
Renee Nunan-Rappard lives near Lanigan SK and is a member of UNJPPI, HRPI, and CJPME (Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East). In 2017 she travelled to Palestine to work as a volunteer picking olives in the West Bank.