‘Middle East Peace … Our Peace’ will include storytelling, discussions, and worship
by Rich Copley | Presbyterian News Service
LEXINGTON, Kentucky — The second annual Presbyterian Week of Action will begin Monday, Aug. 23, with a deep dive into the Middle East and the United States’ role in its recent history and future in a day titled “Middle East Peace … Our Peace.”
“The theme for the Week of Action is Shades of Oppression, Resistance, and Liberation,” said Christina Cosby, Mission Specialist for the Middle East and Europe, and Ellen Sherby, Coordinator for Equipping for Mission Involvement. “The Middle East teaches us how a community can move from oppression through resistance to liberation. We will hear from sisters, brothers and siblings in Palestine, Iraq, Syria and the U.S. and learn not only about the difficult issues in the region but about the resilience of the people. We will learn how we in the United States can join in the story.”
The Second Annual Presbyterian Week of Action, Aug. 23-29, is designed to bring attention and action to people and communities living under different forms of oppression, a response to the PC(USA)’s Matthew 25 invitation and Hands & Feet initiative. It is seven days with online events each day designed to illuminate the issues the focus group for the day face.
Visit the Week of Action website for information on all days and an overview of the week.
This is the schedule for Monday (all times Eastern):
11 a.m. — Webinar: From Shades of Oppression Towards Ways of Resistance
1 p.m. — Stories of Resilience, Peacebuilding and Resistance. Panel discussion
5 p.m. — Stories of Resilience and Healing, intergenerational event geared towards children — Prerecorded with live host
7 p.m. — Vespers Service — pre-recorded premier
The “Shades of Oppression Towards Ways of Resistance” webinar will look at discriminatory policies in Israel from the nation’s establishment in 1948 to the present, human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories and the role Christian Zionism has played in those abuses. The “Stories of Resilience, Peacebuilding, and Resistance” panel will include Rifat Kassis, a Palestinian advocate for more than 30 years and widely published author; Vian Ahmed Sadiq, an Iraqi-Kurdish activist, humanitarian leader, and women-empowerment advocate; Mathilde Michael Sabbagh, a preacher serving as pastor of the National Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Al-Hasakeh-Syria; and Yasmina Haddad, granddaughter of a Palestinian refugee and the daughter of Lebanese (and Colombian) immigrants who is a long-time member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
The Vespers service to end the day will be primarily led by church leaders from Lebanon.
“Our hope is that people will learn that the issues and contexts of the Middle East are directly connected to the United States and its foreign policies,” Cosby and Sherby say of the day’s offerings. “The peace and wellbeing of the Middle East are bound up with the peace and wellbeing of the United States and of other countries around the world.”
This is the fourth of seven stories detailing each day of the Week of Action.
Other Week of Action previews
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Categories: Advocacy & Social Justice, Matthew 25, World Mission
Tags: 2021 presbyterian week of action, christina colby, ellen sherby, hands & feet initiative, Israel-Palestine, Mathilde Michael Sabbagh, matthew 25 invitation, middle east peace ... our peace, rifat kassis, Shades of Oppression Resistance and Liberation, syria, united states, Vian Ahmed Sadiq, Yasmina Haddad
Ministries: World Mission, Matthew 25 in the PC(USA): Join the Movement