Welcome to the website of the Upper New York (United Methodist) Conference Task Force on Peace with Justice in Palestine-Israel. You will notice that numerous topics are listed under our banner on the header. Each one is a page you can click for information.
If you’d like to help bring healing to the Holy Land, we encourage you to click on “UM Kairos Response: Catalogue & Resources.” On that page you’ll find numerous ways to speak with words and deeds that transform.
United Methodist Kairos Response is an organization among UMs which has taken up the cry of Palestinian Christians for justice. “Kairos” is a Greek word for “significant time.” While “chronos” refers to the calendar, “kairos” refers to the “now” when we choose to live fully and extravagantly the opportunity God presents for life in abundance. The Kairos Document was penned several years ago , challenging faithful people everywhere to hear the yearnings of the brokenhearted and oppressed in Palestine-Israel.
As the community of those who listen and care continues to expand, we offer these many resources, and also an interactive, photographic Facebook page–a “place” to build community and mutual support. Visit that page at the web address which follows, and “like” us or leave a comment. We look forward to your partnership in bringing holy peace to the Holy Land! https://www.facebook.com/pages/UM-Palestine-Israel-Task-Force-UNYAC/697571236995771
Our spiritual journey (as a United Methodist Task Force) began about 25 years ago. Bishop Stith had encouraged trips to the Holy Land. After many tours of the holy sites, there was a growing concern that we meet the “Living Stones:” Palestinians and Israelis who are living the story of reconciliation today. In 1989, a journey for “deeper understanding” was taken, at which point a group was organized to work on urgent human needs and issues of fundamental justice in the Holy Land today. The North Central NY Task Force was formed for the purpose of educating and advocating for peace and justice in Palestine-Israel. In 2014, a few years into the life of the “Upper New York Annual Conference,” the Task Force was recognized as an arm of the new body’s “Social Holiness” witness and outreach.
Our discerning is ongoing. Many members of our Task Force have participated in Holy Land trips to learn and to understand more clearly what it means to live in the Holy Lands today, both for Palestinians and for Israelis. By trips we mean experiences led by David Wildman from the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, delegations from Interfaith Peace-Builders, Christian Peace-Maker Teams, YMCA-YWCA JAI of East Jerusalem (Olive Harvest) and others. We aim to stay in contact with Kristen Brown–our new United Methodist Liaison in Jerusalem, with Alex and Brenda Awad, and others working and living in the area.
We listen, pray, and raise funds to send more people to experience for themselves the injustice which brings about the oppression of two peoples. When our travelers return, they share their experiences with the intention of increasing understanding here in the U.S.A. of what daily life is like for both Palestinian and Israeli people, and how we as Americans are involved in perpetuating power relations harmful to both.