Who We Are

Welcome to the website of the Upper New York (United Methodist) Conference Task Force on Peace with Justice in Palestine-Israel.

We have had a website for more than a year, but we hope this new one will be easier to navigate and update.

Please bear with us as we re-construct,  providing more accessible resources to share understanding and seek peace with justice!

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 stay in contact with Janet Lahr Lewis–our 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.