Israel and Palestine
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem..." Psalm 122:6
According to the background statement in the Churchwide Strategy for Engagement in Israel and Palestine , "the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is 'called and sent to bear witness to God’s creative, redeeming, and sanctifying activity in the world.' As it participates with others in God’s mission, the ELCA is committed to 'serve in response to God’s love to meet human needs . . . advocating dignity and justice for all people, working for peace and reconciliation among the nations...' (ELCA constitutional provisions 4.01. and 4.02.c.).
"Nowhere is the task of transforming these words into action more challenging than in the land that Christians, Muslims, and Jews call 'holy.' The tragic, generations-long conflict between two peoples in one land involves more than Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Rather, this conflict has been shaped from its beginning by wider historical, political, and religious commitments and tensions."
The ELCA social statement For Peace in God's World was adopted by the Churchwide Assembly in 1995. A special ELCA campaign, Peace Not Walls, calls for efforts toward a viable, contiguous Palestinian state; a secure Israeli state at peace with its Arab neighbors; and a shared Jerusalem with equal access and rights for Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
2009 Bishops' Academy Trip
Bishops from the ELCA and ELCIC visited Israel and the West Bank Jan. 6-13, and a few visited Jordan Jan. 3-6. The 44 bishops met with religious, political and community leaders in the region, and visited sacred sites. The visit focused on supporting the mission and ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), learning about what life is like for Israelis and Palestinians, and advocating for peace and justice for all people there.
A blog was kept during the trip and a report and reflections were released upon returning to the U.S. Numerous resources will assist post-trip activities in the areas of Awareness, Accompaniment, Advocacy, and Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relationships. All are invited to use the numerous resources that have been posted to assist bishops and their constituents to address Middle East peace-making in the areas of Awareness, Accompaniment, Advocacy, and Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relationships.