Who is engaged in the ELCA's efforts toward a just peace in Palestine and Israel?
ELCA Staff and Units | Synods and Congregations | Companions | Partners
To contact Karin Brown, the Peace not Walls Coordinator, email Karin Brown
or call 202 626 7937.
Over 40 North American Lutheran Bishops attended the 2009 Bishops' Academy in the Holy Land - a group effort of bishops and churchwide staff - to witness for a just peace in the region and to accompany our companions there, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and the Lutheran World Federation.
ELCA Staff and Units
In 2005 the ELCA adopted the churchwide Strategy for Engagement in Israel and Palestine and urged members to participate in the campaign, Peace Not Walls - Stand for Justice in the Holy Land. Churchwide assemblies in 2007 and 2009 reaffirmed the goals and implementation strategies.
As a churchwide campaign, Peace Not Walls is a collaborative effort of staff from Global Mission, Church in Society, Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations, Communications, Synodical Relations, the Office of the Bishop and the North American office of the Lutheran World Federation.
The Southeast Michigan Synod, a companion synod with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, has sent many members, including youth, to the Holy Land.
Synods and Congregations
Synods and congregations raise awareness around the ELCA and engage members in action and advocacy toward a just peace. The Middle East Ready Bench Bishops provide leadership and strategic direction.
The Southeast Michigan Synod and the New England Synod are official companion synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), but many other synods have working groups dedicated to implementing the Peace Not Walls campaign.
Holy Land Companions
The ELCJHL, the only indigenous Arab-speaking Lutheran church in the world, is our companion church in the Holy Land. With six congregations and their ministries, four schools and four additional educational ministries, the ELCJHL is training a new generation of Christian and Muslim youth who are learning to build a democratic society with human rights for all, regardless of religion, political affiliation, ethnicity or gender.
After the 1948 war, the LWF began providing health care services through Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) to the Palestinian refugees. Since then, AVH has grown to include village health clinics, and is the only provider of some medical services in the West Bank, such as juvenile dialysis and radiation cancer therapy. Additional programs provide vocational education and support training of the blind.
Many denominations work together toward a lasting just peace in Palestine and Israel. Specifically, the ELCA is very active in Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)
, a coalition of 22 public policy offices of national churches and agencies -- Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant. They seek to maintain on-going dialogue with Congress, the Administration and the diplomatic community, to advance these principal advocacy concerns: the avoidance and resolution of armed conflict, human rights, arms control, foreign aid and the unique nature of Jerusalem - sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims.
Through the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative (NILI) for Peace in the Middle East, ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson participates with religious leaders from the three monotheistic traditions to urge Jews, Christians and Muslims to mobilize broad public support for active, fair and firm U.S. leadership in pursuit of Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace.