UCC offers its prayers, offerings and advocacy to urge peace for Israel-Palestine
January 6, 2009


In Gaza, more than 500 Palestinians have been killed and at least 3,000 injured as a result of the Israeli military campaign. Israelis have also been killed and others injured by rocket attacks originating from Gaza. The result of violence has only been more violence, more suffering.

Gaza has become the focus of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the last couple of weeks, with a focus on eradicating Hamas elements. Gaza – the most densely populated place on earth – is a small landmass of roughly 140 square miles, with a population of 1.5 million Palestinians. Gaza has been essentially sealed since Israel withdrew in August 2005, with little access for supplies (food, medicine, or fuel), a condition that has been made especially clear in the past days.  Unemployment is at an all-time high, and despair among Palestinians – both Muslims and Christians – is extremely high.

Collegium statement on Gaza
In a Jan. 6 Epiphany letter, the UCC's Collegium of Officers, urging comprehensive peace in the Middle East, prayed that "nations shall come to your light, and rulers to the brightness of your dawn."

Support humanitarian relief
The UCC is seeking an additional $75,000 for the immediate and long-term needs in Gaza. Already, $25,000 from the UCC's One Great Hour of Sharing offering has been sent to partners in Jerusalem who are preparing a shipment of humanitarian aid, including food, medical supplies and plastic sheeting, as soon as Israeli authorities open a border crossing.

Advocate for justice, healing
Take action to support international efforts to broker a comprehensive cease fire and pressure Israel to allow humanitarian relief supplies – including food, medical supplies, and fuel – to alleviate the suffering of hundreds of thousands.

About the UCC's work in the Middle East
Through Global Ministries, the United Church of Christ has long-established mission relationships in the area.  Here are the positions of the UCC’s General Synod.

Ecumenical responses
Statements calling for a comprehensive ceasefire and urgent humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza have been issued by many UCC partner bodies, including the Middle East Council of Churches, the Jerusalem Bishops and Patriarchs, the Sabeel Liberation Center [word doc], the World Council of Churches, and more. 

 

Photos courtesy of ACT international

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. J. Bennett Guess
Executive Minister, Local Church Ministries
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3801
guessb@ucc.org