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“Steadfast Hope” The Palestinian Quest for Just Peace. Adult Christian Education Series Fort Street Presbyterian Church March 21, 28; April 11,18, 2010.

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steadfast hope the palestinian quest for just peace

“Steadfast Hope”The Palestinian Quest for Just Peace

Adult Christian Education Series

Fort Street Presbyterian Church

March 21, 28; April 11,18, 2010

slide2

“Steadfast Hope: The Palestinian Quest for Just Peace”Fort Street Adult Christian Education – Spring 2010Course Materials and Class Discussion Schedule

  • Primary Source Material: 45-page Booklet, “Steadfast Hope,” and Accompanying DVD (Israel/Palestine Mission Network, PCUSA)
  • Schedule of Topics; Booklet Readings and DVD Viewing Assignments
    • Week 1 (March 21)– Welcome and Orientation; the Christian Call to Peacemaking; Distribution of Booklets and DVDs
      • NO DVD Materials; Pages 1-3 of Booklet
      • Peacemaking: The Believers’ Calling (PCUSA, 1980)
    • Week 2 (March 28)– Perspective
      • Pages 4-16 of Booklet
      • Part 1 of DVD
    • Week 3 (April 11)– Occupation
      • Pages 17-31 of Booklet
      • DVD Chapters 1,2,3 and 6
    • Week 4 (April 18) – Responses
      • Pages 32-39
      • DVD Chapters 4,5 and Conclusion
christian call to peacemaking
“Christian Call to Peacemaking”

Opening Prayer - A Psalm of Peacemaking

We live in a time when humanity stands on the border of a promised time,

when God’s people are summoned to obedience and faithfulness to preserve God’s creation,

to stand with the poor and oppressed everywhere,

and to stand together as the people of the earth;

when with confession and with humility

we repent of our blindness to the division

and war in our own hearts and in our own land,

our obsession with money and our pursuit of power,

our irrational belief in security through weaponry,

and our worship of secular gods.

Continued…

christian call to peacemaking4
“Christian Call to Peacemaking”

A Psalm of Peacemaking

Part 2, Continued…

We are called to be obedient to Jesus Christ,

the Prince of Peace, who loves the whole world

and who invites us to be stewards of the earth and servants of his people,

to be co-workers in the new Creation.

Let us be peacemakers.

Let us be called the children of God,

speaking boldly with moral conviction to the nation and to the world,

building, with God’s grace,

a new moral order in the world community;

and acting now for world peace,

and enterprise of justice,

and outcome of love.

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“Steadfast Hope: The Palestinian Quest for Just Peace”Fort Street Adult Christian Education – Spring 2010Session #1 – Outline and Anticipated Schedule

  • Part 1: Welcome; Opening Prayer for Peace and Justice; Introduction to the Series
    • Welcome and Opening Prayer; Introductions
    • Introduction of Primary Resource Material: 45-page booklet “Steadfast Hope” and accompanying DVD (Israel/Palestine Mission Network, PCUSA)
  • Part 2: Discussion of Anticipated Course Format (4 weeks; March 21,28; April 11,18)
    • Discussions will be structured to follow the booklet materials; participants are encouraged to read the booklet in advance of the session;
    • When time allows, we will watch the videos, but often we may not have enough time; it is hoped that the videos will be viewed in advance;
    • BONUS: In the first week, the group members will create a list of key words/phrases/events relating to the search for peace in Israel/Palestine; every week the list from the previous week will be expanded by all members of the group
  • Part 3: Week 1 Lesson – “Christian Call to Peacemaking”
    • NO DVD materials; Pages 1-3 of booklet
    • Peacemaking: The Believers’ Calling (PCUSA, 1980)
  • Part 4: Creating the List of Key Words/Phrases/Events
the gospel mandate for peacemaking the believers calling
The Gospel Mandate for Peacemaking“The Believers’ Calling”

Biblically Founded:

  • Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:9
  • From The Believers’ Calling (p17): “…God wills peace, ‘shalom;’ total well-being, wholeness, fulfillment, health, joyous harmony… Peacemaking involved the utilization of political processes for social healing more than merely the assignment of political priorities. The biblical grounding of these truths is very extensive [citing Psalm 85:8,10; Psalm 37:11; Isaiah 54:10-17; Zechariah 8:12; Colossians 1:1-19; James 3:16ff]…”
the gospel mandate for peacemaking the believers calling7
The Gospel Mandate for Peacemaking“The Believers’ Calling”

Swords into Plowshares – Isaiah 2:4

  • “God shall judge between the nations and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
the gospel mandate for peacemaking the believers calling8
The Gospel Mandate for Peacemaking“The Believers’ Calling”

A Historic Commitment to Peacemaking:

      • GA = General Assembly
      • GA 1946 (no nukes), 1954, 1956, 1962, 1969, 1970 (no undeclared war), 1975 (no war to maintain economic advantage);
      • GA 1980: “The Believers’ Calling”
  • The church is faithful to Christ when it is engaged in peacemaking;
  • The church is obedient to Christ when it nurtures and equips God’s people as peacemakers;
  • The church bears witness to Christ when it nourishes the moral life of the nation for the sake of peace in the world.
the gospel mandate for peacemaking the believers calling9
The Gospel Mandate for Peacemaking“The Believers’ Calling”

A Reconciling Vision of Love through Nonviolence (1988):

“Though the Reformed tradition has justified the resort to violence in response to particular forms of oppression, its emphasis on the reconciling vision of love presumes that the choice of nonviolence is more appropriate. As a way of life… it seeks peacefully to affirm creation, to respect the value and dignity of all human beings, and to recognize the potential for human fulfillment in all of God’s people.”

the gospel mandate for peacemaking the believers calling10
The Gospel Mandate for Peacemaking“The Believers’ Calling”

Security through Justice (GA 1994 Advocated)

  • The development of regional and global institutions that transcend the divisiveness of national structures and are capable of coping with global problems of war, peace, and conflict resolution,…
  • The development of a new meaning of security based on common interest, cooperation and trust, understanding that if any country is to be secure, all must be secure,…
the gospel mandate for peacemaking the believers calling11
The Gospel Mandate for Peacemaking“The Believers’ Calling”
  • The invasion of Iraq – 216th GA 2006 – Opposed to the War in Iraq
  • 218th GA (2008) - A Church Mandate for Palestine and Israel – “On Peace and Justice in Palestine and Israel”
218 th ga 2008 on peace and justice in palestine and israel
218th GA (2008)“On Peace and Justice in Palestine and Israel”
  • The church affirms the obligation of the church to speak to the governments of the United States and all other nations where it sees those governments violating the commandments of God;
  • The church endorses the “Amman Call,” including its affirmation of the UN resolutions that are the basis of a projected ‘two-state’ solution, a shared Jerusalem, and the human rights of refugees and occupied peoples;
218 th ga 2008 on peace and justice in palestine and israel13
218th GA (2008)“On Peace and Justice in Palestine and Israel”
  • The church commends the nonviolent witness of the Christians in Palestine and Israel;
  • The church encourages Presbyterian individuals, congregations and councils to take pilgrimages and trips to Israel and Palestine that are in harmony with our principles [and] opportunities to meet Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers and to engage in interfaith discussion of a range of perspectives.
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“Steadfast Hope: The Palestinian Quest for Just Peace”Fort Street Adult Christian Education – Spring 2010Session #1 – Outline and Anticipated Schedule

  • Part 1: Welcome; Opening Prayer for Peace and Justice; Introduction to the Series
    • Welcome and Opening Prayer; Introductions
    • Introduction of Primary Resource Material: 45-page booklet “Steadfast Hope” and accompanying DVD (Israel/Palestine Mission Network, PCUSA)
  • Part 2: Discussion of Anticipated Course Format (4 weeks; March 21,28; April 11,18)
    • Discussions will be structured to follow the booklet materials; participants are encouraged to read the booklet in advance of the session;
    • When time allows, we will watch the videos, but often we may not have enough time; it is hoped that the videos will be viewed in advance;
    • BONUS: In the first week, the group members will create a list of key words/phrases/events relating to the search for peace in Israel/Palestine; every week the list from the previous week will be expanded by all members of the group
  • Part 3: Week 1 Lesson – “Christian Call to Peacemaking”
    • NO DVD materials; Pages 1-3 of booklet
    • Peacemaking: The Believers’ Calling (PCUSA, 1980)
  • Part 4: Creating the List of Key Words/Phrases/Events
christian call to peacemaking15
“Christian Call to Peacemaking”

Closing Prayer – from “Peacemaking: The Believers’ Calling”

“God’s call to peacemaking is absolute. God is not a god of destruction, abandonment or death, but of life, peace and joy, who is jealous for a dynamic and full response from Christians who are called to be peacemakers in a warring world. Faith, hope, and love enable believers to give plow making priority over sword making, not because such a strategy is more “successful,” but because believers are called to be peacemakers in the presence of enemies.”

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