faith in action

Praying for Peace in Gaza and Israel

Church and Society's general secretary, the Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, grieves for the dead and offers this prayer for peace after the Israeli military killed dozens and injured thousands of Palestinian protestors.

This week, we grieve the fear, horror, terror, violence, bloodshed and death of children, youth, women and men in Gaza. Israeli forces killed 59 Palestinians, most by gunfire, and injured more than 2,700 on Monday, Gaza Health Ministry said. (US News)

I have led many groups of Christian, Muslim and Jewish students, faculty members and staff to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan. We listened to and learned much from the people of the region: Israelis, Palestinians, Bedouin, Iraqis, Jordanians – many living in diaspora – about the root causes of violence. The effects of such conflict are profound.

Safety, freedom, education, health care, economic health, family life are deeply compromised. All people hope for a world that is not only free from violence and conflict but yearn for a world of joy, safety, security, wonder and freedom. There are many histories, geo-political realities, socio-economic constructs, other national and international interests, militarization, money and greed that feed these conflicts.

Many in the U.S. and around the world continue to invest in, intervene in, profit from the affairs that continue to create occupation, violence, bloodshed, conflict and war.

As United Methodist Christians we have a vocation – a calling – to invest in, take responsibility for, intervene in the things that make for peace- wherever we call home and around the world.

Each summer, I have the privilege of speaking to Israeli, Palestinian and US young people who are living and traveling together for peace. Kids4Peace is a faith-based organization that connects all of Jerusalem: Israeli, Palestinian, Christian, Muslim, Jewish – across over 40 neighborhoods and schools. Two of their objectives are:

  • To challenge simplistic rhetoric that demonizes the other side
  • To demonstrate the power of nonviolent activism.

It is my prayer that we take inspiration from these young people. Our moral commitments, our national resources, our faith-filled prayers, our actions must live out our faith always seeking the ways of peace.