Holy Land Advocacy

The Holy Land Advocacy Team works to promote justice and peace in the Holy Land for Palestinians and Israelis through education, advocacy, and accompaniment. Palestinian Christians, and specifically our friends in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, live in deplorable conditions of occupation and inequality. Despite these circumstances, they are on the forefront of working for peace, creating hope and striving for the opportunity to experience the fullness of human rights we would expect for all people. As members of churches in the United States, we have a particular responsibility to advocate for a more just and equal treatment of the Israel/Palestine conflict, as well as to insist that our government abide by its own laws regarding human rights and foreign aid.

“The Psalmist laments and cries out, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” Palestinians have long asked “how long?” and looked for signs that they are not forgotten. The prophet Jeremiah’s message conveys God’s promise of hope during a time of yearning for home, for Jerusalem. Jeremiah offers comfort that God’s plans guarantee the welfare of the people, and a future of hope. Seventy years of displacement and dispossession, half a century of occupation, and generations of yearning are enough. We trust in God, that the hope the prophets foretold is not only a promise for all of God’s children, but will be realized, and we pray—and recommit to working—for the realization of God’s justice and peace for all peoples.” 

An Excerpt from 70 Years On: Seeking a Hopeful Future in a Time of Yearning,  an ecumenical document for the 70th anniversary of the “Nakba” (Day of Catastrophe) on May 15, 1948, remembering the displacement and dispossesion of 750,000 Palestinians following the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. The document was signed by more than a dozen religious groups in the United States, including the ELCA. Read the full document at: http://blogs.elca.org/peacenotwalls/elca-joins-more-than-a-dozen-other-churches-and-christian-organizations-in-a-statement-70-years-on-seeking-a-hopeful-future-in-a-time-of-yearning/

Members of the Holy Land Advocacy Team are available to present on this topic in your setting or to recommend speakers for you. Contact the synod office if you need contact information.

Upcoming Holy Land Trips

Bethel Series Pilgrimage to the Holy Land - February 22 – March 3, 2019

Join Reverend Jeff Quinto, Bethel Series Executive Director, and his wife Toni on ten life-changing days in the Holy Land, February 22 – March 3, 2019, on the 2nd Annual Bethel Series Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Holy Land Trip - June 15-26, 2019 with Pastor Blake Rohrer

This journey will be a pilgrimage in which we will follow in the footsteps of Jesus, seeing the lands of the Bible. Throughout the trip we will share group reflection, prayer and worship.

Recent News & Events

Mission Moment: Holy Land Advocacy Group

This past Sunday evening, a group from seven congregations of people who have participated in travels to the Holy Land gathered at Advent in Madison to rekindle their passion and reinvigorate our synod's work with the ELCA Peace Not Walls program of Advocacy, Awareness, and Accompaniment.

ELCA Presiding Bishop Issues Pastoral Message on Gaza Situation

Like so many here in our country and around the world, I am appalled and saddened by yesterday’s escalation of Israeli military action against protestors in Gaza.

Documents & Resources

ELCA 2016 Churchwide Assembly Actions & Resources relating to the Holy Land

Peace Not Walls, the ELCA campaign for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel.

Study Guide for the book Faith in the Face of Empire by Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb

Fact Sheet – Israeli Settlements