The Ministry for Middle East Peace and Justice was formed at Grace in 2004, for the purposes of 1) educating its members and the Grace congregation on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, 2) building stronger ties to the Christian Church in the Holy Land, and 3) advocating for Palestinian human rights--and for justice, peace and security for all the people who live in Israel/Palestine.
Partner Churches in Palestine
Prominent in the ministry's activities is the support of an Anglican congregation that worships at two churches in Palestine: the St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Nablus and the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rafidia. The partnership remains vibrant through regular exchange visits. Notable ones include several trips by Grace contingents to Nablus/Rafidia, the participation of three Grace members in a 2010 Nablus summer camp, and almost yearly trips by youth in the Nablus congregation to join Grace youth in the Tri-Cities Workcamp.
Interfaith Dialogue and Learning
In addition, the ministry seeks to conduct learning opportunities for our congregation and the wider community. MMEPJ maintains contact with the Ezher Bloom Mosque in Chantilly, VA, organizing Grace participation in Ramadan Iftar dinners and planning for reciprocal visits to Grace. Through MMEPJ, Grace is also a founding member of the Voices from the Holy Land film series, shown in the DC area for the last five years. The series includes a variety of informative and compelling documentary films about the people living in the Holy Land.
Supporting individuals, organizations, and small businesses working for peace and justice in Palestine
Each November Grace sponsors an Alternative Gift Fair, and the MMEPJ facilitates the inclusion of Palestinian crafts and products. Proceeds go to Palestinian causes and to support the Palestinian individuals, businesses, and organizations that produced the products. For instance, olive oil sales provide funding for Tent of Nations as well as the olive oil producers - Canaan Fair Trade.
MMEPJ has sponsored several trips to the Middle East. The latest, A Pilgrimage of Discovery, was held during the fall of 2018. For an overview of that experience, please click here.
For more information, please contact Kathy Drinkard.
Image already added
Image already added