Atlanta Church Summit in the News

In all, leaders of 24 churches — including the United Church of Christ — gathered for two days of prayer and to discuss the ethical urgency for a just peace in Palestine-Israel, to express ecumenical unity in action towards a lasting political solution to the Israeli occupation, and to strengthen the Christian presence in the Holy Land. "All those present agreed to the importance of continuing deliberate collaboration with urgency and energy," said Peter Makari, Global Ministries executive for the Middle East and Europe. "The fact that it happened is historic."
 
“Bishop Younan and other leaders are calling for U.S. churches to strengthen the Christian presence in Palestine,” said Rev. Cindy Halmarson. “I hope this conference is the beginning of a broader and deeper coalition of U.S. church support to accompany Palestinians in pursuit of peace and strengthening Christian presence in the Holy Land.”
 
Jerusalem's Christian leaders are jointly asking President Barack Obama not to veto a possible Palestine resolution at the United Nations following a historic summit with their American counterparts.
 
Why does it matter that the people who gathered together in Atlanta identify themselves as Christians? Because despite all of our differences in theology and practice, as people of faith we are drawn together by the knowledge that “faith without works is dead.” As Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb reminded those present, “Hope is knowing that the world might come to an end tomorrow and yet to make the decision today to go out into the garden and to plant an olive tree. Optimism is what we see, and hope is what we do.”