Saturday, June 7, 2014

WGME and Metro Chicago Synod: "Into All the World . . . "

Members of the Working Group on the Middle East attended the annual assembly of the Metro Chicago Synod of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) to tell people about the work of the group and invite enlarged participation.

The theme of this year's MCS synod assembly was "Into All the World."

WGME members answered questions at a display table that provided literature and displayed a poster about notable recent activities of the group, such as the Brant Rosen talk in February and participation in the 8th Day Good Friday Justice Walk in April.

WGME members Janelle Neubauer and Ulysses Burley held a workshop for assembly attendees to introduce them to the youth trip to the Holy Land, scheduled for June 2015.

The WGME members helped get the Friday morning plenary rolling with a "mission moment," featuring a video by Pastor Darryl Thompson Powell of the 8th Day Good Friday Justice Walk, with WGME members displaying hand-crafted posters of the separation wall art, and the following narration read by Joe Scarry:

One of the ministries of the Working Group this year involved joining with the 8th Day Center for Justice in their Good Friday prayer walk. Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Chicago to walk Stations of the Cross in the name of justice.

Our mission states: “Led by the Holy Spirit, [we] educate and urge the Metropolitan Chicago Synod to advocate actively for justice for Palestine and Israel.” We go “Into All the World”, even to downtown Chicago, to promote justice and peace in the Middle East.

The Working Group sponsored Station #5, the Weeping Women. More than 40 ELCA members from across the synod joined us as we led prayers and raised awareness about the concerns that make Palestinian women weep. Nine ELCA women-in-black symbolically wept beside 19 posters prepared by ELCA youth and seminary students. These posters, including the 2 on each side of the screens, represent what is found on Israel’s Separation Barrier. The art is a sign of protest, an invitation to peace, and a lament that the world has forgotten them.

Listen to the words of Abed whose community organization works within the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem.

[“And instead of complaining that everything is bad and always the fault of someone else and waiting for miracles to happen, we need to work to make miracles happen and provoke them to happen.”]

In other words, God’s work. Our hands.

We appreciate your ongoing support of the Working Group. Visit our exhibit. Attend the workshop led by Ulysses Burley and Janelle Neubauer. Ask about the trip they will lead to the Holy Land.

Thanks to all the WGME members for helping to spread the word about the activities of the working group! See you at our upcoming June meeting to plan for the future!