Bishop William Kenney led the opening words at a service held in the Garden at Friends House in London today (Saturday 28 September) to mark the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel . The week, called for by the World Council of Churches invites members churches and faith communities to come together for a week of prayer, education and advocacy for an end to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine and a just end to the conflict.
Before the service began Bishop William Kenney and the Rev Paul Dean representing the United Reform Church joined others in playing the life-size 'Occupation: a game of life', a game of chance highlighting the hurdles and injustices that Palestinians face on a daily basis as they seek to move within the West Bank. The game is produced by Embrace the Middle East.
During the service, which was created by Pax Christi, prayers were offered for peacemakers in Palestine Israel, this included members of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme, organisations such as the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions , Bishop Younan, the Lutheran Bishop of Jerusalem as well as young Israeli Conscientious Objectors who refuse to cooperate with the occupation.
There was a symbolic action during the service when people anointed one another with olive oil from Palestine as a recognition of the need for change and repentance of each one and as a commitment to work for peace with the peoples of Palestine Israel.Olive oil is a symbol of peace, as the olive tree is the witness of deep-rooted heritage, the fruit for spiritual anointment and practical livelihood in Palestine.
Similar services have taken place around the world this week, a sign of the growing desire for solidarity and commitment to peace in Palestine Israel.
The UK Partners of the week are: Baptist Union of Great Britain, Christian Aid , Church of Scotland, Council of Lutheran Churches, EAPPI, Embrace the Middle East, Friends of Sabeel UK, Methodist Church, Pax Christi, United Reformed Church-Commitment for Life
Source: Pax Christi
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