Mennonite Church Canada Palestine-Israel Network

The Mennonite Church Canada Palestine and Israel Network (PIN) is a volunteer association of working groups and individuals who seek to promote a just peace in the Holy Land. Our mandate is the resolution on Palestine and Israel that was passed at the Mennonite Church Canada 2016 Assembly, in response to the call of Palestinian Christians.

Photo credit: Joanna and Dan Hiebert Bergen.

In keeping with the six purls of the resolution, the network has sought to

  • 1) stimulate prayer, education, and advocacy action in our congregations
  • 2) form partnerships with Canadian Jews, Palestinians, and church-related bodies advocating for justice and dignity for all in Palestine and Israel
  • 3) promote support for international law and human rights in Israel and Palestine by engaging our government representatives and
  • 4) discourage economic practices and policies that help perpetuate the oppression of Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

 

News, Prayer, Action

Speak out against home evictions in Jerusalem

On May 2, 37 families in two Palestinian neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem will be evicted from their homes in order to create room for Israeli settlers. This is part of a larger, escalating pattern of colonization of Palestinian territories that have been under Israeli military occupation since 1967, in contravention of International law. Christian leaders in the region are urging their brothers and sisters abroad to ask their governments to speak out against this injustice. Will we support them? We can pray, and we can act. Help us take action by:

  • Reading this letter from Kairos Palestine, a consortium representing the Christian churches
  • Writing your own letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau. Click here for background information and a letter-template.
  • Join the next monthly "Write-a-Letter Wednesday" Zoom gathering on April 28, 7:00 p.m. CST. Subscribe to the monthly MC Canada PIN Update to receive the meeting link in the April 24 issue.

Book recommendation

Beyond the Two-State Solution is a thoughtful and accessible presentation of a one-state solution for Palestine and Israel. Author Jonathan Kuttab is a Palestinian human rights lawyer who has served on the board of Bethlehem Bible College and who led a legal team during the Oslo accords of the 1990s. An Anabaptist-Mennonite in his theology,  he divides his time between the U.S. and East Jerusalem. Order here, or click here for a free e-book from Nonviolence International.

Read and watch Peter Larson's excellent interview with Jonathan about the book.

Resources

CommonWord

In the wake of the 2016 resolution, CommonWord has assembled extensive resources (books, videos and curricula) related to Palestine and Israel. Downloadable resources generated specifically for resolution follow-up include:

“A Cry for Home” from Mennonite Central Committee

While not formally linked to Mennonite Church Canada PIN, this public-awareness campaign began in the year following Mennonite Church Canada’s resolution. Drawing on MCC’s seven decades of partnerships in Palestine and Israel, “Cry for Home” includes a raft of informative fact sheets, videos and calls to action. It has also developed a land exercise, a hands-on learning experience about the Palestinian experience. Mennonite Church Canada PIN working groups and individuals draw heavily—and gratefully—on Cry for Home resources.

Links to associated organizations

The following links will take you to the websites of these organizations. Click the profile button below for info on each one.

Profiles

Sign up for the MC PIN newsletter

Each month we send out a newsletter that includes an action call, a few brief updates and links related to peace and justice in Palestine and Israel, and a call to prayer. Click the link below to view the current issue and subscribe by clicking the button on the top left of the newsletter. Please be in touch!

Click here for our CURRENT ISSUE

 

Working Groups

Mennonite Church Alberta

A working group was formed out of local initiatives by both Mennonite and Mennonite Brethren church members in Edmonton. In cooperation with MCC and with Canadian Friends of Sabeel, they have promoted lecture tours, sponsored educational events on Palestine and Israel, and hosted gatherings of people who have been on learning tours to the region. Contact: Suzanne Gross at suzannegross@netscape.net.

Mennonite Church British Columbia

Mennonite Church British Columbia. The Service, Peace and Justice Committee (SPJ) of MCBC has taken responsibility for addressing issues related to Palestine and Israel.  The committee has been involved in organizing and supporting a number of educational and listening events together with MCC BC and other interested and concerned people in local Mennonite churches.  It has also been involved in highlighting and encouraging involvement in learning tours, encouraging purchasing of fair trade food items from Palestine, sharing worship resources and providing information about local actions and events taking place.  Chair of SPJ is Lorne Brandt: brandte1@telus.net. Representative on PIN is Jon Nofziger, charjon@telus.net.

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada

The MCEC Palestine-Israel Network Working Group is comprised of about eight members, including one Presbyterian and two Missionary Church people. Its  focus has been promoting tours to Palestine/Israel through Sabeel, MCC and Christian Peacemaker Teams. The group now has five people trained in the Palestine Land  Exercise ( through an MCC trainer ) and has begun to take it to church and other community groups. It has also held lectures on settlements, anti-Semitism and Palestine Liberation Theology. For more information, please go to the group's web page. Contact Kathy Bergen at bergenkathy@gmail.com.

Mennonite Church Manitoba

Mennonite Church Manitoba. The MCM working group comprises a dozen Winnipeg members of MCM churches along with several Canadian Mennonite University students.  Since the group began in 2017, it has helped organize educational events, often in partnership with local advocacy groups and CMU; met and written to government officials to advocate for Canadian support for Palestinian human rights;  promoted Palestinian fair trade products; developed and implementing a speakers’ bureau to resource congregations on Palestinian issues. They have also developed prayer requests and several downloadable resources that are available here. Chair: Jo Hiebert Bergen: jodanb@mts.net.

Mennonite Church Saskatchewan

MC Canada PIN is currently seeking a representative for MC Sask. If you are interested, contact MC Canada PIN chair, Byron Rempel-Burkholder at brempelburkholder@gmail.com.