This decision was a response to official requests from Heads of Churches in Jerusalem and the World Council of Churches. Importantly it was also a response informed by many Uniting Church members who have visited the Holy Land in recent years. Whether participating in ecumenical outreach programs, pilgrimages or their own personal travel, many Uniting Church members have come back to Australia shocked at the inhumane treatment of Palestinians in their homeland.
After his National Ministers’ Conference in Jerusalem in 2014, ex-President Rev. Prof. Andrew Dutney shared moving stories of the “Living Stones” - to borrow the phrase from 1 Peter 2:5 - the members of the Palestinian Christian community who endure daily humiliation, intimidation and worse under Israeli military occupation.
As Christians we recall that we are all part of the one body of Christ and ‘if one member suffers, we all suffer together with it.’ (1 Corinthians 12:26) So in occupied Palestine and wherever else people suffer, we must not forget the oppressed.
This week, in accordance with the 14th Assembly resolution, we launch the Living Stones web page on the Assembly website http://assembly.uca.org.au/palestine. The Living Stones page contains a number of resources to inform and encourage you in your engagement with this important issue.
We commend the page and its resources to you and your Council members, and encourage you to build awareness in your Church and your community about justice for the Palestinian people.
Your prayers, support and solidarity for our Palestinian brothers and sisters in Christ are greatly needed. These prayers together with your continuing prayers for a just peace for Palestine and Israel are highly valued.