The denomination’s long-standing witness in Israel and Palestine has spanned a range of efforts. More than 1,700 rabbis signed a letter to the church asking it to oppose divestment and criticizing it for selling the network's literature. Great word there – “meaty.” Most mainline churches – and, for that matter, way too many evangelicals – are all cotton candy. Presbyterians have discussed divestment for a decade, and a similar vote was defeated by a slim margin two years ago at the last church assembly. He said the church was not only choosing divestment, but "separation" from Israel and Jewish allies. It called Zionism a "false theology.". Kilkenny Church is a Christian Fellowship of ordinary people who love Jesus Christ and want to help you find real life in Him. Supporters of the wider Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, described Presbyterian divestment as a victory, though the measure the church passed Friday evening separated itself from the movement. Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter, Senior Religion Reporter, The Huffington Post. Major Jewish groups, including the Union for Reform Judaism and the Anti-Defamation League, came out against the pamphlet and divestment. The position of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) regarding the modern State of Israel is not determined by the denomination’s theology. Dunning said the church singled out Caterpillar because its bulldozers have been used to demolish Palestinian homes. It makes the 1.76-million member church the largest religious group to vote for divestment, an issue that has been fiercely debated in recent years among mainline Protestants. ©2020 Verizon Media. All Taxes Included. Presbyterian Church. It also demanded that Israel “end its occupation” and recognize a Palestinian state. There was an audible gasp on the floor of the COBO Center in downtown Detroit after the motion passed. The divestment, vehemently opposed by many of the nation's prominent Jewish organizations, and hailed by many pro-Palestinian activists, passed by seven votes after hours of tense and complex debate. Yet they hesitate to claim clarity on biblical prophecies of the end times, and are not sure how modern Israel might fit into those prophecies. Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director, said Friday that church leaders have "fomented an atmosphere of open hostility to Israel" and that the vote sent a "painful message" about Jewish-Presbyterian relations. But in recent decades most Presbyterians have come to the conviction that God has a continuing covenant with the Jews. Motorola Solutions, she said, was selected because the Israeli Defense Force buys the company's communication technologies. "We are grateful the church voted not to profit from the suffering of Palestinians under Israel's 47-year-old occupation," said Cecilie Surasky, the organization's deputy director. Their greatest achievement, however, lay in the establishment of prestigious educational institutions such as the American University in Beirut. Divestment has become one of our best hopes for change.". Today is National Voter Registration Day! The Presbyterian Church has been involved in mission efforts in the Middle East for nearly two centuries. She said the church targeted Hewlett-Packard because the Israeli Navy has used its products to coordinate the blockade of the Gaza Strip and because its biometric scanners are in place at checkpoints. Israel Travel Guide Explore Israel before you visit. As a mainstream evangelical church, the C&MA was a founding member of UCCI in 1956. “ Two-Covenant” Theology. The status of the Jewish people, modern Israel, and the promise of the Land are unclear. Members of the Presbyterian Church USA’s Israel Palestine Mission Network pose in front of Israel’s security barrier during one of their trips to the Holy Land. The Episcopal Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America both have rejected divestment. According to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, 82 percent of white evangelicals think God gave Israel to … AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images), Register for free to get the Insider newsletter, events and more. Good luck with your church hunt – and if you don’t ever set foot in a UMC (or any mainline) again, it’ll be their loss, not yours. For those with a more practical and worldly view, consider this. Pro-divestment speakers at the convention on Friday said the church has tried over the years to discuss its concerns with the companies, to no avail. E: , W: “Demanding” is a good word too – give people a challenge. The work of IRD is made possible by your generous contributions. We are visiting a reformed Presbyterian church where the prayers are powerful, the sermon is meaty and demanding, and the worship is heartfelt and spirit-filled. The Friends Fiduciary Corp., which coordinates investments for 250 Quaker groups, divested from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Veolia Environment in 2012. Welcome to the EPC’s downloadable resource center. The most current PCUSA policy statement on the Middle East is a report entitled “Breaking Down the Walls” adopted by the 2010 General Assembly. Contact Us. On this page you can access a wide variety of EPC documents and forms, including the Book of Order, General Assembly Minutes, Position Papers, as well as a wide variety of EPC forms such as those used in approving candidates and calling ministers. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, twice addressed Presbyterians on the assembly floor to plead against divesting -- including offering to set up a meeting for church leaders with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if they voted it down. Important conversations are happening now. Its full members today include the Assyrian Church of the East, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, most jurisdictions of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Old Catholic Church, the Lutheran Churches, the Anglican Communion, the Mennonite Churches, the … OGA Staff Contacts Photo: Screenshot. Not all Jews came out against the Presbyterian vote. Israel-related divestment isn't the only kind that will be up for a vote at the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s gathering. Currently, the C&MA has church workers serving in 66 nations, with over 4 million members in 81 countries and territories of the world. All rights reserved. Evangelical Alliance Israel We, the Evangelical Alliance — Israel, are a cooperative alliance of churches and ministries, many of whom have been serving in the Holy Land since the Mandate period. “an immediate freeze both on the establishment or expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank” and East Jerusalem; “the relocation by Israel of the Separation Barrier to the 1967 border;”. The vote at the church's biennial General Assembly, meeting this week in Detroit, was 310 to 303. These institutions became seedbeds of Arab nationalism, and their graduates assumed important roles in movements such as the Palestine Liberation Organization. The PCUSA holds to a Reformed theology that emphasizes continuities between God’s covenant with ancient Israel and God’s covenant with the Church. “We rediscovered the Gospel as being a message of hope in the middle of crisis,” Hanna says of ministering during war. In earlier centuries most Presbyterians would have said that the Church had replaced Israel as God’s covenant people. I never thought I’d say this, but I think I am now officially against organized religion. "These companies have failed to modify their behavior and continue to profit from Israeli human rights abuses and non-peaceful pursuits," said the Rev. PCUSA General Assemblies in recent years have shown a distinct tilt toward the Palestinian side, with occasional lurches back toward a middle course. Kilkenny Presbyterian Church, 16 New Road, Kilkenny, T: 0567805589. While affirming “Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation within secure and internationally recognized borders,” the report criticizes a long list of Israeli policies and demands changes: Comment by Saraspondence on November 8, 2012 at 6:45 pm. Although the United Methodists voted against churchwide divestment in 2012, its General Board of Pension and Health Benefits decided last week to sell its stock in G4S, a prison and security services company, after members asked questions about its work in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. In July 2012, the Presbyterian Church (USA) narrowly rejected a proposal to divest from three companies that do business with Israel. Share & Download this tour: © 2020 The Institute on Religion and Democracy. The largest U.S. Presbyterian church narrowly voted Friday to divest from three multinational corporations that it said supply Israel with products that promote violence in occupied Palestinian territories. "This decision will undoubtedly have a devastating impact on relations between mainstream Jewish groups and the national Presbyterian Church (USA)," said Rabbi Steve Gutow, president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, whose organization was one of several major Jewish groups that had flown rabbis to Detroit to plead against divestment. Dr. Gary Burge, an evangelical Presbyterian and Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College is the author from whom much of this chapter’s content was gleaned. In a statement released this week, churches say they are concerned about the administration’s disregard for international law. Several of the church's regional bodies have proposed divesting from fossil fuel companies, following the United Church of Christ, which passed a similar divestment last year. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), with 3.5 million members, overwhelmingly approved a resolution in 2016 calling on the U.S. government to halt all aid to Israel [$3.8 billion per year] if the building of settlements continued. Gutow, in a statement, described the vote as stemming from a "deep animus" in church leadership against "both the Jewish people and the State of Israel.". In addition, it said the church should strive for "positive investment" in nonviolent efforts that help everyday Israelis and Palestinians. The PCUSA holds to a Reformed theology that emphasizes continuities between God’s covenant with ancient Israel and God’s covenant with the Church. The bulk of Evangelical support for Israel rests on faith, wonder, and a conviction that evil must not prevail against the Middle East’s democracy. For many US evangelical Christians, one of the key preconditions for such a moment is the gathering of the world’s Jews in a greater Israel between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. In one move that did align with pro-Israel groups' goals, but was largely overshadowed by divestment, the church voted down a proposal to boycott all Hewlett-Packard products. Caterpillar has said it doesn't sell its equipment directly to Israel, but to the U.S. government. Presbyterian churches are teaching that their Jewish neighbors are inherently racist and prone to abusing the rights of others. In any case, I can’t stomach the UMC anymore (literally) – I tried to hang on for Mark Tooley’s sake, but couldn’t do it in the end. The church is not the first religious group to divest, though it's the biggest and most influential. Evangelical Christians make up the biggest pro-Israel bloc in the US. "So be it," he added. Presbyterian Church (USA) Makes Controversial Divestment Move Against Israel, ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN-CONFLICT-KIDNAPPING-SAFETY, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement in the Israeli Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv, on June 15, 2014. But, I’m commitment phobic now, so we’ll see. Institute on Religion and Democracy1023 15th Street NW, Suite 200Washington, DC 20005Contact us | Media requests. (There is no Presbyterian church among the Palestinians, as far as I know.) A Motorola Solutions spokeswoman said the company's checkpoint equipment helps "people to get to their place of work or to carry out their business in a faster and safer way." Comment by Ben Welliver on November 8, 2012 at 9:47 pm. About Israel365 News offers a fresh and Biblical perspective on the latest news from Israel and the Middle East. Jewish Voice for Peace, a pro-divestment group based in Oakland, California, and Washington, D.C., sent several rabbis, many of the Reconstructionist denomination, to lobby in Detroit. Presbyterian Church Goes Full Nazi with New Boycott. The average pew warmer has no idea what goes on in these assemblies, so in a way these pronouncements are paper tigers, or choose your euphemism for wasted effort, useless activity, self-important pontifications. An effort supporting "positive investment" was passed at the church assembly in 2012, and the church has since invested close to a $1 million in education, renewable energy and microfinance in the Palestinian territories, according to Elizabeth Dunning, moderator of the church Mission Responsibility Through Investment committee. $4790 Per person in double room. This is why Paul refers to the Church in Galatians 6:16 as the "Israel of God." The network, a strong divestment supporter made up of Presbyterians, came under intense criticism this week by Jewish and pro-Israel activists, who had attacked not only its position on divestment, but also "Zionism Unsettled," a booklet it published that was sold in the church's online store. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote! Presbyterians have discussed divestment for a decade, and a similar vote was defeated by a slim margin two years ago at the last church assembly. Last year, the Mennonite Central Committee decided to not "knowingly invest in companies that benefit from products or services used to perpetrate acts of violence against Palestinians [and] Israelis." The EAI is committed to equipping and empowering its members to be an ever-brighter light in … But they anger me, when they attempt to say they are representing God, and representing the denomination’s souls, and doing it so poorly. Israel and the church are not two distinct peoples; rather, the church is the true Israel of God, “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession” (1 Peter 2:9). Netanyahu accused the Islamist Hamas movement of kidnapping three teenagers as a massive West Bank manhunt for the three missing youths entered its third day. From a personal standpoint, I would rather cast my lot with the Evangelical view. At its biennial General Assembly in St. Louis, the Presbyterian Church USA, one of the largest mainline churches in American Protestantism, continued to express support for the anti-Israel … Constituent membership is … 32:10; Zech. The votes Friday (June 24) by Presbyterian Church USA delegates angered mainstream Jewish groups, who said the measures unfairly “demonize” Israel, give a … Presbyterian World Mission supports mission co-workers who work with partner churches and contributes to refugee relief and resettlement. LEXINGTON, Kentucky — At the Presbyterian Church of Latakia, Syria, the Rev. It is the testimony of Arab Christian partners that many PCUSA officials cite in justifying their anti-Israel stance. 84 evangelical Christian leaders signed this statement on the Israel/Palestine situation, calling for "the Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a fair, two-state solution". Bishop Munib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. The report singles out the Israeli presence in the disputed territories as “the major issue for a just peace” in the region. The motion, … Salam Hanna ministers to people who have endured nine years of civil war and, recently, sanctions that have led to the worst economic crisis the nation has faced in a century. Lee Blvd., Suite 510 Orlando, FL 32822 407-930-4239 407-930-4247 (fax) With skewed facts, Presbyterians, via the chapter on “Evangelicals and Christian Zionism,” portray Christians who support Israel as dangerous and a threat to Middle East peace. The Episcopal Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America both have rejected divestment. Israeli concessions allowing “a shared status for Jerusalem”; “equal rights for Palestinian citizens of the state of Israel;”, various measures “to extend religious freedoms … throughout Israel without discrimination and prejudice against non-Jews.”. Add your voice. So Presbyterian sympathies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are guided less by theology and more by a sense of common values and interests with one party or the other. The Church, not Israel, is now the "apple of God's eye" (Deut. "In no way is this a reflection of our lack of love for our Jewish brothers and sisters," Heath Rada, the church assembly's moderator, told the assembly afterwards. Leading Evangelical Organization Calls on Christian Zionists to Repent for Supporting Israel ... About Israel365 News . Presbyterian Church Assembly. Evangelical Presbyterian Church Brisbane Meets in: Multi-Purpose Room Mount Ommaney Special School 94 Capitol Drive Mount Ommaney, QLD 4074 Office of the General Assembly 5850 T.G. But opponents described it as exactly that. The Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC), established in 1981, is a conservative denomination of 14 presbyteries and more than 600 churches in North America, with fraternal and strategic partnerships with numerous like-minded bodies around the world. Now these children of Israel are addressed by Paul in Romans 1:1-7 as the Church, which consists of both Jewish believers (natural descendants of Abraham) and Gentile believers. Presbyterians have a history of identification with Arab nationalism. (OGA) The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has joined other Christian denominations in rejecting President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights. The Christian Alliance Church has been in the Middle East since 1890, with more than 500 adherents in Israel. All rights reserved. The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a worldwide Christian inter-church organization founded in 1948 to work for the cause of ecumenism. In a prior interviews and statements, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard representatives have defended their products and cited their safety and human rights protection measures. Part of HuffPost Religion. T he Presbyterian Church USA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and American Friends Service Committee also deserve to be ostracized, shunned, and boycotted for supporting BDS and therefore (indirectly) Palestinian abuse of not only Jews, but … The Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) is an American church body holding to presbyterian governance and Reformed theology, expressed in an orthodox, conservative vein. “the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and diversion of water resources;”. When they first sent missionaries to the Middle East in the nineteenth century, they planted moderately sized Reformed denominations in Lebanon and Egypt. Walt Davis, a professor emeritus of San Francisco Theological Seminary and member of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network. Divesting from the three companies is "not to be construed or represented by any organization of the PC(USA) as divestment from the State of Israel, or an alignment with or endorsement of the global BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions) movement," said the text of the Presbyterian's overture. 2:8). "Now that U.S.-backed peace talks have proven to be ineffective, we hope that others, including Jewish institutions, will follow suit. When Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee wrapped up a visit to Israel on Nov. 15 with 40 pastors in tow, he sought out the places where Jesus walked, preached and prayed some 2,000 years ago. Our Travel Community Travel photos, stories & more ... "Oreland Evangelical Presbyterian Church Into the Promised Land Tour" May 06 - May 23, 2017 . The vote, amended several times on the assembly floor, also supported interfaith cooperation, the right of Israel to exist, and a two-state solution. Days before the recent Israel/Hamas conflict erupted, the Presbyterian Church USA withdrew $21 million worth in investments from Israel because, as spokesman Heath Rada put it, the Israeli governmen The position of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) regarding the modern State of Israel is not determined by the denomination’s theology. Could it be that the commitment of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church to Scripture and the promises of God to bless those who bless Israel could be a factor in the significant growth of membership? Israel finds common cause with evangelicals. It means the Presbyterian Church (USA) will sell its shares of Motorola Solutions, Caterpillar and Hewlett Packard, worth about $21 million. Thus, we may say Israel = the Children of Abraham by faith = the Church.