Focus on Israel/Palestine
The PCC meeting on 9th July 2014 decided unanimously that St John’s should become a Kairos Community. We have now signed up as a Kairos Community on the Kairos Britain website (www.KairosBritain.org.uk)
On October 21st the PCC approved our Programme of Action for 2015. This is to:-
- Keep ourselves informed about the situation in Israel and Palestine through the weekly newsletter, St Johns News and the website as appropriate
- Continue to keep Israel and Palestine in our prayers
- Support the development of a network of UK Kairos Communities, with emphasis on the Churches within the Oxford Diocese.
- Undertake studies to understand more about the historical context and what the Bible has to say about Israel/Palestine.
- Look for, and advertise opportunities to hear more about the situation in Israel and Palestine
- Inform people of opportunities to take action for a just peace in Israel and Palestine
- Support initiatives by groups working for justice and peace in Israel/Palestine.
- Learn more about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) programme and consider whether we might take action as a Church or as individuals
- Inform people about, and encourage them to take up, opportunities to visit or to volunteer to work in Israel/Palestine
- Maintain the “Kairos Crowthorne” blog (used for sharing news of events and networking with other Kairos Communities) with links to St John’s website.
In order to support this programme, the Kairos Group will be opened up to others, possibly including people from other local Churches. If you would like to join the group, please talk to one of the current members.
The Kairos Group will consult with the PCC on any proposed collective actions by the Church.
Vote in Parliament
On 13th October, the UK Parliament On 13th October the UK Parliament passed the following motion by 274 votes to 12:
"That this House believes that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel, as a contribution to securing a negotiated two state solution."
Although the current Government is not committed to change its policy, this is a significant moment in putting right the wrongs which Britain has done to the Palestinian people. The Labour Party, if elected to power, is committed to formally recognise Palestine as Government Policy. Other European Countries (e.g. Spain and France) are considering their position. May the many wise words said in the UK debate help in working towards justice and peace for all in Israel and Palestine.
A Pilgrimage for Peace led by Rt Revd John Pritchard
The retiring Bishop of Oxford is leading a Pilgrimage of Peace to the Holy Land on 20th-30th April 2015. Details can be found on www.lightline.org.uk. This is a really ethical tour aimed at people who want to learn more about the situation. You would meet people from Jewish and Arab communities with different experiences to share and a profoundly different understanding of their place in the ‘Land of the Holy One’. In addition to this fascinating programme there will be opportunities for guided reflection and study.
The Kairos Group
(Ken Perrett, Tracy Perrett, Brian Berry, Hazel Berry)