The Interfaith and Ecumenical Task Team for the Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ (UCC), has organized the following web pages as an aid to local churches who wish to deepen their understanding of the ongoing conflict in the Holy Land between Israelis and Palestinians. Our goals are to highlight the diverse narratives and perspectives of people on all sides of the conflict, and to make available the historic documents and positions of the UCC on the conflict.
In keeping with our mandate as a task team, we seek to help foster constructive dialogue with ecumenical and interfaith partners, both here in Massachusetts and beyond. We believe that fostering a truly multi-narrative understanding of the situation is both a step towards healing, and a tool for effective advocacy that can help bring peace and justice to the region.
The ongoing conflict and violence in the Holy Land is a source of great concern to the United Church of Christ for many reasons. As Christians, we recognize this land as being the place in which our faith tradition emerged and was shaped in its earliest moments; we identify the roots of our tradition in Jesus’ life and the early Christian church, and also in our connection to God’s unbroken covenant with Israel.
Through the wider United Church of Christ, we have relationships with a number of partners in the region, including Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities who have sustained their faith over centuries. In our own neighborhoods in Massachusetts, we have connections with Jewish, Muslim, Baha’i and Druze faith communities, as well as Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians, Protestants and Catholic communities.
Many of our own members, as well as our neighbors, have personal ties and connections to the Holy Land, and some have traveled or lived in the region. Finally, as Americans, we must take seriously our engagement in this region as a national power, with military, economic and political influence. For these reasons and more, many churches are seeking guidance on how to work for peace, advocate for justice, and engage in dialogue with others around the Israel-Palestinian Conflict.