The World Council of Churches (WCC), of which the United Church is a member, has expressed deep concern over the renewed wave of violence in Jerusalem in recent weeks.

The WCC stands in solidarity with the churches and peoples of Palestine and Israel, and affirms their conviction that “the illegal occupation of the Palestinian Territories must be brought to an end—not as a pre-condition for an end to violence, but as an essential foundation for any long-term, sustainable and just peace in the region.”

The United Church invites you to pray for all those affected by the violence, and especially those suffering from the effects of the occupation. We pray for courage among all leaders to take action to end the violence and toward a true, just peace. You may wish to use this prayer.

You are encouraged to join the search for a just peace between Palestinians and Israelis through our Unsettling Goods Campaign. The Advent Peace Box, a practical tool for worship and study, offers an intergenerational starting point for congregations. To go deeper, the Let's Keep Talking resources help faith communities move beyond some of the barriers and questions that can hold us back from fully engaging in the vision for a just peace.

Amid the renewed violence, we see signs of hope. Ecumenical accompanier Dawn, currently stationed in Jerusalem, participated in a peace march on October 18. She describes the experience in a recent blog post:

Standing together with 2,000 Jews and Palestinians holding signs proclaiming their refusal to be enemies, exposing the racism, and calling for an end to the occupation, I experienced a moment of grace—a moment of hope—and a realization of what could be possible.