The People in Partnership program enables United Church people and global partners to encounter each other, accompany each other in God’s mission, and learn more about each other’s contexts. The program provides a framework for the exchange of people (from Canada to global partners, and from global partners to Canada).
This opportunity is a cross-cultural embodiment of the mission relationship between The United Church of Canada and global partners in the Middle East, through the World Council of Churches (WCC). Created in 2002 in response to an appeal from local church leaders, the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) is an ecumenical response to create an international presence to contribute toward the realization of a just peace in Palestine and Israel. The candidate will be appointed to a three-month role as an accompanier, assigned to a local partner throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem.
The Ecumenical Accompanier (EA) will serve under the supervision of the Local Program Coordinator of EAPPI. The EA will live and serve in a close, collaborative way with other international EAs. The EAs accompany Palestinians and Israelis who work in nonviolent ways for peace, and people in Palestine and Israel navigating daily routines, often under duress. The primary responsibility is to offer a protective presence to vulnerable communities, and monitor and report human rights abuses. The incumbent must have a willingness to learn and accompany the mission and ministry of the WCC in occupied Palestine. Upon return home, the incumbent will share first-hand experience to inform their local community of faith, civil society, and government of the realities of occupation.
The United Church affirms a vision of an intercultural church that is welcoming, relational, adaptive, justice-seeking, intentional, and mission-centred. The church affirms that right relations are at the heart of God’s mission, and that global partnerships are opportunities for expressions of relationships that are respectful, equitable, just, and mutually accountable. As a denomination, the United Church understands that for transformation, love, and justice to happen we need to understand each other’s contexts more deeply, and understand how those contexts impact each other for good or harm.
Reasonable accommodation will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- Active commitment to, and articulation of, the gospel of Jesus Christ and participation The United Church of Canada with solid knowledge of the mission and ministry of The United Church of Canada, its partnership in mission policy and practice, and support of the ecumenical movement;
- Good physical condition to deal with the physical demands of monitoring and accompaniment;
- Good mental health with a solid support structure during and upon return, to process experiences of occupation;
- Excellent English language verbal, written, and electronic communication and networking skills. Ability to read, analyse, and interpret large amounts of complex information;
- Basic verbal Arabic language is a definite asset;
- Ability to exercise self-awareness, sensitivity, and compassion often working within areas of cultural difference. Personal integrity, maturity, and respect for others essential;
- Lived cross-cultural experience an asset, preferably in church or church-related work;
- Intellectual discipline and alertness. Good self-esteem; in touch with one’s own needs, strengths, and limitations;
- Commitment to advocating for change and promoting a just peace in Palestine and Israel upon return home;
- Willingness and ability to spend three months or more in Palestine and Israel, and to work under the direction of the partners;
- Commitment to adhere to the security measures of the EAPPI program; and
- Ability to live a simple lifestyle.
This position serves from a local placement in the West Bank and Jerusalem with limited resources and facilities and high levels of demands. Working hours may be extended depending on the needs of the local community.
This appointment is subject to the following conditions:
- a positive recommendation for overseas service from the Church in Mission Unit’s medical consultant based on a thorough medical examination, and approval of application for insurance from the overseas medical insurance carrier;
- a satisfactory outcome from a police records check through the Canadian Police Information Centre via the RCMP; and
- global partner approval.