Middle East Task Force
The Middle East Task Force was appointed in the fall of 1974 by the Committee on Church and Society of the Chicago Presbytery, to implement the recommendations of the 186th General Assembly that “presbyteries encourage study and foster dialogue in response to the current Middle East conflict.”
ORIGIN AND PURPOSE
Forty-six years after its formation, the conflict in the Middle East, specifically in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories, has intensified, and efforts to achieve a peaceful and just solution for both parties proceed slowly if at all.
The Middle East Task Force continues its work in a covenant relationship, under the auspices of the Mission Priority Team, with the Presbytery of Chicago for the following purposes in 2020.
- To continue to be an educational vehicle for congregations, individuals, the Presbytery of Chicago, and, through the Presbytery, to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) concerning the continuing quest for a peaceful resolution to the conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinian people
- To interpret the actions and recommendations of General Assemblies and/or other religious bodies
- To advocate measures to end the occupation of Palestinian territories by establishing a viable Palestinian state or establishing a single shared state for all persons in the area of Israel and Palestinian territories, based on democratic principles and equality for all persons, including a resolution as to the questions of the rights of Palestinian refugees.
- To serve as a support network to Christians in the Middle East, to relate to Presbyterian and ecumenical bodies in the Middle East, and to communicate our solidarity with them
- To focus on other countries in the region including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran and Egypt, and to educate the Presbytery about the plight of Middle East Christians who have fled violence in their respective countries and are now refugees.
- To sponsor periodic traveling seminars and other trips to the Middle East to fulfill our educational, support, and advocacy missions.
- To make members and congregations aware of travel opportunities to the region sponsored by other Presbyteries or entities.
- To serve as a network support group for persons who have lived in or traveled to the Middle East, others who have served there, and any others who share our purpose for a peaceful, non-violent resolution of the Middle East conflict.
- To work in tandem as appropriate with other organizations who share our commitment for a peaceful, just, and non-violent resolution of the Middle East conflicts.
The formal Covenant process involves Sessions of congregations who choose to enter into the covenant, which may include financial support. Individual membership is open to all Presbyterians and others who support our purpose. Funding for our work comes from supporting congregations and individual contributions.