Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

IPMN is Doing Its Job

The Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has recently posted a video on its blog. The six minute film tells the side of Israel's history from the perspective of the Palestinian people.

IPMN was established by the 2004 General Assembly of the PCUSA. This is from their web page:

Established by action of the 2004 General Assembly, the Israel/Palestine Mission Network encourages congregations and presbytery mission committees, task groups and other entities toward specific mission goals that will create currents of wider and deeper involvement with Israel/Palestine. We seek to demonstrate solidarity, educate about the facts on the ground, and change the conditions that erode the humanity of both Israelis and Palestinians, especially those who are living in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. This network works in close cooperation with ecumenical partners and with the Office for the Middle East, the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, the Presbyterian Washington Office, the Presbyterian UN Office and with other appropriate entities of the General Assembly and General Assembly Council.

The Israel/Palestine Mission Network is an opportunity for Presbyterians throughout the country and at all levels of the church to coordinate ongoing efforts and discover new ones. Ultimately, we aim to support our church partners in Palestine to:
  • Strengthen Christian social institutions
  • Create jobs and promote economic development
  • Maintain schools and hospitals
  • Enable affordable and safe housing for Palestine
We unite our efforts through this Network, praying for the Holy Spirit's bold guidance in our work for peace and justice. Please continue to view our web site, learn more about our activities, and how you might get involved.
They do important work.

Their work is not without controversy. Viola Larson has spent a few blog posts criticizing the film and advocating its removal from the IPMN's website.

Providing criticism is a good thing. We should engage in it. There are legitimate criticisms of this film. There are legitimate grievances voiced in this film as well.

Ms. Larson is not satisfied with voicing her opinion. She wants censorship. She has decided what everyone should be able to watch and not to watch. She has been busily writing emails trying to get traction for her cause.

I decided to post the film here. I appreciate the IPMN allowing this voice to be heard. Controversy is a sign that the IPMN is doing its job. One of the statements in our most recent confession reads:

In a broken and fearful world
the Spirit gives us courage
to pray without ceasing,
to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior,
to unmask idolatries in Church and culture,
to hear the voices of peoples long silenced,
and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.
This is what was posted on the youtube page regarding this video:
I am Israel. Written by Hashem Said on Feb.25.2002 . Video made by Jihane Al Quds on Sept.4.2009. Hashem Said is an officer in the UW Palestinian student group Hayaat.
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