The cause for the liberation of Palestinians from occupation and Israelis from the role of occupier has been embraced by followers of Jesus on every continent. Nowhere is this movement as strong as in the United States, where the body of Christ in all its diversity – Protestant, Catholic, Reformed, independent, Black, White – in their churches, communities and families – are realizing that they are called to work for equality and for a decent future for all the peoples of the land. Confessing their responsibility as Americans and as followers of Jesus to respond to the call of the Palestinian church and to that of their own consciences, they are asking, “What can we do? How can we get involved? How can we obtain the information and the tools that we need to make a difference?”
The Kairos Community has been created as the answer to those questions.
The goal of the Kairos USA Community is to ensure that “Call to Action” becomes a part of the life of U.S. congregations, across the broad theological, cultural and racial diversity of Christians in the United States. Subscribing local committees, taskforces and congregations will commit to study of “Call to Action.” Regional training workshops will equip local leaders to conduct study and education, and regular newsletters and website updates will provide news, resource updates, and information about what is happening on congregational, denominational, national, and global levels.
Member groups and congregations will receive:
- Copies of the “Call to Action” booklet, other printed and video materials, and complete curriculum and handout materials.
- Consultation, on phone or in person, on how to plan and carry out church-based study and activities.
- Training of church educators and leaders in Kairos USA curricula and materials, through regional, local or congregational training as needed.
- Networking through the website and a monthly newsletter on campaigns, events, resources, and what other Kairos Congregations and local grassroots groups are doing, news of denominational and peace fellowship activities and actions.
Community members will commit to the following principles:
In praying and working for peace in Israel/Palestine, puts justice at the centre of its witness and activity.
Recognizes that the church is called to be part of a prophetic movement which seeks to read the signs of the times and speak truth to power.
Embraces the principles of nonviolence embodied in the teachings of Jesus, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. which provide inspiration for the Palestinian non-violent resistance movement against injustice.
Endorses the actions set out in “Call to Action” – pp 15-17:
- Ethical tourism – based on the principles of the Kairos Palestine “Come and See” initiative. Kairos Community members commit to those principles and questions any proposed pilgrimages/tours which do not enable people to witness the realities of the occupation and meet Palestinians /Christians
- Challenging the uses of the Bible to justify injustice
- Explore direct action steps, including advocacy with elected representatives and the the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS). BDS is a nonviolent response to the call from Palestinian civil society, endorsed by Palestinian church leaders, to engage in an economic, academic, and cultural boycott of all that supports the Occupation, and is a major strategy in support for non-violent resistance.
- Developing friendship links with Palestinians and Palestinian communities committed to working for peace based on coexistence, equality and human dignity.
- Affirm that the above responses do not constitute a choice for Palestine against Israel, for Arab against Jew, but a choice for justice, freedom and human/political rights over against the unjust discrimination and dispossession under which Palestinian people have suffered for over 40 years.