Special Pre-General Council 42 Issue – Connect Online

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The 42nd General Council is quickly approaching! Even if you aren’t going to Corner Brook, there are many ways to connect, share, and follow GC42 online. Find out more about the proposals going to Council in the Workbook and then follow along in real time! August 8-14, 2015.

Live Stream Video
Connect on YouTube Live and follow the GC42 live stream video, including worship, plenary sessions, the vote for the next Moderator, and more! You can also log in using your Google account to share comments and discuss the proceedings directly on the YouTube page. Tune in and see General Council in action!

Each day short video clips will be posted on the United Church channel offering new perspectives on General Council. Includes daily introductions, the day’s top issues, peeks behind the scenes, and more!

The United Church Facebook page will feature ongoing news, commentary, video, and photos throughout the 42nd General Council. Follow the United Church page to share your own comments and keep up to date on all the proceedings! There is also a Facebook group for GC42 Commissioners and others to share and discuss the proposals and work going to Council. Join in!

Twitter is a great way to connect with GC42! Follow @UnitedChurchCda for the latest, up-to-the-minute updates! Share your tweets at #GC42 and join in the discussion with others.

Follow the official GC42 Flickr collection, or join us on Instagram, using #GC42.

Sign up to receive daily news updates from GC42 directly to your inbox! Subscribe here.

Invite Your Faith Community to Join In!

  • Download the GC42 bulletin insert [PDF] and invite your church or group to join us online for GC42!
  • Use this GC42 slide in your digital presentations during announcement time, at the end of service, etc.

Use one or more of these prepared worship services to introduce GC42 to your congregation!



Interfaith Trumps Justice:

Naim Ateek’s response to the Episcopal Bishops in light of their recent vote
against divestment

Canadian Friends of Sabeel (CFOS) published Rev.Naim Ateek’s letter to Presiding Bishop elect Michael Curry and the College of Bishops in response to the Episcopal Bishops’ recent vote against divestment.

Ateek’s letter is strongly worded and expresses how “heartbroken” he was by their decision.

He said, “The bishops’ vote is also a slap in the face of any bishop or any person who has a sense of justice and the courage to take a stand. It is a slap in the face of Archbishop Tutu who has said repeatedly that Israel’s injustice against the Palestinians is worse than apartheid.”

His letter is worth reading in full and sharing.

Rev. Ateek is President of the Sabeel Board.

Read the Letter to the Bishops

Curtis Marwood,
UNJPPI, Communication Coordinator & CFOS Board Member

Update from Susiya

Dear friends, family, colleagues,

Yesterday, after 2 weeks in Susiya, Palestine, our emergency EAPPI team, Ecumenical Accompaniment in Palestine, Israel, saw what we had been dreading: ­­­­


What it means? IMMINENT DEMOLITION OF HOMES and ALL STRUCTURES in the village.

I am writing to all of you, sending notice to the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Leaders of the Opposition Parties, my Member of Parliament, United Church of Canada representatives and others.


Last week Commissioners from the European Union, British Consul, Alistair McPhail and staff, Jewish colleagues from Rabbis for Human Rights, Tayoush, B’tselem, and others have offered their support so that the demolition of this community does not occur.  Particularly it should not occur until the village council goes to court August 3, 2015.
It is strongly believed by UN observers on the ground that should Susiya Village fall to demolition, this will create a domino effect with villages throughout Palestine. The status of these villages was changed with the Oslo Peace Accords in 1993, when much Palestinian land, or disputed land with Palestinian titles going back to the Ottoman Empire, was transferred to the Israeli Military as protectors of the area. This is Area C. Now Area C is under threat from new outposts, illegal under Israeli Law and International Human Rights; new and enhanced settlements, also illegal under UN rulings and Geneva Convention; increase settler attacks, where settlers are allowed to carry guns, a right not allowed to Palestinians under threat of jail time. Area C is up for grabs. The government of Israel is doing the grabbing.

I am asking for assistance, your assistance. Please send an email to:

And anyone else you think might help. Share this message.

Asking for a cease to the demolition and destruction of Palestinian Villages particularly Susiya, where the bulldozers are ready.

Please feel free to use any of this newsletter in your email.

We have so much, so much and not only materially: rights, the ability to defend them, the ability to travel in our land without checkpoints where going to mosque/church during a holy time is even controlled.

One Palestinian friend went to Jerusalem and the Holy Al Aqsa Mosque for the first time in his 42 years just last week. He was never before allowed to and just last week he was allowed. The following week the regulation changed once again and all men under 50 were NOT eligible to enter Jerusalem to go to Mosque without a permit. Blessings from the Special Summer Team in the South Hebron Hills of Palestine and from the Village of Susiya.


News from Susiya

Dear friends:

Patricia is my housemate, colleague in EAPPI and a friend from years of solidarity work in the United Church of Canada.  This evocative piece of writing and photos does a fine job of capturing the emotional intensity of the day to day work of an EA and the current toll of life in Susiya Village, waiting for the inevitable, and the strain of both the wait and the awfulness of what will ensue.


Later today, I will post in my own blog about some of the things I have been part of so far.​  peaceworkbaker.wordpress.com

Thank you for your interest and support.

I encourage you to consider taking action, by writing to your MP, (or congressperson), to Minister of Foreign Affairs or The Prime Minister (Secretary of State or President) to express concern about the impact of occupation and illegal settlements on Palestinian rights.

Peace to you.


SCIC July & August Newsletter

Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation has published their summer newsletter.  Please click on the link below to check out information about:

  • Educators Wanted for Voluntary Research Study
  • SCIC’s Global Citizen Youth Leaders
  • Next Up Leadership Program (Saskatchewan)
  • SCIC Events including:  2015 Youth Leadership Camp and a Book Club gathering in August.  The book to be discussed – This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein.



Tutu urges UCC to boycott and divest companies that benefit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine.


Archbishop Desmond Tutu in a letter to the United Church of Canada urges the denomination to take peaceful, economic action against the Israeli occupation of Palestine. He calls for the United Church at its General Council meeting in August to, “join with other denominations around the globe who have decided to boycott and divest from companies that benefit from the occupation.”

Desmond Tutu first rose to prominence in the struggle against apartheid. He was one of the initial and strongest advocates for boycotts, divestment and sanctions in South Africa. In 1984 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tutu has been a frequent visitor to the Holy Land. In the letter he draws strong parallels between apartheid in South Africa and the treatment of Palestinians. “I saw the marks of apartheid in the policies of the Israeli government continued to the present day. The Palestinians are forced to live in segregated areas, often relocated to less desirable land so Jewish settlers can live in fine red ceramic-roofed houses with paved roads while most Palestinians live in squalor in villages and refugee camps. Water is diverted to settlers so that they can have nice green lawns, irrigated fields and community swimming pools while Palestinians endure shortages and dusty roads. I have looked at this and seen the ugly face of apartheid and the racism within it.”

Tutu’s letter to the United Church is timely as it arrives before the triennial meeting of the denomination in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland and Labrador scheduled for Aug. 8-15. At its last meeting, the United Church voted in favour of boycotting goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements. Since then, SodaStream one of three targeted companies, have moved their facilities out of the occupied area.  Ahava cosmetics, another targeted company, is reported to be ready to leave Palestinian territory also.

Tutu’s letter also calls attention to Canada’s, “complicity in Palestinian suffering under occupation.”

Rev. Steve Berube, co-chair of the United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI), sees this letter as being important. “Archbishop Tutu, is one of the few people who can speak with authority when comparing his life in South Africa to what he has actually seen in Palestine.”

Berube spoke of his own experience in the West Bank, “Like virtually every other human rights observer in Palestine, I witnessed Israeli violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws as well as the Geneva Conventions on a daily basis. With last year’s war in Gaza more people are beginning to wake up to the horrors of the occupation. The only way the illegal occupation will end is through civil society putting economic pressure on Israel and forcing them to negotiate seriously.”

For more information, please contact:
Rev. Steve Berube
Telephone: (506) 381-7869
Email: sberube@nb.aibn.com

Tutu Letter to United Church of Canada (pdf)

Israel sizes Flotilla ship to Gaza and deports 2 Human Rights advocates

Two Canadians, Robert Lovelace and Kevin Neish, who were on board the Freedom Flotilla III boat Marianne, headed towards Gaza when it was seized by Israeli forces early Monday morning, are returning to Canada today. Israeli forces used an electric weapon against four Swedish crew members during their illegal seizure of vessel, which Israeli government sources described as “uneventful”. The two were held in an Israeli prison with seven other Flotilla participants from Sweden, Norway and Russia, until being transferred to Ben Gurion Airport late Wednesday. They are expected to land at Pearson International Airport at 6:55 pm,Thursday July 2.

Neish, a retired marine engineer from Victoria B.C., had been sailing with the Marianne since it left Sweden in early May. Lovelace, a Queen’s university professor and member of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, joined the ship at its last port of call, Messina in Sicily on June 19.

“We are very happy to welcome home our two friends from their mission but we remain concerned about the six Swedish activists still in prison in Israel,” commented David Heap, spokesperson for the Canadian Boat to Gaza Campaign. “Even more than freedom for our international friends, we want to see the world demand freedom of movement for the 1.8 million Palestinians living in the open-air prison of Gaza.”

Ehab Lotayef, a Montreal engineer and writer, and Christian Martel, a retired trade-unionist from Québec, were among the internationals who participated in Freedom Flotilla III. They were on a different boat, the Rachel, which returns to Athens today. “Now we are focusing on future Flotillas to continue to challenge the blockade of Gaza,“ comments Lotayef. “The blockade must end completely and Palestinians must regain their full rights.”

In Solidarity,
Canadian Boat to Gaza
Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaza and on Twitter: @CanadaBoatGaza