Dec. 4 webinar panelists will discuss some of the important issues of the conflict
RALEIGH, N.C. (Mennonite Church USA/Mennonite Mission Network)—I’m a pretty slow runner, which turned out to be a good thing. Stay with me …
I try to run one or two half-marathons a year. I don’t necessarily love running, but it gets me outside and helps me stay healthy. Earlier this year, I went for a nine-mile run on Dix Hill, overlooking downtown Raleigh in preparation for an upcoming race.
As I said, I’m really slow, so it took me a long time. I don’t listen to music when I run, so I had to keep my mind on something. I started thinking about my job, then about Israel-Palestine, one of the Peace and Justice Support Network’s focus issues. PJSN is a joint ministry of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Mission Network.
It had been a little frustrating to figure out how PJSN should address the conflict. There’s so much to say in relation to the Israel-Palestine conflict, so many aspects of the conflict that are important to understand. There are already many long, sometimes boring, books on the topic, but they aren’t always helpful to folks.
How could we simply and directly address some of the important aspects of the conflict in a way that doesn’t require extensive reading, travel, etc.?
The idea thumped around in my brain while my feet pounded the pavement, and finally I decided the best way would be to hear from folks who already spent the time and energy in learning about the conflict. Then they could address the really important questions like:
- What’s the history of the conflict?
- What are the theologies that drive the conflict?
- What role does the United States play in the conflict?
- Most importantly, why should we as Mennonites be concerned?
Instead of having these folks write about these things, we would have a webinar, so people could watch on their computers. Even better, we would make sure the webinar is only an hour long, and happens in the evening, so more people could tune in.
By the time I was done running, I wasn’t sure if this was a good idea or just the side effects of lack of oxygen to the brain. But when I got back to work on Monday, I began asking folks if something like this would be interesting and helpful. I got positive responses, and we began to move forward with the planning.
Fast forward. Tonight’s the night! I’m excited to hear and watch what Mennonite Mission Network’s very own Stanley Green, John Lapp, and others have to say about the Israel-Palestine conflict. You can join us as well: view details on accessing the webinar here. Registration will close at 5 p.m. Eastern Time for the 8 p.m. (ET) event.
—Jason Boone is the coordinating minister for the Peace and Justice Support Network, a joint ministry of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Mission Network.