Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Community and Middle East Peace Builders ... so why add "Community..." to our name?

Because we are all in this together, and impacts 'the holy land' and the greater 'Middle East' or 'Muslim World/ also impacts us here in the USA, the Northwest and greater Puget Sound.  So we will also consider interfaith relationships, the impact of war on our Veterans (including 'PTSD' and recovery or re-integration back into our 'normal' society and lives) and many other facets of the fact that we all share in 'the common good' (or the opposite!)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

2012 Annual Report about 
“So then, whenever we have opportunity, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith” (Galatians 6:10)

Community & Middle East Peace Builders exists to build strategic connections between the Christians of the West and the Middle East. We do this first through our own domestic initiatives of education, advocacy and building relationships in the Northwest region considering issues of Multi-cultural and Inter-faith diversity; Nonviolence; Compassionate Listening; Veterans concerns. Secondly we support what we call the “Lamps of the Middle East”, i.e. indigenous M.E. churches and Christian organizations in their effort to be faithful witnesses to peace, justice and reconciliation amongst Christians, Muslims and Jews..  

We meet at 7pm on the last Tuesday of each month in Room 203 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lynnwood, WA. We feature films and guest speakers to facilitate deep conversation about such themes as:
  •  “The Living Stones” – Meeting the Christians of the Middle East. We facilitated a Northwest tour by Palestinian Lutheran Daoud Nassar of the “Tent Of Nations” ministry near Bethlehem, accompanied by his American Jewish cohort Mark Braverman; we also showed a talk by Bethlehem-based Lutheran pastor Mitri Raheb on “7 Keys to Middle East Peace”.
  • Compassionate Listening – As a follow up to earlier training in the principles and practices of compassionate listening, we showed the film “The Imam & The Pastor” documenting the work of Muslims and Christians in Nigeria who forged a fellowship that overcomes their deep differences -- and illustrates a way forward for all of us.
  • Nonviolence and Peaceful Conflict Resolution – we showed several films that reveal the efforts of peacemakers in troubling contexts to overcome hatred via nonviolent resistance to evil.
  • Interfaith Understanding – Commemorating 9-11, we heard our Lynnwood neighbor Jeff Siddiqui share about his Muslim faith, practice and advocacy work for justice and peacebuilding in our NW region.
  • Welcoming Home Vets – we showed “The Welcome” film documenting a reconciliation retreat offering a path to healing for vets who served in wars over the past 40 years, ranging from Vietnam to today’s Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts – and pointing a way forward for welcoming vets with honor and hope for transformation.
  • Co-sponsoring regional conferences, speaking tours and other special events – e.g. “Confronting Islamophobia” event in May 2011,

We will continue to address these and other urgent issues of concern to all members of the Northwest and global community.  We will also facilitate Holy Land delegations in 2013.

CMEPB works in collaboration with Churches for Middle East Peace; the ELCA “Peace Not Walls” campaign; Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding; Interfaith Peace Builders; Holy Land Trust; Tent of Nations; Breaking The Silence; and many others.

For further information contact the CMEPB Program Director:                                           
 John Berg: P.O. Box 359, Lynnwood, WA 98046-0359         Tel (425) 218-3682                      
Email: JohnTBerg@msn.com      On the WEB: http://middleeastpeacebuilders.blogspot.com

Friday, April 27, 2012

Daoud Nasser, Palestinian Lutheran Christian  & Mark Braverman, American Jew 

Speaking in Puget Sound
Sunday, April 29, 2012 through Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Northwest residents will have the rare opportunity to hear a Palestinian Lutheran and an American Jew trained in crisis management in a myth-busting conversation about peace building.

Daoud Nassar is a Palestinian Christian farmer whose family works their 100-acre farm and olive grove just outside the West Bank town of Bethlehem. The Nassars bought the land from the nearby Arab village of Nahalin village in 1916 and have been working and cultivating the land ever since. In October 1991, the family learned that Israel was planning to confiscate their land. Defying repeated Israeli court decisions affirming the Nassars' ownership, the farm is under constant threat of seizure by nearby Israeli settlers. In the spirit of his Christian faith, Daoud speaks about "sharing Sacred Space" and building bridges of peace with his neighbors.

Mark Braverman's roots are in the Holy Land - his grandfather, a fifth generation Palestinian Jew, was born in Jerusalem, emigrating to the U.S. as a young man. Growing up in the United States, Braverman was reared in the Jewish tradition, studying Bible, Hebrew literature, and Jewish history. Trained in clinical psychology and crisis management, Braverman devoted his professional career to working with groups and individuals undergoing traumatic stress.Returning to the Holy Land in 2006, he was transformed by witnessing the occupation of Palestine and by encounters with peace activists and civil society leaders from the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities. He is the author of Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews, and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land 

The story they share is one that brings hope and encouragement to the current crisis in the Holy Land. The events are scheduled for the following places:

Phase One: Events North of Seattle
Sunday April 29th - all events open to all!
                9:00am - 10:00am Daoud Nasser, "Tent of Nations," at the Adult Education Class at Snohomish First Presbyterian Church, guests are welcome - liaison is Sandra Gerrish, bradnsandra@gmail.com / (360)568-5251
                12:15pm - 2:30pm Daoud Nasser and Mark Braverman, "Refusing to Be Enemies: Conversations in the Tent of Nations," at Mukilteo First Presbyterian Church, lunch provided, guests are welcome - liaison is John/Ann Collier, c92176@aol.com / (425)315-0823
                6:30pm – 9:00pm Daoud Nasser and Mark Braverman, social gathering at 6:30 for "Two Cups of Tea & a Taste of Palestine", and 7pm - 9pm "Conversation" at Snohomish First Presbyterian Church, guest are welcome - liaison is Sandra Gerrish, bradnsandra@gmail.com / (360)568-5251
Monday April 30th -
                10:50am - 11:20am speak at Trinity Lutheran College Chapel in Everett – faculty contact Erik Samuelson erik.samuelson@tlc.edu, in liaison with JohnTBerg@msn.com / (425) 218-3682
                Noon - 1:30 PM - Open to all (including TLC students, Faculty & Friends)Lunch hosted by First Presbyterian Church of Everett, Daoud Nassar and Mark Braverman both speaking and showing the DVD "Tent of Nations". Please call the church office at 425-259-7139 to make reservations for lunch with name and number attending. Suggested donation is $5.00.

Phase Two:  Bellingham

Bellingham events coordinator: Peter Vanderveen: jphvanderveen@earthlink.net
Monday, April 30th -  
                4.30 p.m. Presentation at WWU campus (Communications 105, WWU ) - sponsored by "Progressive Christian Voices" club (UMHE, Coordinator: Sarah Genung, WWU student)
                7.30 p.m. - 9 p.m. - Presentation at St James Presbyterian Church, 910 14th Street Bellingham, WA 98225
Tuesday, May 1st -  
                9 - 10 a,m, Breakfast hosted by St. James Presbyterian Church Fellowship hall with Bellingham Clergy
Phase Three: Seattle

Tuesday evening, May 1st event open to all!
                7:00pm in the Fine Center, First Free Methodist Church, 3200 Third Avenue West, Seattle WA 98119  -- located across the street on the east side of Seattle Pacific University -- for more details including map see:   http://www.spu.edu/info/buildings/first-free/   (NOTE: This event is jointly sponsored by the student-led "Israel-Palestine Club" at Seattle Pacific University, Middle East Peace Builders and First Free Methodist Church)

Wednesday, May 2nd – all events open to all (except SPU class Wed. am)
Seattle Events coordinator and contact: John Berg, Middle East Peace Builders (a LifeGroup of Trinity Lutheran Church, Lynnwood): JohnTBerg@msn.com / (425) 218-3682
                9:30 to 10:50am- speaking to a class at Seattle Pacific University -- Faculty host Doug Thorpe
                12:00 Noon - speaking at "the Beloved Community", hosted by First Presbyterian Church, 1013 8th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104 (First Hill neighborhood, just east of I-5 between Madison and Spring) -- Organizing contacts are:John Berg and Rev. Allen Belton abelton@breakthroughpartners.org 
                7:00pm Daoud speaks at St. Mark's Cathedral 1245 Tenth Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98102-4398 -- for more details including map see:   http://www.saintmarks.org/About/directions.php -- Organizers are the Mideast Focus Ministry of St. Mark's and Middle East Peace Builders

Friday, May 27, 2011

Welcome Home VETS film 7:00 pm Tuesday May 31st

A Welcome Home Vets  
Special Film Screening:

"The Welcome" offers a fiercely intimate view of life after war: the fear, anger and isolation of post-traumatic stress that affects vets and family members alike.  As we join them in a small room for an unusual five day healing retreat, we witness how the ruins of war can be transformed into the beauty of poetry. Here our perceptions are changed, our psyches strained, and our hearts broken.  And at the end, when this poetry is shared with a large civilian audience, we begin to understand that all of us are a vital piece of The Welcome as Veterans try to find the way back home.  Their examples of unflinching honesty, courage and love lift us up, inspiring all of us once again to feel our common humanity, always the first casualty of war.
Date: 7:00pm Tuesday, May 31st, 2011
at Trinity Lutheran Church, 6215  196th St. SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036  ROOM 203
Price: Suggested donation $5 (no one will be refused)
Presented by
A Life Group of Trinity  Lutheran Church

For further information, contact:  JohnTBerg@msn.com  / (425) 218-3682 http://middleeastpeacebuilders.blogspot.com

Friday, April 22, 2011

Introducing: Middle East Peace Builders

P.O. Box 359, Lynnwood, WA 98046-0359
"So let us do all we can to live in peace with all people. And let us work hard to build each other up in all we do"  (Romans14:19)

                          Mission, Vision and Strategy
Middle East Peace Builders is a LifeGroup of the Mustard Seed ministry hosted by Trinity Lutheran Church, Lynnwood, Washington. Middle East Peace Builders exists to build strategic connections between the Christians of the West and the Middle East for the glory of God. We do this first by supporting churches and Christian organizations in the Middle East in their effort to be faithful witnesses in their context; second, through our own domestic initiatives of education, advocacy and building relationships.  MEP also considers issues of cultural and multi-faith diversity impacting our lives in the Northwest; Veterans concerns; and much more. 

We gather at 7pm on the last Tuesday of each month in Room 203 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lynnwood, WA. We also host other periodic special events, co-sponsor regional conferences, lead an annual holy land delegation (e.g. October 2011), etc. 

For further information contact: John Berg: Email:JohnTBerg@msn.com  Tel (425) 218-3682             Web: http://middleeastpeacebuilders.blogspot.com

An Overview Of Middle East Peace Builders

Mission – With the goal of serving as reconcilers, MEPB enables Christian community and witness by building stronger relationships between the peoples of North America and the Middle East, facilitating witness and service that embody Christ’s kingdom values. 

Vision  – Jesus taught us to pray “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The Bible makes it clear that it is God’s will that the biblical vision of Peace (Shalom/Salaam) be realized on earth through Jesus Christ. To that end we work with God’s help so that the North American, the Arab (both Christian and Muslim) and the Israeli can reconcile and work together for the common good of not just the Holy Land, but the whole world.  This ‘dream’ inspires our prayers and guides our work.

Strategy – MEPB is engaged in domestic and international ministry through a variety of initiatives that bring together the people of North America and the Middle East.  By initiating opportunities for education, travel and service, we facilitate partnerships that bear witness to the Kingdom of God in the Middle East and USA.  Over the next decade, MEPB will use these means to help recruit and train members of the American Christian community to work as servants of the peoples of the Middle East and to encourage Arab Christians in peacebuilding witness within their own society. 

Middle East Peace Builders - Trinity Lutheran Church, 6215 196th Street SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036-5982