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Suggested Activities for Occupation Free Faith Communities

Here are some suggestions for actions that a faith community can take to work toward becoming Occupation Free:

Education

Host a series of educational events, perhaps using the Steadfast Hope study guide of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), or using the Kairos Document as a basis for study. At each educational event, have a petition, form letter, or postcards from the US Campaign for people to sign. Make sure your educational events always include an action component.

Host someone who has returned from a delegation with Interfaith Peace Builders, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Friends of Sabeel, or another US Campaign member group.

Host a national speaker who has experience speaking to faith communities, or someone from a faith-based nonviolent accompaniment program such as Christian Peacemaker Teams or the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Program.

Ask your church to put a replica of the Separation Barrier/Apartheid Wall around or near their Nativity Scene during Advent.

If your faith community uses a bulletin or a program for worship or prayer meetings, insert informational material or form letters to sign into the bulletin.

Organize a worship service that focuses on justice and peace in the Holy Land. Include an action component.

If your faith community has publicly shared prayers or “joys and concerns,” publicly share prayers for justice and peace and for nonviolent actors working to bring about a just peace in the Holy Land.

Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions


Have your congregation declare itself a “CAT Free Zone” by passing a resolution certifying that no Caterpillar equipment will be used in building projects.

Make sure that your congregation is “Motorola-free”—check your electronics equipment, sound equipment, walkie-talkies, DVD players, and wireless routers to make sure you’re not using Motorola equipment.

Include Caterpillar, Motorola, or Ahava postcards in your bulletin or program. Have people sign them and put them in offering plates or in a box at the back of the sanctuary. Collect the cards and send them in.

Encourage your faith community to endorse the Palestinian Christian Kairos Document.

Write a resolution on divestment or boycott for you synod, conference, or presbytery.

Encourage your pastor or other leader of your faith community to send a letter to the administrators of their pension fund asking for the fund to divest from companies that support Israel’s illegal occupation (
(check out WhoProfits.org, the Interfaith Peace Initiative, and the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church for lists of companies to look for). For a sample of a letter to a pension fund, check out Jewish Voice for Peace's TIAA-CREF campaign.

Examine your congregation’s investments to make sure that you are not invested in companies directly profiting from Israel’s occupation
(check out WhoProfits.org, the Interfaith Peace Initiative, and the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church for lists of companies to look for).

U.S. Policy

Have congregants at worship services or prayer meetings sign a form letter to a Member of Congress during the worship service. If your community uses an offering plate, have them put the letters in as offerings, and then one person from your group can collect them. Or have a table in the back of the worship space or hall for them to leave the letters with you.

Hold a Bible study that culminates in a letter writing or op-ed writing activity.

Construct a fake “Wall” in or by the sanctuary (get permission first!). Have people write prayers for peace on the Wall Then, after a service, have people help dismantle the Wall and then sign a letter to the Member of Congress.