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A Petition for a
Just Peace in Israel/Palestine

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News from a Tree of Life Friend:

Daoud Nassar
Responds to the
Demolition of
His Orchard

 

2014 Tree of Life Conference
Concert and Vigil for Gaza Relief
Fall 2013 TOL Conference
TOLEF Mission

2014 Tree of Life Conferences

Tree of Life Educational Fund in partnership with Friends of Sabeel–North America and Kairos USA is pleased to announce a series of conferences for October of 2014.

What Will Become of Our Children?

Voices of Hope for a World Free of Prejudice and Hatred

Below are conference dates and locations. Details about specific locations, speakers and programs will be coming over the following weeks as well as registration information.
Click here for the speakers schedule so far.

October 18
Old Lyme, CT
First Congregational
Church of Old Lyme
Middle Eastern Concert
Event Details

October 19
Old Lyme, CT
First Congregational
Church of Old Lyme
Event Details

October 21
Hamden, CT
Quinnipiac University

October 22
New Britain, CT
Central Connecticut
State University
Event Details

October 23
New York, NY
St. Bartholomew
Episcopal Church
Event Details

October 24
Storrs, CT
Storrs Congregational Church

 

October 25
Cape Cod-Harwich, MA
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
Event Details

October 26
S. Glastonbury, CT
South Glastonbury
Congregational Church

October 27
Bloomfield, CT
Teamsters Local 671
Event Details

November 1
Cambridge, MA
Christ Church Cambridge

 

   

Vigil and Concert Series for Gaza Relief

Michael Dabroski

Featuring violinist Michael Dabroski

Performing music by JS Bach, an original Suite for Gaza, and Palestinian melodies, and sharing notes from a concert trip to Gaza City in December 2013

September 13, 7:00pm
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
310 Rte. 137
Harwich, MA (Cape Cod)More information

Upcoming concerts in

For dates and locations:
Read more »

What Will Become of Our Children?

­A speech offered at the First Presbyterian Church of Hartford on the occasion of a demonstration against the massacre in Gaza
July 31, 2014

A few weeks ago I saw a production of Shakespeare’s “King Lear”, and the last lines of that great tragedy come to me as I think about the carnage, indeed the massacre taking in Gaza. “The weight of this sad time we must obey, Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.”

Over 50 young Israeli soldiers killed in this insanity.  For me, these are not just nameless, faceless soldiers, for I have been there – 12 times in the last 12 years — and I have seen their faces; I have seen them at checkpoints and I have seen them in the streets of Hebron, and I have seen them in cafés, so full life and laughter, and yes, I have seen their arrogance as well; I have seen the terrible things done to the human spirit when you put a gun in someone else’s hands. 

Read more »

New Tree of Life Minister/Executive Director

I am very pleased to announce that Erinn Staley has accepted the unanimous invitation from our Tree of Life Board of Directors to become our Tree of Life Minister/Executive Director. This is great news, and I very much look forward to sharing this ministry with Erinn and our legion of volunteers! In this part-time position, I am very confident that Erinn will help us to honor how the prophet Habakkuk said, “Write your vision; make it clear on the tablets, so that a runner may read it.” In our collective “race” against inhumanity and injustice, we must do all that we can to articulate the vision of our Tree of Life ministry, so that all of us “runners” can be reminded of what this is all about.

Also, I know that Erinn will help us to remember the words of Thoreau, “You have built your castle in the sky, that is where it should be; now build the foundation underneath.” Our Tree of Life ministry has enjoyed remarkable growth, and now, as we try to make it sustainable — for the long run (to continue that metaphor) — we need do what we can to build the foundation for this ministry, and I know in this regard Erinn will bring considerable wisdom, energy and experience.

Below you will also see a description for our next Tree of Life Journey – an Olive Harvest – which will be led by Erinn and Nancy Boldt McLaren. Thank you Nancy and Erinn!

Please join me in welcoming Erinn to our Tree of Life Educational Fund!

David W. Good
Chairperson for The Tree of Life Educational Fund

 

I look forward to meeting you and learning about your hopes and visions for Tree of Life Educational Fund. Tremendous volunteer effort has built and grown this organization, and I am honored to join your work. Together, we will continue building a network for amplifying voices of conscience and supporting efforts for justice and peace.

Erinn Staley
Tree of Life Minister/Executive Director

 

Erinn Staley

 

Erinn Staley is an experienced theological educator and writer, and her work long has focused on promoting the well-being of marginalized people. She has worked in non-profit, church, and educational settings and on justice issues including hunger relief and early childhood education. She received her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Yale University and her M.Div. from Yale Divinity School.

 

 

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Click below to learn about the Olive Harvest Journey…

Journey to Bethlehem: Learning about Eco-Resistance through an Olive Harvest

October 7-15, 2014

TOLEF Journey News

The 2014 Tree of Life Journey travelers are home now.
Learn about some of their experiences on our Facebook page.

2014_0319_beit-sahour-600

2014 Tree of Life travelers in Beit Sahour

 

Scroll through the excerpts here then click on the Facebook link to see posts and photos from the trip…

Read more »

“The Words of the Prophet Are Written on the Subway Walls . . .”

These words from the song, “Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel come to mind as one walks alongside the 28-foot concrete wall that imprisons Palestinians, separating them not only from Israelis but also from their olive orchards, places of employment, water resources and other Palestinian communities.  This wall is the  location for some most remarkable works of art, including the prophetic work of the anonymous British artist who goes by the pseudonym, “Banksy.”  Read more »

A Report on the 2013 Tree of Life Series

By The Rev. David W. Good
Chairman of the Tree of Life Educational Fund

Tree of Life Educational Fund has it’s own 501c3 non-profit status, but as a part of the ministry of The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, it benefits enormously from the moral, spiritual and financial support of the church out of which this ministry was born, and so now that our 2013 TOL series has been completed, I want to say how grateful I am for the church’s ongoing support of this ministry that this year was able to bring our Tree of Life programs, conferences and concerts to Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Georgia, Oregon and Washington DC with 22 events from September to November 2013.

Read more »

Zionism through Christian Lenses

New book, new authors…including David Good

Seven more concerned Christians have added their voices to the growing chorus of support for justice in Palestine. The book Zionism through Christian Lenses: Ecumenical Perspectives on the Promised Land (edited by Burnett, published by Wipf and Stock) features representatives of various Christian denominations and walks of life who ponder the plight of Palestine and Israel from various angles: Read more »

The Honoraria Fund

In January 2013 the Honoraria Fund provided nine scholarships for students from Beit Sahour to go to Bethlehem University.  This is an annual part of our Tree of Life ministry. We are grateful to both the Mission Board of the Old Lyme Congregational Church and to individuals who have made generous contributions to the Tree of Life Honoraria Fund. Without this generosity, these scholarships would not be possible!

Consider a contribution to our Tree of Life Honoraria Fund, a fund that we use to support those organizations in the occupied territories and Israel that are working toward a just and peaceful future for us all. We like to think of these organizations as “parables of hope” and in our annual Tree of Life journeys we’ve had the privilege of witnessing first-hand the excellent work that they do.  Read more »

A State Worthy of Our Concern

The Educational Mission of the Tree of Life Educational Fund

Closing remarks by David W. Good | Old Lyme Tree of Life Conference – November 4, 2012

Last year marked the 10th anniversary of this church’s engagement on this issue, a journey that began shortly after the tragedy of 9/11.

After that fateful Tuesday morning one of our church’s governing boards met, and we asked ourselves how we should respond, and one of things we resolved was that we needed to redouble our efforts to strengthen our interfaith community, to be not only in ecumenical relationship with other Christian traditions and denominations, but also we felt we needed to deepen our relationship with those of other faith identities. Little did we know then that one really cannot have an authentic – an authentic conversation — with our Jewish, Muslim and Christian neighbors without ultimately coming to the tough and oftentimes painful issue of Israel and Palestine. Read more »