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A Petition for a
Just Peace in Israel/Palestine

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Many thanks to our sponsors for the 2014 Tree of Life Conferences

See who they are.

 


Look for this theatrical
presentation in your area:
Fall Tour 2014

My Name is
Rachel Corrie

Featuring Ashley Malloy
See a preview

Information & Schedule

 


News from a Tree of Life Friend:

Daoud Nassar
Responds to the
Demolition of
His Orchard

 

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Concert and Vigil for Gaza Relief
TOLEF Mission

March 2015 Tree of Life Journey!

Rejecting Violence and Finding Enclaves of Beauty | March 10 – 20

Please consider joining the next Tree of Life Journey and learning about artistic expression as a way of resisting violence. On this interfaith trip we will have the honor of visiting our respective sacred sites and learning from a variety of voices of conscience, Israeli and Palestinian–Jewish, Muslim, and Christian. While Palestinians and Israelis experience many dehumanizing consequences of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, they also find ways to withstand and challenge a culture of violence by creating enclaves of beauty. Read more »

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

January 11, 2015 4:00pm
First Presbyterian Church of Hartford
136 Capital Avenue (behind the Bushnell)
Hartford, CT

Tickets/Donations at the door
Parking in state lots across from the church

Co-Sponsors
We Refuse To Be Enemies and the New Haven Chapter of Jewish Voice For Peace

For more information, click here.

Read more »

Olive Harvest Journey Reflections

Learning about Eco-Resistance through an Olive Harvest
Journey to Bethlehem – October 7-15, 2014

On returning from the Olive Harvest Journey, trip co-leader Erinn Staley made the following remarks during the October 19th service at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

Audio Recording

This past Tuesday, I gathered for lunch with my fellow Tree of Life journeyers at a farm near Bethlehem. After spending three days visiting with the family who owns the farm and helping them harvest olives, we all felt quite attached to them.

Our Tree of Life group gave the children of the family some parting gifts, including new backpacks for school. One little girl name Noor was absolutely swimming in her backpack. I went to help her tighten the straps so the backpack would stay on. My fellow traveler Maureen asked me if I thought Noor was about the age of my own daughter, and I said I thought they looked about the same size. Maureen, who speaks Arabic, asked the little girl how old she was, and Noor replied that she is four years old. Maureen explained to her that my daughter also is four years old. She exclaimed again with a surprised look, “I’m four years old!”

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 »

TOLEF Journey News

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

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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 Tree of Life Honoraria Trust

In January 2013 the Honoraria Trust 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 Trust. Without this generosity, these scholarships would not be possible!

Consider a contribution to our Tree of Life Honoraria Trust, 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 »