In speaking with a pastor friend this week, she shared with me the title of her church's Easter celebrations, Hope Springs Eternal. When I heard those words, I thought, “Yes!” that was just the message my heart needed to hear - and also the perfect message for all of us as we look forward to celebrating Easter Sunday, either this weekend or for our Orthodox friends on May 2. Hope is needed most in our times of greatest challenge.
After more than a year of living in the coronavirus pandemic, conflicts continue in the Middle East: the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, a despotic regime in Syria, the ongoing occupation of the Palestinian people, economic despair in Lebanon... the list goes on. And yet, as we prepare to celebrate Easter this Sunday, we are reminded that hope springs eternal.
For almost 40 years, CMEP has said peace is possible. I still believe that to be true. But peace is only possible when there is hope that a new reality will one day come to be. Thus, our critical and vital work at CMEP continues!
More than ever, CMEP is committed to educate, elevate, and advocate. And this year we invite and encourage you to participate in our work toward peace and justice through our spring programming series CMEP Journeys.
What better way to be educated about the political process in Israel, to learn about the incredible women in Palestine and Israel who are working for peace, to speak to the authors of inspiring books so that we can continue to learn together! Upcoming authors include Wafa Shami, Colum McCann, and Rashid Khalidi.
CMEP continues to elevate the voices of peacebuilders and advocates in the Middle East. Join one of our upcoming webinars focused on elevating voices from the Middle East such as the And Still We Rise Webinar elevating women committed to peacebuilding in Palestine and Israel.
CMEP exists to advocate for more just U.S. policies toward the Middle East. Our advocacy efforts are one of the most significant ways we put our hope into action. If you haven’t already, sign our most recent action alert and let Congress know that we Say No to Home Demolitions in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. CMEP is committed to advocating for human rights for Palestinians living under occupation and for all people in the Middle East.
In addition, CMEP is engaging with a number of domestic organizations focused on addressing the devastating effects of racism and Christian Nationalism - including how Evangelical Nationalism can feed into some of the detrimental effects of Christian Zionism and the unilateral support of Israel without adequately addressing injustices perpetrated against Palestinians. Take a look at the prayer vigil Lamenting Christian Nationalism and keep your eye out for the May 17th Week of Action where CMEP will be further engaged.
While there remain many challenges ahead, I personally remain committed. And CMEP’s staff is ever diligent working long hours and pouring in time, energy, and resources to help mobilize American Christians and others to have a more holistic understanding of what is actually happening in the Middle East and Arab world. As we better understand current realities, there is a role all of us can play in making a difference and in advocating for justice.
As we enter into Easter weekend and look toward Orthodox Easter in the days ahead, may the Light of Christ that burned in Jerusalem spread through the world - reminding us that Hope Springs Eternal. That is my hope and prayer for you and your families and in our ongoing efforts toward peace.
Blessings to you this Easter in Christ Jesus,
Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon Executive Director
P.S. CMEP certainly couldn’t do the work we do without your support. To our faithful monthly donors, you sustain our work! For those who contribute their time and money toward our cause, we are truly grateful. CMEP’s spring campaign being launched in April has already raised $21,000 that will be matched if we are able to bring in another $21,000 by the end of May. Please join us in making our vital work possible by making a donation today.