Dear CMEP Friend:

A new Christian year is upon us. At Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), we have entered the season of the Nativity of Jesus with anticipation, with renewed hope, and with thanksgiving that we are still in it together. Our attention turns to Bethlehem as we prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth and remember the fulfilment of God’s promise of love for humanity and creation. We do this, even as we reflect on a year in which the world has experienced immense suffering and loss, disruption of lives and livelihoods, and a recognition that, when we emerge from the calamity of COVID-19, our lives will be different. Yet our faith persists, enables us to persevere, calls us to serve our community and world, and requires us to seek justice and peace for all people, especially those who are the most vulnerable and whose voices have become strained with their persistent cry for liberation. There is a light that shines in the darkness of our times, and the darkness has not overcome it. We praise God.

We are grateful for the opportunity to bring you a Christmas greeting from some of our member communions and organizations. Although we have not been able to physically gather in some time, we remain committed to the pursuit of peace and justice in Israel, Palestine, and the whole Middle East together. In addition to this Christmas video greeting, our Advent devotions this year on the theme “In It Together” have been written by members of our board to reflect on and share their liturgical traditions around the Advent season and reflect on the importance of community and working across faith traditions. The devotions reflect a variety of communions and personal perspectives that support CMEP’s work toward peace and justice in the Middle East. You can read their devotions on our Prayers for Peace (P4P) blog.

Link to In It Together Christmas Greeting video

In this Christmas season, we hold fast to the hope that is in Christ Jesus, who struggled against the systems of the world around him, and who was persecuted for that struggle. We shine our light in this time as a light of faith, hope, and justice—all of which cannot be overcome by temporal or worldly powers. The birth of Jesus the Christ, the Prince of Peace, God with us, gives us the confidence to remain steadfast in our anticipation of a day when justice is abundant for all people, and peace prevails.

From all of us at CMEP, may the peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you this holiest of seasons, and may your celebrations of the birth of the Prince of Peace bring you hope, and sustain you in your efforts to promote justice and peace. Amen.

In Christ,

Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon
Executive Director, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)

What's Next? CMEP Journeys: Elevate. Educate. Advocate. Participate.

We are so excited to bring CMEP Journeys to you in 2021. This event series will bring you a variety of online activities you can participate in that will introduce you to the people, issues, and work of pursuing peace and justice in the Middle East. Follow us on social media to learn more in early January 2021. 

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Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)
110 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 311
Washington, District of Columbia 20002
(202) 543-1222

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