The Reverend Christine V. Hides
Associate Minister for Discipleship
The horrific attacks by Hamas and the subsequent reaction by the Israeli government are dominating the headlines this week. While many rush to take a stance, I have been asked, “is standing for peace enough?” Each of us will reach our own answer to that question. But, I invite us to come together in prayer for the safety of innocent children in Palestine and Israel.
Your children may hear people talking about war or see news online. On Sunday our 4th graders are scheduled to learn about the geography of the area where Jesus walked. If children bring up the conflict at church we will attempt to emphasize God’s desire for peace and well being for all people, not sides. I offer the following resources that I trust to support your conversations at home:
- UNICEF’s guide to talking with children about war and conflict
- A three-minute video explaining the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by CBC Kids News (CBC/Radio Canada)
- Kids Britannica presents a brief overview of the Holy Land’s importance to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
- Resilience in Times of War for Parents by the American Psychological Association
Children and Family Ministry has several books and other resources about peace and is available for conversation. Many Christians celebrated the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4, so I will leave you with his familiar prayer:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.