About the 
  Holy Land Task Force
and contact information
      United Methodists' Holy Land Task Force
is a member organization of the
US Campaign to End the Israeli

The United Methodists' Holy Land Task Force is a task force
of the Cal-Pac Board of Church and Society,
California-Pacific Conference, United Methodist Church:

Our Vision

The United Methodists of the Holy Land Task Force envision the day when Palestine and Israel will become:  a land that reflects the highest ideals of the three Abrahamic faiths, a place where Muslims, Jews, and Christians achieve reconciliation and live side by side in security and freedom, an example for the world of peaceful coexistence grounded in justice and compassion.

Our Mission

The United Methodists' Holy Land Task Force seeks to promote peace, justice and reconciliation in the Holy Land through prayer, study, giving, engagement, and advocacy.

Our mission is realized through two major areas of work: (1) to educate and (2) to advocate:

(1) Raise awareness
and understanding among United Methodists regarding the ongoing conflict in the Holy Land, its importance to us as Christians and - for those in the United States - as Americans, the role we can have in helping to achieve a peaceful and just solution for Palestinians and Israelis, and the urgent need for united action today.

    Our educational work includes information about the history of the region and of the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis, the major obstacles to a peaceful resolution of that conflict, human rights issues and questions of international law, personal perspectives from a broad spectrum of religious and political figures, the published statements of global churches and the United Nations, and more.

(2) Mobilize clergy and laity of the United Methodist Church in powerful, united advocacy for a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Our advocacy work is always rooted in nonviolence and responds to the calls for help and principled action from the Palestinian people, their organizations and leaders, Jewish organizations, authors, and leaders in Israel, the United States and Europe, and Christian churches and organizations in Palestine and around the world.

all our work, we commit ourselves to: 
•  Include diverse voices, particularly those least heard in public discussion

•  Promote peaceful resolution of conflict

•  Resist simplifying or generalizing the complexity of the people and politics involved in the Holy Land
•  Honor the dignity and rights of all humans
•  Encourage and support Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land as they seek to live ancient values and biblical principles by faithfully pursuing peace with justice.
•  Value our partner relationships with Jewish and Muslim leaders and communities

    Our advocacy is never directed against an entire people or their national existence; rather it is focused on specific policies and practices that are illegal, unjust, and harmful to the achievement of peace.  We have no tolerance for racial or ethnic bigotry; we recognize that strong opposition to an organization’s or a government’s statements, policies, or actions, while difficult to accept, should not be equated with bigotry and can be a meaningful demonstration of respect, friendship, and concern. We reject words and actions that commit or encourage violence against any persons. With a deep belief in God’s love for all people, our concern and compassion embrace all the people of the Holy Land.  Therefore, we pray, educate, and advocate for physical security, peace of mind, human rights, personal liberty and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians, and a hope-filled future for their children in generations to come.

 Who We Are

The UMHLTF is a task force of the Board of Church & Society of the California-Pacific Conference, in the United Methodist Church. Our Task Force is comprised of United Methodist laity and clergy, all of whom embrace fully the message of our vision and our mission.  We do not speak for the United Methodist Church in an official capacity.  The Task Force members share responsibility for the educational and advocacy work of the HLTF, and all Task Force members have equal voice in all decisions.  Individuals become members of the Task Force by invitation; our current task force members are:

M. Theresa Basile, UMHLTF chairperson
Laymember, Culver-Palms United Methodist Church, Culver City
Steering Committee, United Methodist Kairos Response

Task Force Members (in alphabetical order):
Pete Dennis: Laymember, Belmont Heights United Methodist Church, Long Beach, CA
JoAnn Fukumoto: Layperson; Peace with Justice Educator, California-Pacific Conference, UMC
Rev. Sandra Olewine:  Pastor, The Neighborhood/La Vecindad: A United Methodist Community, Long Beach, CA;
United Methodist Liaison to Jerusalem, Israel/Palestine, 1996-2006
Candie Odell: Masters of Divinity graduate, 2010, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary;
Advisory Committee member, Cal-Pac MFSA; former intern with Reconciling Ministries Network
Marian Oliver: Laymember, Leisure World Community Church, Seal Beach, CA;
Previous Vice President, and Assistant Dean, United Methodist Women, California-Pacific Conference
Cheryl Riggs:  Professor, Co-Director of the Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies,
Program Coordinator of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Program, California State University, San Bernardino
Rev. Barbara Grace Ripple: United Methodist Clergy; member, California-Pacific Board of Church & Society;
former District Superintendent, California-Pacific Conference
Arnie Sheets: Laymember, First United Methodist Church of San Diego
Rev. Dr. DarEll Weist: United Methodist Clergy; editor, Middle East Email Network

As our Advisory Committee grows it will include leaders in the United Methodist church, Jewish and Palestinian leaders and activists, and others. The Advisory Committee provides valuable guidance and assistance in accomplishing the mission of the Holy Land Task Force.

Advisory Committee (in alphabetical order):
David Hosey: former United Methodist Mission Intern, General Board of Global Ministries, three years of service divided between Sabeel in Israel Palestine and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation in Washington DC
Janet Lahr Lewis: United Methodist Missionary, current United Methodist Liaison in Israel and Palestine
Tina Whitehead: United Methodist Western Pennsylvania Conference Missionary, formerly serving in Israel Palestine with Sabeel .
James Wall: Contributing Editor to The Christian Century magazine, formerly editor and publisher of that magazine for 27 years.
Rev. Michael Yoshii: United Methodist Clergy; Israel-Palestine Task Force, California-Nevada Annual Conference; 
Pastor, Buena Vista UMC, Alameda, CA

Contact Us

If you would like to know more about our work,
offer comments and suggestions, or make any inquiries,
you can reach us at: info@umhltf.org

If you prefer to talk on the phone, please send us an email with
your phone number, and we promise to be in touch.