What is Pathways?

Pathways for Middle East Peace is a nonprofit educational organization that works to support collaboration between mainline churches and the Jewish community. Our members are clergy and lay leaders in the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and The Episcopal Church, who pastor parishes, teach in seminaries and universities, and share a commitment to advocating for positive interfaith relations between Jews and Christians.

Which Episcopalians are a part of Pathways?

Pathways has support from clergy and lay leaders across The Episcopal Church. The Rev. Jason Poling, a parish priest in Baltimore, MD, and Ecumenical Officer of the Diocese of Maryland, serves on Pathways’ Board of Trustees. Other Episcopal leaders involved include the Rev. Dr. Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, a Professor at Boston College and former Church History Professor and Dean at Seminary of the Southwest; the Rev. Joseph Wood, a priest of the Diocese of Maryland and doctoral student at the University of South Florida; and Mr. Richard Pryor, III, a lay leader in the Diocese of Ohio and church history student at Princeton Theological Seminary.

What does Pathways believe?

Pathways believes that peace between Israelis and Palestinians is possible and can only be achieved through peace and tolerance on all sides of the conflict, and with an understanding that it is dialogue – not division – that will lead to lasting peace. We believe in the importance of a negotiated two-state solution on a foreign policy level, while also recognizing the rise of antisemitism and islamophobia as a result of the decades of conflict in Israel and Palestine, and advocating to stop these divisive beliefs. We also believe in the power of open communication and course correction when needed, recognizing the ways that our discourse in mainline Christianity reduces both Israelis and Palestinians to political pawns and that we sin against both of them in our characterizations of global events.

What does Pathways do?

Pathways is in the business of advocating for peace and justice for all people, while also educating and informing the church about the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

What is Pathways doing at General Convention?

Pathways has been working with Bishops, Deputies, Alternates, and other interested Episcopalians for the last few months to help the Church discern how to both live up to its prophetic calling, and to do so in a way that respects and honors our interfaith relationships, based on frank and open conversations with our partners in that work. To that end, the following quote, from Canon Don Binder, Chaplain to Archbishop Hosam Naoum, sets out Pathways’s opinion on our need for controversial statements:

We obviously are in favor of [resolutions] that promote an end to the war, peace, justice, and reconciliation. We avoid loaded terms like Apartheid or Genocide, which can distract from the content of the actual statements by haggling over definitions or drawing accusations of smearing.

How can Pathways help me?

Both the Rev. Joseph Wood and Mr. Richard Pryor, III are on site for all of General Convention. You can text them at 732-354-1077 for any questions or to set up a time to talk. They will also have open “office hours” at the Convention Center as announced on Pathways’ social media accounts.

What does Pathways think about this or that resolution?

Pathways offers their thoughts on proposed resolutions regarding Israel and Palestine, anti-Semitism, and similar matters at this link – Pathways Resolution Review.

What other resources can Pathways offer?

While there’s never enough time to fully dive into these issues during the week of General Convention, we encourage reading the following books and articles in the coming months to consider the complicity of Christianity’s anti-Judaism and antisemitism and how each of us can make a positive impact in supporting these relationships: