Our Projects

United Christian Communities bases its decisions on projects to pursue upon its evaluation of the potential of any given proposed project to help:

-connect Christians in North America with the Holy Land, with Christians and Christian communities living in the Holy Land, and  with Christian churches and institutions in the Holy Land.

- eliminate the factors contributing to the flight of Christians from the Holy Land.

- stimulate, create or enhance and environment in the Holy Land that will encourage those Christians who have fled the Holy Land to return, and enable those living there to thrive

The following are our current projects and our "shovel ready" projects, i.e., those about the launch subject to initial funding.

The Education Project

As amazing as it may sound at first sight, the fact is that very few Christians living in North America are even aware that there are Christians living in the Holy Land.  Further, of those who are aware, only a few know of the circumstances confronting them, circumstances that are causing Christians to flee the Holy Land in such numbers that the continued existence of living Christian communities in the Holy Land is in question. 

For that reason we are called upon in our efforts to begin our efforts to help to halt the flight of Christian from the Holy Land with educational programming.  This includes this website, our blog (click here to view our blog) our Facebook page (click here to view our Facebook page) and our Tweets via Twitter (click here to view our Twitter page) and our email newsletter, The Connection (click here to subscribe to The Connection.  It's free.). 

The Clergy Project

Through the Clergy Project we ask clergy to join us in the effort to connect Christians living in North America with the Holy Land and the Christian communities living there.  Specifically we ask clergy to help educate their congregations and keep them informed about Christians living in the Holy Land and their circumstances.  The Clergy Project supports clergy in this effort, by providing materials for use in sermons, newsletters and other means of communication.  There is no cost or obligation to the clergy. Click here for more information.  Click here to donate to our Clergy Project.

The Christian Voice Roundtables Project

The Christian Voice Roundtables Project will provide settings for Christians living in the Holy Land to meet with representatives of  the governments, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders and civic leaders  to convey to, and discuss with, them the circumstances they face as a double minority that contribute to the flight of Christians from the Holy Land and to discuss ideas each may have to address those circumstances.

The Roundtables will be held in Palestine and Israel. Facilitators will moderate the roundtables.  Attendees will include government representatives, representatives of Jewish and Muslim clergy (in the case of roundtables held in Israel), Muslim clergy (in the case of roundtables held in Palestine) and civic leaders  along with 12-20 Christians from all strata of Christian society.  Members of the Knesset and the Palestinian Authority, respectively, will be invited to attend and participate.  Attendance is limited to no more than 36 people at each roundtable.

Each session will be filmed.  Edited versions of the sessions, with voiceover translations, will be distributed to churches in North America and to others who request them.  Shorter edited segments will be placed on the Internet for viewing.

Funds are currently being sought for a pair of Roundtables (one in Nazareth, Israel and one in Bethlehem, Palestine).  Subsequent Roundtables will be held on a quarterly basis. For more information call 800.869.4919.  Click here to donate to our Roundtables Project.

The Travel Project

The Travel Project encourages Christians from North America to come to the Holy Land and to experience more than is offered during a typical visit.  Opportunities are provided to stay both in Palestine and Israel, to meet, and have small dinners, with Christian families in Palestine and Israel, to visit refugee camps and settlements (for these are very much linked to the Christian circumstances in the Holy Land).  In short, the Travel Projects invite Christians from North America to see the Holy Land through the eyes of Christians living in the Holy Land and, to some extent, to experience the Holy Land as they do, all while being assured of seeing the most important Christian sites in the Holy Land. Click here to donate to our Travel Project. For more information call 1.800.869.4919.

The Scholarship Project

Offered in conjunction with dioceses and synods in the Holy Land, the Scholarship Project helps to arrange and fund scholarships for college-age Christians living in the Holy Land to attend colleges in North America. In addition, the Scholarship Project helps to assure sufficient mentoring and other support is provided to the students to help them succeed in their academic and social experiences in, what is for them, a new culture.  While in attendance at the colleges, they are obligated to be available as a resource for the college in connection with courses and educational events offered relating to their Christian experience in the Holy Land (i.e., Israel and Palestine) and also the social and/or political situation in the Holy Land and the Mideast in general.  For more information call 1.800.869.4919.

The Feature Film and the Short Film Projects

The Film Projects are creating films that will inform North American Christians about, and help to connect with, Christians living in the Holy Land.

The films  will be provided to churches throughout, initially, North America, without cost to them, to be screened at church events – events at which the film could initiate an organized discussion after the screening.

The Short Film Project is creating  a series of shorter films of approximately five to ten minutes in length.  In addition to being distributed to churches these short films will also be circulated through YouTube and social media sites for widest possible distribution.  The heart of these films is to introduce Christians in North America to the Christians in the Holy Land and their situation, a situation that is inducing many to leave and inhibiting those who have left from returning.

The heart of the Feature Film Project will be the personal stories of Christians and their families living in the Holy Land. We will focus on a few families, each impacted in different ways by their circumstances. We will see them live their lives; we will hear them tell their stories; and others close to them will bring outside perspectives, further illuminating the particular situations that make life more challenging to live for these people in the Holy Land.

Stories are as old as the spoken or written word. They draw the viewer in. They command attention. From the beginning of history, we have communicated with stories. The prime example is the influence and impact of the story told in the Bible. Through stories, ideas are communicated; people are influenced; history is chronicled; the future is imagined.

The Feature Film Project  will get to the very heart of what it means to live as a Christian in the Holy Land; the intensity they feel living in the land where Christ was born and died; the effects of being a minority among Arabs and Israelis alike and the pressures of living with multiple identities in a land riven by war. We will learn how they feel about those who have emigrated, and we will discover their hopes and expectations for their own personal future and the future of Christians living in the Holy Land.

Funding for the Film Project is being sought. 
Click here to donate to our Feature Film Project.  For more information call 800.869.4919.  

 

Projects Under Development

The Action Alert Project

Expressions of concern by significant numbers of Christians living in North America about particular governmental and non-governmental acts and actions that adversely affect Christians in the Holy Land, can have a profound effect on halting or rectifying those actions, actions that are a significant factor in causing Christians to flee the Holy Land.  The Action Alert Project will build on the success of the Education Project and the Clergy Project.  When  those governmental and non-governmental acts and actions that adversely affect Christians occur or are about to occur, Action Alerts will be sent to clergy and laity in North America informing them of those acts or actions and suggesting steps they can take to help, e.g., letter or email campaigns.

The We Are Still Here Project

The We are Still Here Project will bring Christians from the Holy Land to North American cities  for short term visits (under a week) to meet with local communities at a grassroots level  in order to expose those communities to Christians from the Holy Land andtheir history and circumstances.  These meetings will be held under the auspices of local churches, schools and civic associations.

The Holy Land Marketplace Facility Project

The Holy Land Marketplace Facility Project will permit churches, through their websites or United Christian Communities' website, to offer their congregations opportunities to purchase goods and services directly from Christian businesses in the Holy Land.

The Hands Across the Ocean, Hands Across the River Project

The Hands Across the Ocean, Hands across the River Project  addresses minority issues affecting Arab Americans (a majority of whom are Christian) in major U.S. cities through a year -long series engagements among Christian Arab and Muslim Arab high school students born in the Holy Land (i.e., Israel and Palestine) and majority teens born in the U.S. By utilizing the mosaic of diverse ethnicities, religions and cultures typically found in major US cities as a tool to explore and understand these issues, and framing the Arab minority experience within the context of the cities’ diversity, the Hands Across Project aims to give the oft ignored Arab community a voice, provide a setting for them to address their issues in Arab and American societies at large, and heal the growing rift between Christian Arab and Muslim Arab communities in the U.S. and in the Holy Land.

Arab Americans (a majority of whom are Christian) face a barrage of greater and lesser indignities, opportunities denied, and injustices in North America by reason of their Arab heritage. Much of it is intimately related to their being perceived as strangers and as a subversive danger, a prejudice that is reinforced by stereotyped Arab characters in the popular media. The situation is exacerbated by the tendency of Arab Americans, as is the case with most minority Americans, to live in communities (not always by choice) that are often insular and rarely provide opportunities to interact socially with the larger community.
The Hands Across Project is uniquely structured to unite the disparate neighborhoods (and communities) spread throughout a city by exposing its participants to different neighborhoods and their residents, in many cases for the first time in their lives. Time will be spent by participants exploring, on foot, the neighborhood in which each session is held.