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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    news article

    2022 UNY PALESTINIAN DINNER (Imagined) in honor of Co-chair Leah Mae Carlisle

    June 7, 2022 / By Linda Bergh

    IMAGINE!! Imagine, if you can, gathering at a downtown Syracuse church, smelling the enticing odors of chicken, rice, and spices as you enter; filling your plate from the rice, chicken, cauliflower dish (maqlouba = “upside down”), vegetarian rice with lentils, topped with carmelized onions, Palestinian salad, fresh pita bread and hummus, and having tempting pieces of baklava waiting for you at your table. And, imagine Shirley Stevens singing “Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem” as you enjoy your dinner and table fellowship.

    For 26 years this dinner was held during Annual Conferences, in various New York Conferences, and in what became the Upper New York Annual Conference.  Attendees included church representatives, retired pastors and spouses, friends from the area, Palestinian guests, and any who wished to join in the meal in solidarity with the people of Palestine.  As a fund-raiser sponsored by the current UNY-UM Task Force on Peace with Justice in Palestine/ Israel, meal donations and gifts were collected to benefit various schools and health facilities in Palestine, such as Hope Secondary School, with the 2009 addition of the Gary Bergh Scholarship for those wishing to go on Holy Land “justice-awareness” trips.

    In this our third year of COVID-19, the UNY Task Force on Peace with Justice in Palestine/ Israel invites ALL people in our UNY Annual Conference churches and friends who long for Palestinian peace with justice to join in our 27th Palestinian Dinner (imagined) by making a “dinner donation” in any amount in support of the Gary Bergh Scholarship so that, once again, young and “not-so-young” may respond to the Palestinian invitation to “come and see”.

    Tax-deductible donations should be checks made out to “UNYAC” with “Gary Bergh Scholarship” on the memo line.  Please mail to:   Linda Bergh, 116 Edna Road, Syracuse, NY  13205 or Karen Peterson, 116 Greenridge Drive, Horseheads, NY. 14845.  Thank you for participating in the “imagined” Palestinian Dinner.  Deadline for this—July 30th.

    This 27th Palestinian Dinner (imagined) is in honor of Leah Mae Carlisle who, in2005, responded to the dinner speaker, well-known American Palestinian pastor, Alex Awad, to “come and see”.   She and her husband, Tom, went on the 2006 Task Force/ General Board of Global Ministries' Holy Land trip, joined the Task Force, and then Leah Mae became a co-chair in 2009 and, in 2010, a founding member of UMKR (United Methodists for Kairos Response).  She has worked tirelessly for Palestinian justice.  Severe illness now prevents her from active participation, but she encouraged another Palestinian Dinner!


    With more than 125,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 800 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."