In the Holy Land, Stated Clerk calls upon President Trump not to move U.S. embassy

Nelson: Relocating from Tel Aviv would ‘dim’ peace prospects

December 6, 2017

Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, II

Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, II —Randy Hobson

LOUISVILLE

The Reverend J. Herbert Nelson, II, General Assembly Stated Clerk for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), today asked U.S. religious leaders to “call upon President Trump to not make his reported decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

Nelson, who is currently in the Holy Land with a group of PC(USA) leaders, wrote in an email to Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches (NCC), that “this move will create chaos and possible violence and dim the possibility for a just and lasting peace” in the region. “Furthermore,” Nelson wrote, “it will disrupt the call to celebrate our Christian witness to the coming of the Prince of Peace during this Advent season.”

Winkler responded that the NCC is preparing a statement and “will note your witness on behalf of all of us by your presence in the land we call Holy.”

President Trump is expected to announce today that the U.S. government is changing its longstanding stance and declaring it is recognizing Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv, as the capital of Israel. What is not clear is what the president will say about moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a city that is claimed as central to all three Abrahamic faiths—Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

Soliciting prayers for the safety and witness of the PC(USA) delegation, Nelson said, “As we lift up prayers for peace and safety for the Middle East region, it is clear that our God has placed us here in this moment to witness on behalf of the coming ‘Kindom.’

He continued: “Faith compels us to witness where we are in this present age. Therefore, we are here in this hour to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). Advent reminds us that God comes in many ways. Once again, we are called to receive and witness to the advent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”


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  1. There is no possible reality of a future Israel without Jerusalem as that nation's capital. Wishing it away is being blind to reality. Good move for President Trump - bad decision for our Stated Clerk.

    by R. Mark Owens

    December 12, 2017

  2. Trump did what Clinton, Bush, and Obama wanted to do and did not have the courage to do.

    by Bill Scheiderer

    December 10, 2017

  3. To quote Michael Friedman, scholar and author, this move by Trump is “just stupid”!

    by Suzanne Griffith

    December 6, 2017

  4. Jerusalem is the city of God- it is the future of this world. Thanks be to God that we have a president that is bold enough to recognize that!

    by Sharon Sullins

    December 6, 2017

  5. This move was done to satisfy a promise made during a campaign and makes no sense whatever. Jerusalem should be an international city, belonging to everyone and the property of no one. It should be a city state run by a local government with representation from all three major religions.

    by Diana Bartelt

    December 6, 2017

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