Working Group on the Middle East (WGME)

Our Ministry

Within the Metropolitan Chicago Synod we have a dedicated Working Group on the Middle East.

Our Mission

“Led by the Holy Spirit, the Working Group on the Middle East (WGME) of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, ELCA, will educate and urge the Metropolitan Chicago Synod to advocate actively for justice for Palestine and Israel, which will lead to peace in the Middle East to ensure free access to the holy sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims.”

Campaign of the Chicago Faith Coalition, with support from Defense for Children International Palestine

Demand Israel End Military Detention

No Way To Treat A Child
Bring Justice to Palestinian Children,

Please help bring justice to Palestinian children by signing up to receive email updates here. The WGME is a coalition partner for this campaign. Check out this less than 10-minute YouTube video to get a feel for the Israeli military practices associated with child detention.

Israeli Military Detention — No Way to Treat a Child
  • Stop night arrests
  • Stop blindfolds and restraints
  • Stop separation from parents
  • Stop physical abuse and verbal threats
  • Stop isolation and coerced confessions

Monthly Prayer Vigil for Middle East Peace in Chicago

A global ecumenical prayer vigil began on December 24, 2012, and will continue across the globe, on the 24th of every month, until the Israeli occupation is dismantled, violence in the Middle East ends, and all can celebrate a just and lasting negotiated resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Download a sample service, here.

You can participate in the monthly prayer vigil at Luther Memorial Church

When: Prayer vigil the 24th of every month at 7:00 p.m.

Address: 2500 W. Wilson Ave Chicago, IL 60625

Ph: 773-539-3018


View Church Calendar here→

Members of Luther Memorial are active leaders of WGME, and have shared the following prayer.

A Litany for Peace and Justice

This work for peace and justice is hard. It is demanding, time consuming, and sometimes tedious. Will you commit yourself to work for peace and justice?

I will and I ask God to help me!

This work for peace and justice can cause tensions and rifts. This work can drive wedges between people, but this work needs us to stick together. Will you dedicate yourself to doing your best to work with others?
I will and I ask God to help me!

This work for peace and justice is more effective when we embrace and respect diversity. Will you commit yourself to embracing and respecting difference?
I will and I ask God to help me!

This work for peace and justice requires creativity. This work demands that we push ourselves to look for new possibilities. Will you dedicate yourself to thinking and acting creatively for peace and justice?

I will and I ask God to help me!

This work for peace and justice requires faith and hope that a better tomorrow is possible. Will you dedicate yourself to find sources of faith and hope in your life?

I will and I ask God to help me!

This work for peace and justice calls us to find inner peace. Will you commit yourself to promote peace both within and without?

I will and I ask God to help me!

Our Members

The Rev. Joanne Fitzgerald
Martin Luther, Chicago (Convener)

Mary Anderson
Atonement, Barrington

Joan Ehrenberg
St. Paul’s, Evanston

Ghassan (Gus) Khoury

Kholoud Khoury

Delbert and Gretchen Leppke
St. Paul’s, Evanston

Jeff Nichols
Grace, La Grange

Pam Sall
Ebenezer, Chicago (Information Liaison)

Joe Scarry
St. Luke’s, Logan Square, Chicago

Don and Laurie Schuemann
New Hope, Aurora

Dieter Schulte
Luther Memorial, Chicago

Ed Thompson
Gloria Dei, Northbrook

Bill Young
Grace, La Grange

Connect with Us

To learn more about the Working Group on the Middle East, please email the Rev. Joanne Fitzgerald (Chair).

To be added to the email list, complete this form in PDF and email to .


Learn More on ELCA’s Website

Peace Not Walls is a special ELCA campaign calling for efforts toward a viable, contiguous Palestinian state; a secure Israeli state at peace with its Arab neighbors; and a shared Jerusalem with equal access and rights for Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

Online Resources

More Online

Ahlan wa Sahlan: Welcome!
Ahlan wa Sahlan: Welcome!

A resource is now available from the United Church of Christ (a full communion partner of the ELCA), and the Disciples of Christ. Ahlan Wa Sahlan! Exploring the Holy Land—is a ten-part children’s curriculum that builds on the widely used Ahlan Wa Sahalan Advent Curriculum that was released last fall.

This format is easily adapted to a number of settings Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, and even children’s moments.

Sign up for this resource here→

Palestinian Portal Resources

Find out what you can do individually, at your church & in your community on You can connect with groups worldwide that are committed to the struggle for liberation & justice.

Learn more→

Gaza Statement

Right of Refugees, Right to Demonstrate Peacefully, Right to Dignity – A Statement of US Churches and Christian Agencies on Gaza – April 12, 2018

View ELCA’S Peace No Walls Gaza Statement here→

Metropolitan Chicago Synod Office

Ph: 773-248-0021

Address: 1420 W. Dickens Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614

In Jesus’ name: we proclaim the gospel, make disciples, do justice.


What does this mean?