Meet the ELCJHL’s Newest Pastor!
On Sunday, June 28, Bishop Sani Ibrahim Azar ordained Rodny Samir Rafiq Said as a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. The service of ordination was held at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The Church of the Redeemer has a special significance to Pastor Rodny, as it is Pastor his home congregation. He grew up attending services with his family in the historic building, learning the stories of the faith alongside the stories of his people. Pastor Rodny was surrounded by faith and hope even amid the challenging circumstances that embody life as a Palestinian Christian.
As he grew, Pastor Rodny became involved with the Sahiroon Youth Training Program, a program of the ELCJHL Youth Desk. Along with the other young people of the church, he participated in activities and training sessions that encouraged his leadership potential. Now, one of Pastor Rodny’s goals is to revitalize the Sahiroon Youth Training program and encourage other young people to find leadership positions in the church and society.
Pastor Rodny attended Bethlehem University for three terms before moving to Canada to attend Wilfrid Laurier University / Martin Luther University College. During his time in Canada, Pastor Rodny remained involved with the church and volunteered as a translator and interpreter with the Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support (MCRS), helping to support refugees in their immigration process.
At Martin Luther University College, Pastor Rodny also sang in the Inshallah Choir, a community choir of more than 130 voices that gathers to sing songs of praise and pray, of joy and lament. The choir sings song from around the world and focuses on exploring multicultural diversity.
Pastor Rodny graduated from Wilfried Laurier University with a Bachelors degree in Christian Studies and Global Citizenship in 2017, and he continued on at Martin Luther University College to receive a Masters of Divinity in 2020.
After graduating from seminary, Pastor Rodny returned to Palestine and served as the Vicar for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Beit Sahour, under the guidance of Pastor Munther Isaac. He is excited to continue to deepen relationships with the congregation and school at Beit Sahour and to participate in God’s mission in the Holy Land.
Together with the Bishop, the other pastors of the ELCJHL, and the entirety of the membership of the church, we celebrate what God has already done in Pastor Rodny’s life and look forward to his leadership and service in the future.