Since Bishop Sani Ibrahim Charlie Azar was installed as bishop of the ELCJHL, he announced his vision of establishing a coordinated diaconal center to strengthen the diaconal and social work ministry of the ELCJHL. The overall aim was to contribute to achieving social justice among the people in Jordan and the Holy Land. In December 2020, the Diaconal and Social Center was established.
The ELCJHL has always been active in diaconal work. However, traditionally this burden fell on the shoulders of the pastors, each congregation working in isolation from each other. A center that would unify all diaconal work and avoid duplication in efforts and services was necessary to connect each congregation’s diaconal ministry.
The Diaconal and Social Center of the ELCJHL will serve the whole church, the parishes, and their surrounding local communities. The creation of this department is the first step toward better structuring and organizing this ministry. The department is located at the main office of the ELCJHL in Jerusalem with an additional office and other facilities in the building of the Reformation Church in Beit Jala.
Diaconal ministry of the ELCJHL is holistic work, aiming to respond to the needs of the local community that is lacking from many of the existing services. Palestine lacks counseling organizations, and there is a need for holistic diaconal work that targets all family members and individuals. Diaconal work is different from social care services due to this holistic approach which offers spiritual care. Empowering Christian families in the society is at the core of diaconal ministry.
The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Jerusalem, and Abraham’s Herbergage, Beit Jala