JERUSALEM – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Holy Land and the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada signed an agreement during the Arabic Speaking service of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer on April, 28, 2013 to become companion churches. The agreement was signed by Bishop Munib Younan of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and Bishop Michael Pryse of the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
Bishop Younan thanked Bishop Pryse for accepting his invitation to become companion churches: “Dear Bishop Pryse, we thank you for accepting our invitation to be a partner of our church. I sent that invitation one year ago and you took us very seriously. You came with a group to this country in order to sign this agreement of mutual relationship, of accompaniment. We accompany each other, dear sisters and brothers in Christ. Many would say: what does a partnership mean? What does accompaniment mean? Certainly it won’t mean that we are only good personal friends…it means, “What can we learn from each other? What can we learn from the Canadian, Christian Lutherans and what can they learn from us? No church is so big that it cannot learn from other churches and no church is so small that it doesn’t have spiritual talents…please pray for us and thank you for this accompaniment.”
The ELCJHL has been in a partnership agreement with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) for 10 years and Bishop Michael Pryse mentioned this during his thank you address to the ELCJHL and Bishop Munib Younan: “This step, this signing of this agreement with the Synod, both at your invitation and at the invitation of our sister Bishop, Bishop Susan Johnson, is a deeper and fuller expression of that partnership that has been growing now for 10 years, 13 years indeed.”
Bishop Pryse went on to say: “We have experienced the stones of this place that have been made holy by millennia of devotion of fellow pilgrims, but the highlight of this time here for me is this visit with you and with the Lutheran expression and community of living stones who provide such a strong and powerful witness in this place and, indeed, to the world.”
For photos of the event, visit the ELCJHL’s Photo Gallery.