Groups & Programs
In addition to regular worship services, the Lutheran Church of Hope has many activities for children and youth, including a young adult group, weekly Bible Studies in homes, and women’s gatherings to build awareness of attitudes toward women in the church and the society.
Summer Programs for Children
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hope provides a summer school for children, a youth program that involves young people with other local and international Christians. For one month during the summer the children enjoy a daily Summer Camp held on the church property. In July 2003 sixty children learned Bible lessons and songs, in addition to special off-site trips and swimming days. Often volunteers come from partner congregations in other countries to assist with the yearly Summer Camp.
More than ninety young people participate in youth activities. The “juniors” are from 13-18 years of age; the “seniors” from 18-30 years. Pastor Rishmawi is leader of both groups and also serves as Youth Pastor for the ELCJHL as a whole. Bible studies, guest speakers, exchange visits with neighboring church youth groups and various volunteer activities take place with both age groups. Additionally, the young people participate in local youth retreats and also in overseas trips and retreats.
The Sunday School program includes about sixty children. On a Sunday morning the children first come together to pray and to sing. After, the children they are divided into classes by age where they hear Bible stories and enjoy art, crafts, discussions and storytelling.
The women of the church meet weekly for study and activities. A unique project of the women’s group is the traditional Palestinian embroidery work they sew for greeting cards, bookmarks, eyeglass cases, tissue boxes and also pictures and designs on fabric intended for framing. Knitted items for babies are also made. An attractive cupboard in the narthex of the church holds the items that are offered for sale. Occasionally orders for the embroidery work are shipped overseas, at the request of individuals or other church groups.
Meals On Wheels
A community service project of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hope in Ramallah, the Meals on Wheels Program has been serving the Ramallah area since 1995. Currently more than 60 elderly people in Ramallah are being served. Twice a week the Meals on Wheels workers deliver hot meals. And besides meals, members of the program can utilize other services, such as transportation to and from medical appointments; pick-up and delivery of pharmacy prescriptions; delivery of staple foodstuffs such as rice, coffee, fresh fruit and vegetables; and help with light housekeeping and laundry.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hope also provides “friendly visitors” to come to the homes of the people in the program. Occasionally the people in the program are transported to a luncheon and program at the church parish hall or another location in Ramallah.
The Meals on Wheels Program is supported by gifts and donations from various church groups and individuals, including the World Hunger Appeal of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission; and The Presbyterian Church, USA.