AMMAN, JORDAN/JERUSALEM, 13 December 2011 – More than eighty women from the different Christian denominations in Amman, Jordan gathered together on 2 December in the church hall of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd for an Advent celebration.
The theme for the afternoon was the integral importance of the Arab Christian existence, witness, and service in the Arab society, and the need for strong and wise leaders in the everyday life and work of the local churches.
Rev. Samer Azar, the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Amman, Jordan began the afternoon with a word of welcome, followed by a shared Advent meal.
After lunch, Mrs. Suad Younan offered words of greeting and welcome to the sisters from the different churches.
Bishop Younan was then invited to preach as the speaker for the event, and began with a reading from Matthew 25:1-13. Reflecting back on the wise women of the parable, Younan stressed the importance of the wise women present in the local churches, and especially in the local Lutheran church. “We often speak of gender equality,” Younan said, “but we still have work to do. Women should have full equality not only in society, but also in the church.”
“Evangelism teaches us always to look forward to where our faith is leading us and to what God is calling us both in church and in society,” Younan continued, and drawing back in the witness of the wise women, Younan spoke of the January 2010 decision unanimously reached in the Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches (FMEEC) in favor of Women’s Ordination, and the ELCJHL’s commitment to seeing Women’s Ordination come to fruition in the Middle East.
“When God calls a person to serve in the church it is not under the condition of being a man. Women have carried the message of the Gospel from the very beginning of the church. Therefore, we, the ELCJHL, fully support the Ordination of women in the church, and are called to support and encourage women who feel called to carry and to serve the Gospel in this way.”
After Bishop Younan’s words, the afternoon’s gathering concluded with an evening of shared Advent hymns, meditations, and time for contemplation.
Click here to view photos from the event.