Pictured here: Rev. Fred and Gloria Strickert, Laying on of Hands, Presentation of Gloria Strickert and Rev. Elizabeth McHan.
JERUSALEM, September 17, 2010 – On Sunday, September 12, 2010, Pastor Fred Strickert and Diaconal Minister Gloria Strickert were installed to the English-Speaking Congregation of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in the Old City of Jerusalem. Bishop Younan preached and presided at the service. Propst Dr. Uwe Graebe, representing the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Rev. Mark Brown, chair of the congregational council and ELCA pastor serving as Regional Representative with the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Jerusalem, and Rev. Sani Ibrahim Azar, Pastor of the Arabic-Speaking Congregation at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and President of the Synod of the ELCJHL assisted.
Present for the laying on of hands were clergy from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, the Church of Sweden, the Church of Scotland, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the Church of Norway, the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ, the United Church of Canada, The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) & the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Pastor Fred Strickert, PhD, graduated from Christ-Seminary Seminex (LSTC) and received a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from the University of Iowa. He was ordained in Papua New Guinea in 1975 and rostered in the AELC, ALC, and ELCA. He has taught on the seminary level in Papua New Guinea and India and taught at Wartburg College, in Waverly, Iowa, for 24 years. He has led student travel courses for several decades to the Middle East, Honduras, and Tanzania. He has also published on New Testament and Archaeology issues, as well as the Palestinian struggle including Rachel Weeping: Jews, Christians, and Muslims at a Fortress Tomb (Liturgical Press, 2008), co-authoring with Rev. Mitri Raheb, Bethlehem 2000: Past and Present (Interlink Publishing, 1998); and editing Alison Jones Nassar’s Imm Mathilda: A Bethlehem Mother’s Diary (Kirk House Publishers, 2003) and Bishop Munib Younan’s Witnessing for Peace: In Jerusalem and the World (Fortress Press, 2003).
Diaconal Minister Gloria Strickert, is a graduate of Wartburg Seminary and was consecrated as a Diaconal Minister in 1996. She has served in Spiritual Care in hospitals in Waterloo, Iowa, for fifteen years and previously worked in education ministries in the LCMS and LCA. She also worked in Papua New Guinea for six years and spent a year as a Global Mission Volunteer at Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem.
The congregation also recognized the many members who were beginning service with an Affirmation of Vocation.
In his sermon, Bishop Younan spoke of the theology of accompaniment in connection to the English-Speaking Congregation of the ELCJHL, saying, “We are very proud that the ELCJHL and the ELCA have together developed a deep theology of accompaniment in which we walk together with love, in faith and hope that, through the witness of the other, God is revealing God’s very self to us… For this reason, we step out in faith to accompany and encourage our expatriate brothers and sisters. So that people who come from various denominational backgrounds and cultures can find in this congregation a home, and here they may experience the love of God reaching out to the world.”
In closing, Bishop Younan encouraged the congregation to remember the element of joy in the parables of Luke 15, saying, “I believe that each and every worship service must be a time of joy as we, together as sinners, experience the power of forgiveness and the strength of God’s love for us. We come here lost like the sheep, and the coin; but we are found by God’s love. We are sinners; yet forgiven. This joyful realization must envelop our lives and send us out from this service empowered by the grace of God. We must go out with joy, proclaiming this love that comes from God.”
The ELCJHL rejoices in the new ministry of Pastor Fred and Gloria Strickert, together with the English-Speaking Congregation at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, ELCJHL.
Click here to learn more about the ministry of the English-Speaking Congregation at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.