RAMALLAH – The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Hope in Ramallah celebrated Easter Sunday on April 12th, 2015. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hope – as well as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Amman, Jordan – celebrate on an ecumenical calendar. These two congregations celebrate together with their Orthodox brothers and sisters for Easter while Orthodox congregations celebrate on the Lutheran/Western calendar for Christmas.
The Mayor of Ramallah, Mr. Mousa Hadded, attend the service. After the sermon, Rev. Imad Haddad honored Mr. Muneer Zananiri for his care of the church over the years.
RAMALLAH – The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hope in Ramallah held a short prayer service and Easter egg hunt on April 11th, 2015. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hope – as well as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Amman, Jordan – celebrate on an ecumenical calendar. These two congregations celebrate together with their Orthodox brothers and sisters for Easter while Orthodox congregations celebrate on the Lutheran/Western calendar for Christmas. Because of this, The Church of Hope and the Church of the Good Shepherd celebrated Easter one week after the rest of the ELCJHL congregations.
Over two Sundays in July, 26 young adults in the ELCJHL were confirmed into the church, with 18 being confirmed at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Beit Jala and 8 confirmed at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hope in Ramallah.
Each service was unique to the congregation. In Beit Jala, the congregation was treated to music by the church’s choir, a choir that included two of the confirmads. In Ramallah, the lessons and Gospel were conveyed using Sign Language by one of our confirmads, Majdi Mreibe and by Rev. Janne Rissane.
Pastor Mitri Raheb confirmed twelve young people Sunday, May 18, at Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem. On May 4, at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Beit Jala, Pastor Jadallah Shihadeh and Ass’t Pastor Saliba Rishmawi confirmed 14 young people, and the Lutheran Church of Hope in Ramallah will hold their confirmation on Sunday, June 1. Please pray for our young people.
The Environmental Education Center, an educational program of the ELCJHL, organized over 100 people including students from the Ramallah School of Hope to plant trees in Biddu Village near both Ramallah and Jerusalem. The village is about 10 kilometers from Jerusalem but a world away. The area villages once had 6000 dunums of land, but 4000 has been confiscated for illegal Israeli settlements. One man kept his house only through the action of the Supreme Court, and the most of his land was confiscated except for about 10 ft. on all sides that are now enclosed by a fence from the settlement. All visitors must be out of the house by 6 pm, and a loud radio or TV brings the IDF.
The Ramallah Church of Hope received and dedicated a peace pole that says “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in Arabic, English, Hebrew and Finnish. The peace pole was given by the Church of the Brethren in Oakton, Virginia, who have been working on a partnership with the Ramallah Church was years.
Bishop Hans Erik Nordin and a delegation of pastors, staff and lay people from the Diocese of Straengnes in Sweden arrived in the Holy Land Friday, February 2, to visit the ELCJHL and others working for a just peace in Palestine. Saturday they toured Bethlehem and some ministries of the ELCJH, and Sunday they traveled to Ramallah to worship with the people of the ELCJHL’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hope. Bishop Nordin told the assembled congregation that they were there to learn what it is like to be a community of hope in the midst of struggle. Bishop Younan of the ELCJHL preached and con-celebrated Holy Communion with Bishop Nordin, then went on to visit Ramallah residents and listen to their stories of recent years. The group will depart on Wednesday, after a full schedule of visits and meetings to get a feel for life in the midst of conflict.
A delegation of mostly staff from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America visited the Holy Land in January to meet and speak with their sisters and brothers in the ELCJHL. In addition, they talked with people and officials from various Palestinian and Israeli organizations and towns. Mr. Chuck Steinbach of Appleton, Wisconsin, who coordinated the planning for the visiting dance troupe Al Raja from Ramallah this summer, was happy to go and meet the kids at their school and present them with a new digital camera.