Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd Holds Youth Summer Camp

Amman's Youth Group
Amman's Youth Group
The Youth Group of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Amman, Jordan. (© Danae Hudson/ELCJHL)

10 young adults from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Amman, Jordan took part in a 4-day summer camp that took place across Jordan. The youth camp involved Bible study as well as field trips to the Dead Sea and the local YWCA. The camp ended with the youth serving at their Sunday service by doing readings, singing, collecting offering, and performing music.

To see photos from the service, visit our online gallery.

ELCJHL Mourns Death of Rev. Numan Smir

Rev. Numan Smir

JERUSALEM – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land sadly announces the death of Rev. Numan Smir, retired pastor of the ELCJHL.  Rev. Smir served the church in a number of capacities, at one point being president of the Synod. His pastoral career began at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Beit Jala before he helped found the Good Shepherd Church in Amman, Jordan, a community that he served from 1976 until his retirement in 1992. Rev. Numan Smir died on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at the age of 81. The ELCJHL sends their condolences to Rev. Smir’s wife May and his children, Bassam, Husam, and Marwan. The funeral service will take place Sunday, May 5, 2013, in Amman, Jordan.  We ask for your prayers at this time.


Interdenominational Women’s Gathering in Amman

Mrs. Suad Younan (left) leads the gathered women in prayer and song.

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.

Dedication of the newly renovated Hall in Amman

The Lutheran Good Shepherd Church in Amman, Jordan, dedicated its newly renovated congregational hall on Sunday, October 19, after the worship service. The Northelbian Mission Center in Germany (NMZ) generously donated the money for the extensive renovation and Rev. Samer Azer, the church elders and the congregation worked relentlessly to complete the work which adds a whole new dimension to the beauty of the entire church building. As Bishop Younan said, “The congregation hall will now serve the congregational work, the children’s, youth and women’s work, as well as ecumenical relations among the Amman churches and our dialogue with Muslims.”

Representatives of all the Amman churches, Muslim clerics and friends and members of the Jordanian parliament joined with the Good Shepherd congregation to celebrate the dedication. Very importantly, this work and dedication follows in the line of Bishop Emeritus Daoud Haddad’s statement when the congregation was established: “It is mission in the heart of the Arab world.” The ministry which this renovated parish hall will enable serves not only the congregation but all of Jordanian society. The ELCJ center in the Good Shepherd church is a light for everyone in Amman, Bishop Younan said in his dedication sermon.

Many thanks go to the NMZ for the funding, to Rev. Azar, the church council and members of the Good Shepherd church for their hard work in completing this renovation, and to all those who donated gifts in kind.