Pastor Azar Honored For 25 Years of Service

Pastor Ibrahim Azar
Pastor Ibrahim Azar receives a plaque honoring his 25 years of service to the ELCJHL. © Danae Hudson/ELCJHL

JERUSALEM – The ELCJHL celebrated the 25th anniversary of ordination of Pastor Sani Ibrahim Azar during the Arabic Speaking Congregation’s Palm Sunday service at the Chapel of the Ascension.  Pastor Azar has spent his 25 years at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem.  Pastor Azar has also worked in the past as a youth pastor and as President of the Synod.  He currently serves on a number of committees for the ELCJHL.

Pastor Azar was honored by Bishop Younan, the Bishop of the ELCJHL; Mr. Samih Abu Leil, the Vice President of the Synod; Ms. Rima Khleif; and Ms. Aida Haddad and Mr. Ghassan Kasabreh with gifts, poems, and words of thanks.  Bishop Younan delivered a speech on the three qualities that have made Pastor Azar so successful including his humility and his natural ability for pastoral care and counseling.  Bishop Younan spoke admirably about Pastor Azar’s true Lutheran spirit and how he has kept unity in his congregation.

Congratulations to Pastor Azar for all of his hard work and faithful service and great thanks for his dedication and the dedication of his wife and family to the call of the church.

To see more photos from the celebration, visit here.

ELCJHL Celebrates Ordination of Rev. Ashraf Tannous

Local and international pastors surround the newly-ordained Rev. Ashraf Tannous in prayer for his life and ministry. Photo ©

JERUSALEM, 24 April 2012 – There was much joy and celebration as Vicar Ashraf Tannous was Ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament Sunday afternoon, 22 April 2012, at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem.

With more than 250 people gathered, including bishops, pastors and lay members; musicians and singers; young and old; local and international representatives, the excitement was palpable as all waited to celebrate this day of transition and articulate the call of Vicar Ashraf Tannous.

It had been a day long awaited for, since the now Rev. Tannous began his theological studies in 2004.

In his sermon, Bishop Younan focused on the characteristics of the Good Shepherd in action, voice, and community. First, the Good Shepherd as the one who laid down his life for the sheep, taking a position of lowly service. Second, the Good Shepherd as the one whose voice we are called to listen to in study and prayer, and reflect in honesty, and sincerity. And Third, the Good Shepherd as the one who preserves the flock in unity, encouraging the many and varied gifts of those gathered.

In closing, Bishop Younan called Rev. Tannous to always “remember Paul’s words of encouragement to Timothy. Trust in the Lord, and the Lord will be there to help you… Preach the Gospel… preaching boldly; knowing it is God’s word. And, most importantly, whatever you do, do it with prayer and in a spirit of humility.”

In his words of greeting the newly-ordained Rev. Ashraf Tannous, giving praise to God, thanked his family; Bishop Younan and all the pastors of the ELCJHL; Rev. Dietrich Fricke, his internship supervisor in Germany; his home congregation and its school “who always showed forth their love and support;” and for all those assembled.

“I ask you dear sisters and brothers in Christ,” Rev. Tannous said in closing, ”to remember me, my colleagues, our church, the ELCJHL, and all of the Christian churches in the Holy Land in your daily prayers. May we ever be strengthened in proclaiming Jesus’ word, carrying Jesus’ message, and serving in Jesus’ name all who are in need.”

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Thank you for answering the call to serve, Rev. Tannous! We are overjoyed to have you as the newest pastor serving in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land!

View more photos from the Ordination of Rev. Ashraf Tannous.

Pastor Imad Haddad and Pastor Saliba Rishmawi ordained “in the midst of reality” in ELCJHL

Rev. Imad Haddad, Bishop Munib Younan, and Rev. Saliba Rishmawi

March 2, 2008 – Pastor Imad Haddad and Pastor Saliba Rishmawi were ordained into the ELCJHL today in the midst of massive loss of life in Gaza. About 100 people have been killed in Gaza in the last five days in massive and constant airstrikes, incursions and bombings, sparked Israel says by one man killed in Sderot on Wednesday and Palestinian rockets reaching into Ashkelon. The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer was filled, although many, including the whole choir of the Beit Sahour school, were not able to attend despite having received permits.

Click here for pictures. Click here for video.

Thanks to one retiring evangelist, welcome to two newly ordained pastors this weekend

Rev. Imad Haddad Rev. Saliba Rishmawihani

(left to right) Pastor Imad Haddad, Pastor Saliba Rishmawi, and Evangelist Hani Odeh

Please keep the ELCJHL and these men in your prayers this weekend as we mark two important occasions. Saturday we will celebrate Beit Sahour’s Evangelist Hani Odeh’s almost 25 years with the church and school at his retirement party. Sunday, Mr. Imad Haddad and Mr. Saliba Rishmawi will be ordained at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem. Pastor Rishmawi will serve at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation with Pastor Jedallah Shihadeh and Pastor Haddad will serve at the Lutheran Church in Beit Sahour.