“Sorrow and Joy”: ELCJHL newsletter-Feb. 2015

“Sorrow and Joy”: ELCJHL newsletter-Feb. 2015

ELCJHL Synod Adopts Gender Justice Policy

On Friday, February 27th, 2015, the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land voted to adopt a Constitution for their Ecclesiastical Court – a court that was given authority to deal in family matters starting on January 1st, 2015 by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – based in gender equality. The Constitution voted on by the Synod accepted equality in family life, including equal inheritance between male and female members in a family. The prevailing constitutions for Ecclesiastical Courts often give women 1/8th of the inheritance of men. Through the good work of the Women’s Desk of the ELCJHL and the entirety of the ELCJHL in regards to women’s issues and gender equality, the Lutheran Church has adopted the gender justice policy – the only Constitution of it’s kind in the Middle East.

As well as granting equality between men and women in the Ecclesiastical Court, the vote also allocated a number of seats for women and youth on both the Synod and Church Council.

Palestinian Authority Recognizes Palestinian Environmental Day

On February 24th, 2015, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah announced the adoption of a new national day on March 5th to commemorate and remember the importance of environment and to raise awareness about the Palestinian environmental situation.

Palestinian Environment Day began as an initiative launched by His Grace Bishop Munib Younan and created in collaboration between the Environmental Education Center and the Palestinian Environmental Quality Authority. This day comes out of the longing of the people of Palestinian for freedom, the restoration of their land, and sharing of natural resources. Activities will be held yearly at the Environmental Education Center in collaboration with other environmentally active organization to celebrate the day.

As well as dedicating March 5th as Palestinian Environment Day, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah named the Palestine Sunbird as the national bird, a move applauded by as well as initiated by Bishop Munib Younan and the Environmental Education Center.

Bishop Munib Younan stated that, “we hope that the 5th can be remembered in churches around the world, that this country may remain a green and beautiful place despite all the political conflicts in this land.”

To follow the Environmental Education Center’s upcoming events regarding Palestinian Environment Day, you can visit their Facebook page and website.

Bishop Younan Assures Egyptian Copts of LWF Communion Prayer

JERUSALEM/GENEVA, 17 February 2015 (LWI) – Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) has assured the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt of prayers and solidarity from the Lutheran communion following the recent killings of Coptic Christians by extremists affiliated to the militant group IS.

In a letter to Pope Tawadros II, Younan, also LWF President, said the killing of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya was not only an attack on humanity and on followers of Jesus Christ, but also “against people of every religion who stand for peace justice and freedom.”

“Your struggle is our struggle; your grief is our grief,” the LWF president wrote to the Coptic church leader, assuring him of prayers from the LWF communion.

A video released on 15 February depicts the killings of the Christians in Libya, believed to be kidnapped Egyptians.

To read this article in its original form, you can visit the Lutheran World Federation’s website.


From classwork in Beit Sahour to ashes in Jerusalem to Sunday School in Bethlehem, visit the ELCJHL’s Photo Gallery to see where we’ve been this month.

Condolences to The People of Denmark After The Violent Attacks in Copenhagen

Her Excellency the Prime Minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt
His Excellency the Speaker of the Parliament, Mogens Lykketoft
Copenhagen, Denmark

Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.

Dear Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt and Speaker Lykketoft,

SaIaam and grace to you from Jerusalem.

I am writing to express my condolences to you and to the people of Denmark after the violent attacks in Copenhagen on Saturday. The perpetrator’s targets, a freedom of speech event and a synagogue, were clearly chosen to strike at the values held dear by the people of Denmark. We stand with you in strong opposition to all such acts of terror, extremism, and violence, wherever they occur in the world and whoever is the perpetrator. I hope that these incidents will only strengthen the people of Denmark to stand firm with the values of pluralism and freedom for all people.

Please know that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land is praying for the wounded and the grieving, and for you as a leader in this difficult time. Your struggle is our struggle; your grief is our grief.

May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Bishop Dr. Munib Younan

Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land

Our sincerest thanks to His Excellency, the Speaker of the Parliament, for his response:

Dear Honorable Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan,

Thank you for your very strong and kind words to me and the people of Denmark.  I hope and believe that the terrible events will lead us to standing even closer together across different religions and political affiliations to Denmark the basic values of Danish democracy.

Sincerely yours,
Mogens Lykketoft
Speaker of the Parliament of Denmark


From classwork in Beit Sahour to ashes in Jerusalem to Sunday School in Bethlehem, visit the ELCJHL’s Photo Gallery to see where we’ve been this month.