As we enter a season of expectant waiting for Jesus, we remember and stand with our Christian family living in the Holy Land. In an August letter, the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem remind us, “A vital, vibrant Christian community is an essential element in the make-up of [the Holy Land’s] diverse society, and threats to the Christian community can only increase the troubling tensions that have emerged in these turbulent times.”
LIVE webinar, “Choosing Hope: Christian Leaders Speak about Realities this Advent!”
Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Time: 9am EST
RSVP Required: Please register to receive a link to the LIVE webinar
Join us on December 12 to hear Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, Founder and President of Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem, Rev. Najla Kassab, President of the World Communion of Reformed Churches and ordained minister in teh National Evangelical synod of Syria and Lebanon, and Fr. Dr. Michel Jalakh, Secretary General of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) and President at the Antonine University in Lebanon, in conversation with CMEP’s Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, discussing the current realities faced by Christians living in the Holy Land.
Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb is the Founder and President of Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem. A widely published Palestinian theologian, he is the author of 16 books to date including, I am a Palestinian Christian; Bethlehem Besieged, and Faith in the Face of Empire: The Bible through Palestinian Eyes. Rev. Dr. Raheb is the recipient of the prestigious Olof Palme Prize, the ToDo Award for socially responsible tourism, and the Wittenberg Award for distinguished service to church and society. As a social entrepreneur, Rev. Dr. Raheb has also founded several NGOs including Dar Annadwa Cultural and Conference Center, Dar al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture, in addition to several other civic initiatives on national, regional, and international levels.
Rev. Najla Kassab is President of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) and Director of the Christian Education Department for the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL). She obtained her B.A. in Christian education from the Near East School of Theology (NEST) in 1987 and her Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1990. In 1993 Rev. Kassab received the first preaching license offered to a woman by NESSL. In March 2017, she became the second woman to be ordained as a minister in NESSL. For the past two-and-a-half decades Rev. Kassab has worked with NESSL’s women and children’s ministries, including as Director of Christian Education. She was elected to the WCRC Executive Committee at the 2010 Uniting General Council. She lives with her husband, Joseph Kassab, and three children in Beirut, but her work takes her frequently to Syria.
Fr. Dr. Michel Jalakh is an Antonine monk in the Maronite Catholic Church, serves as the Secretary General of the Middle East Council of Churches. He has dedicated his life and career to the study of the special role of Eastern Christianity and to advancing the ecumenical movement--especially in the Middle East. In addition to these ecclesiastical roles, Fr. Dr. Michel Jalakh is president of the Antonine University in Lebanon and is an external expert to the World Council of Churches’ Peace Building in Situations of Violence Theme Group and to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon is the Executive Director of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP). Cannon has several masters degrees and earned her doctorate in American History with a minor in Middle Eastern studies at the University of California – Davis, focusing her dissertation on the history of the American Protestant church in Israel and Palestine. Her several publications about the conflict include the upcoming volume A Land Full of God: Christian Perspectives toward the Holy Land (Cascade, 2017). She is the author of the award winning Social Justice Handbook (IVP) and other books on spirituality and justice.