Middle East Council of Churches
At its first General Assembly in Nicosia, Cyprus (May, 1974), the Middle East Council of Churches was formed at the conclusion of a series of successful discussions between the Orthodox churches in the Middle East (both Eastern and Oriental) and the Protestant and Episcopal members of the Near East Council of Churches.Read more
Lectionary Selection: John 6:56-69
Prayers for Lebanon:
We come to you, O living Father, the supplier of the bread that feeds and leads to eternal life, asking you once again to help us seek that which is true nourishment. We live in a place where the few enrich themselves with the bread of pride and the spirit of greed. And the many, the Lebanese people, simply want to live in a land of justice, respect and a hopeful future for their children, but are instead given the bread of bitterness and discouragement. Will these things around us ever change, O Lord? Will our hearts ever change? Will we, all of us, ever desire to live by your Spirit, and not according to our appetites and opinions?
Help us to see that we have no one on earth but you, and no one we desire in heaven besides you. Help us to hear the words of life and to follow them above all else. We ask the same for this struggling country; from its politicians to its wealthy to its struggling families to its refugees, all the way to those among us who seek to harm and control others.
Humble our hearts to seek your ways, not to wander off into meaningless journeys, but to walk with you now and into eternity. Amen.Read more
We publish here below, the speech given by Paolo Naso on July 8 from Radio1 Rai for the column "Essere chiesa insieme" of the broadcast Culto Evangelico. Mr. Naso is the coordinator of the Mediterranean Hope - Programme for refugees and migrants by the FCEI. [Dr. Naso is also a member of the Common Global Ministries Board of Directors, representing the Europe region and partners.]Read more
Shortly after I arrived in Lebanon in 2016, General Michel Aoun was elected President by the Lebanese Parliament. This following a two-and-a-half-year period with no head-of-state, when the Lebanese government struggled to maintain basic services, such as trash pick-up and electricity services.Read more
Ecumenism tells us that we cannot live in isolation and that we should engage in existential dialogue; “for Jesus Christ, for the Church, there are no boundaries, so for ecumenism there shouldn’t be any boundaries,” said His Holiness Aram I, the Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Holy See of Cilicia, in a special session at the opening of the Executive Committee of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), being held in Antelias, Lebanon.Read more
An Olive Tree for the Near East School of Theology
Visitors to NEST will find that there is a newly planted olive tree at the entrance of the building. The tree is a gift from the local committee of the Women’s World Day of Prayer (WDP). In gratitude and appreciation for many years of holding the annual service of the WDP in the Large Chapel of the Seminary, the local Committee donated and planted an olive tree on February 27, 2018. NEST has been hosting the event for over 25 years.Read more
Again I saw all the oppressions that are practiced under the sun.
Look, the tears of the oppressed—with no one to comfort them!
On the side of their oppressors there was power—with no one to comfort them.
And I thought the dead, who have already died,
more fortunate than the living, who are still alive;
but better than both is the one who has not yet been,
and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.
Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from one person’s envy of another.
This also is vanity and a chasing after wind. (Eccl. 4.1-4)
A high-level delegation from CEC recently visited headquarters of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) in Beirut, Lebanon, 11 to 13 April.
The visit was meant for European churches to recognise the urgency of deepening relations with churches in the Middle East and to learn from one another. The visit comes at a time when there are heightened tension internationally with regards to the conflict in Syria and on-going wars in the region – and – the ensuing refugee crisis.
The Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy starts a programme to support and cooperate with search and rescue Agenzia NEV
The Council of the FCEI (Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy) has today resolved to initiate a new strand of activity within the framework of “Mediterranean Hope (MH) – the FCEI’s Refugee and Migrant Programme”, by supporting organisations undertaking this humanitarian work and by participating in search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean Sea. Read more...
When I showed up in Lebanon in October 2016, the stark reality I observed was that very few women hold positions of power or authority in large institutions here — especially political institutions and religious institutions. A year and half later and this is still the case — if you were expecting me to declare a massive revolution took place that shook up the ranks and made way for wave of women at the proverbial “table” then I must disappoint.Read more