Lectionary Selection: Luke 2:22-40
Prayers for Lebanon:
Praise the Lord (Hallelujah!).
We come before you, joining all of creation, and praise your name. Praise to you, the Creator of all in the universe, the Giver of life, the Provider and Sustainer of us all.
We at times are not aware of your unending love for us, and yet you continue to love us with unconditional love. At times we are impatient in our waiting for peace, security, better living conditions, better finances, and yet you patiently gather us in your arms and bless us to the fullness of your glory, mercy, and grace.
Help the people of Lebanon to have eyes to see your presence in the darkest and most uncertain moments of their lives.
We thank you for blessing us with the precious gift of the promised One. Through the Holy Spirit help us all to recognize and praise the sovereign Lord, and know that the divine, newborn Gift will raise those who believe in him.
God of hope, fill us all with joy and peace as we trust in Christ, and so overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
A delegation of the Reformed Church in Hungary recently paid a solidarity visit to Reformed Churches in Lebanon and Syria. Read the reflection from Diana Erdélyi, member of the delegation and RCH ecumenical secretary.
Between 4-11 December a delegation of the Reformed Church in Hungary traveled to Lebanon and Syria. The purpose of the visit was to learn more about the life and challenges of the Reformed Churches in the Middle East, expressing our solidarity with them and mapping out possible future programs for financial support together with leadership of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East and the Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches, with these meetings being followed by personal encounters with local congregations in Homs, Latakia and Aleppo.
[This reflection originally appeared on the Reformed Church in Hungary's website, here.]Read more
From President George Sabra: John Calvin and NEST's 85th Anniversary
2017 marks the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Near East School of Theology. On the 11th of November 1932, the first Convocation Service was held in the Anglo-American Church (today the National Evangelical Church of Beirut), and it marked the official ceremony that celebrated the merger of the Beirut School for Religious Workers with the School of Religion
in Athens in the new institution: N.E.S.T. More than 400 men and women have graduated from N.E.S.T. in the past 85 years, serving as pastors, educators, church workers in Arab Presbyterian, Armenian Evangelical, Episcopal and Lutheran congregations and schools all over the region as well in other parts of the world.
Humanitarian Corridors: a new memorandum of understanding has been signed NEV
A new agreement with the Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs has been signed today at the Viminale to continue the humanitarian corridors project. Over 2018-2019, there will be other thousand beneficiaries entitled to safely reach Italy. The signing has been welcomed with satisfaction since this project represents a cooperation between public institutions and civil society working together to create a model to ensure a safe and legal way to provide reception services and offer a process of integration. Read more...Read more
It is with great sadness that I write to you today. Yesterday, U.S. President Donald Trump made an announcement to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel and added to this that his administration would begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
This move will have major consequences for Christians in Jerusalem and Palestine, as well as the entire Christian community across the region.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 25:1-13
Prayers for Lebanon:
O God who calls us to be ready at all times to meet you, help us to be good stewards of the lives, resources and institutions you entrust to us, so that we would not be counted among the thoughtless, the haphazard, or the foolish.
Yet we indeed fool ourselves into thinking that we have everything under control, that we are clever enough to handle life’s twists and turns, that we deserve our personal pleasures and pastimes. We forget how crucial it is in these days to focus on what we must do, with your help, in order to be counted among the wise. Forgive us, dear Lord.
You have entrusted your work to us, and although it seems as if our resources are running out, leaving us unable to continue being your witnesses and your joyful servants in this place, yet somehow you enable us to go on, even if only for a step or two.
Help us to trust you, filled with the joy of those at the wedding feast, knowing that your presence and your grace is sufficient to help us continue to joyfully minister to the least; in your precious name we pray. Amen.
Amman, Jordan – “When the West looks at Christianity of the East, they don’t look at the mosaic, they look at the Orthodox, not the Evangelicals,” said, The Rev. Dr. Habib Badr of Lebanon. This describes the environment which Middle Eastern Evangelicals are living, in the shadows of and looking toward the future of the Reformation.Read more
From September 6-16 2017, a delegation of ten representatives of the NCC’s member churches traveled to Lebanon, Egypt, and Israel/Palestine on our first such official delegation in ten years. Bishop Darin Moore, NCC board chair, and Jim Winkler, NCC president and general secretary, led the delegation which traveled to the region to mark the 50th anniversary of Israel’s Occupation of Palestinian land, express solidarity with our ecumenical colleagues, witness for peace alongside interfaith partners, and observe current on-the-ground realities so as to better inform our ongoing advocacy.Read more
It has been an intense, tragic and difficult summer in many places in the world. But here in the sweltering heat of Beirut, teams of young people, in their teens, twenties and thirties, are spending week upon week serving children in refugee camps, overnight conferences and full-day Vacation Bible School programs throughout the city as well as the country. With energy, commitment and creativity, these young people start their planning work months in advance and either design their own lessons or adapt curricula donated from churches overseas. They prepare anything from a week-long camp to a five- to six-week program that encompasses not just Bible lessons, worship and prayer, but also games and activities that stretch the children’s minds and imaginations. And they do it in Armenian, Arabic, English and French, and sometimes a combination of them!Read more
The FCEI-Mediterranean Hope Project was Awarded The Global Ministries Award of Affirmation. NEV Agency
Marta Bernardini, MH’s operator was there as Mediterranean Hope representative, and she said: "We are honoured to receive this award by a so important international partner, who supports us in this difficult work we have been doing. Together as churches that want to witness the Gospel but know the challenges of our time, we try to break the isolation and the defeat that often pervades us, by remembering each other where we want to stay and what we want fight.“ Read more...Read more