In the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), we tend to think of ourselves as a small church body. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Using statistics alone, just one of several of our area ministries would appear to be comparable to the entire Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL). It “only” has about 3,000 members in six congregations.
However the ELCJHL is a small church with a large ministry; one that expands the vision of those whose lives it touches. The companion relationship between the ELCJHL and the ELCIC is benefiting both churches and is helping us to broaden our own vision of who we are and what we can do.
As you will learn in our feature article, the ELCJHL has inspired the formation of Inshallah. A choir of more than 100 voices explores multi-faith and multicultural diversity through music in a fun and welcoming space in Waterloo, Ont.
If your congregation is one of many ELCIC congregations who are learning how to be a missional church, take a look at what those six ELCJHL churches are doing in their local communities (p. 13).
Through study tours where our members engage with ELCJHL members, current and future leaders of our church are exposed to life-changing experiences.
You will also learn about the significance of our gifts to Canadian Lutheran World Relief and the Reformation Challenge. The article provides a glimpse into how we are helping to support their schools and educational programs, as well as the vital work of Augusta Victoria Hospital.
Canadians are growing concerned about the number of refugees trickling across our border from the United States and wonder how we will be able to accommodate their presence. The witness of the ELCJHL may help to cause some of us to turn that wondering into something wonderful.
Many members of the ELCJHL, including their Bishop Munib Younan, are Palestinian refugees themselves. Jordan alone hosted over 656,000 Syrian refugees in 2017 (Human Rights Watch). Only two percent of Jordan’s land is arable (World Bank). It’s about the size of the area of Southeastern Manitoba.
Imagine the challenges ELCJHL members face as they live in the West Bank and Jordan, one of the most volatile regions in the world. Then read about their ongoing initiatives at peace building. Perhaps it will change your perspective of how we are engaging in similar initiatives here in Canada.
Kenn Ward, Editor