Canadian Bishops Meet With Government Representative; Express Dissatisfaction With Government’s Recent Position on Gaza

January 21, 2009

From left to right: British Columbia Synod Bishop Gerhard Preibisch, Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod Bishop Elaine Sauer, National Bishop Susan Johnson, David Foxhall, Justine Foxhall, Saskatchewan Bishop Cindy Halmarson, Eastern Synod Bishop Michael Pryse

ELCIC bishops met with David Foxhall, the Government of Canada’s head of development program in Ramallah, and Justine Foxhall. During the meeting the bishops expressed their dissatisfaction with the governments recent position on the conflict in Gaza. Appreciation was expressed for the humanitarian aid that has been committed to Gaza, but the bishops underlined their concern for a long-term solution for peace with justice in the region.

Update from the Diocese of Jerusalem on the Al Ahli Arab Hospital, Gaza

January 15, 2009

Today (Wednesday 14 January 2009) brought more injured and wounded patients to Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, as each of the last 18 days has. One patient who came to Al Ahli recently was Mohan’nad, a 9 year-old boy whose leg was badly injured when a building near his home was damaged. Thankfully, the doctors and staff at Al Ahli were able to save his leg.

But this day also brought Read the rest of this entry »

Bishop Elaine Sauer – The Struggle for Justice and Peace

January 14, 2009

Yesterday was interesting and inspiring and depressing. The morning was spent touring some more ELCJHL schools and also their environmental education centre. There is a lot of cutting edge educational work being done, i.e. water from the bathrooms is recycled through to the botanical gardens which grows plants for various types of research. The church works with the school Read the rest of this entry »

Lutheran Bishops Plant Olive Trees, Pray at Israeli Separation Barrier

January 13, 2009

North American Lutheran bishops visited this small Palestinian village in the West Bank, northwest of Jerusalem, an area where the Israeli separation barrier cuts through Palestinian agricultural lands, making way for Israeli settlements to be constructed. Many of the bishops helped plant olive trees near the barrier as signs of peace.

Forty-four bishops representing the Read the rest of this entry »

Update from Saskatchewan Synod Bishop Cindy Halmarson

January 13, 2009


Bishop Cindy Halmarson

Bishop Cindy Halmarson

Good Tuesday from Bethlehem. Our trip has been an incredible time of learning and walking with the people of the ELCJHL who are struggling to live in his holy land together. Life for families and youth is difficult for those who live behind the separation wall erected by Israel. The most basic routines of going to school, work, farmer’s fields or church is hindered by checkpoints and sometimes random exclusions. Visiting other cities is not permitted. The ELCJHL is a leader in educating Palestinian Christians and Muslims.


On Wednesday Read the rest of this entry »

Updates from MNO Bishop Elaine Sauer

January 12, 2009

Olive Tree a Symbol of Hope

Today was another emotional day. We saw a Palestinian home that is completely surrounded by the Israeli security fence with a six foot area around three sides. On the other side are Israeli settlers. Settlements are illegal under article 4 of the Geneva Convention but there they are.
We went to the Lutheran School of Hope in Ramallah. What an amazing group Read the rest of this entry »

North American Lutheran Bishops Preach at Middle East Worship

January 12, 2009

Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) attended and preached at worship services Jan. 11 at five Lutheran congregations in Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank.

Forty-four bishops representing both churches are participating in a series of meetings Jan. 6-13 with religious, political and community leaders in Israel and the West Bank, Read the rest of this entry »

Update from MNO Bishop Elaine Sauer

January 9, 2009

Bishop Elaine Sauer

Bishop Elaine Sauer

In the Holy Land – Day 1
From the plains of Tel Aviv we climbed towards Jerusalem. The roads became steeper and steeper. Biblical imagery of the fortress of Jerusalem came to mind often. As we looked out of our vehicle we saw terraced housing, a remnant of a time past but as we came closer to the city we found modern towers, bridges, glass reflecting light. There was a sense that we had entered a place caught between the ancient and the contemporary. With anticipation, we looked for a sense of the spiritual, a sense of this ancient place of God. Read the rest of this entry »

Lutherans Worship at Jesus’ Baptism Site, Leaders Meet King

January 9, 2009
Clergy and bishops of the ELCA, ELCIC and ELCJHL led a worship service at Jesus' baptismal site in Jordan Jan. 6.

Clergy and bishops of the ELCA, ELCIC and ELCJHL led a worship service at Jesus' baptismal site in Jordan Jan. 6.

About 60 people, including about 10 bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), worshipped at the site of Jesus’ Baptism on the banks of the Jordan River on the Feast of the Epiphany, Jan. 6. Joining the bishops were members of Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church, Amman, a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL).


Epiphany is a Christian commemoration of the visit by the three wise men or magi to the infant Jesus.

His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan gave land at the site to the ELCJHL Read the rest of this entry »

LWF Reiterates Support for Holy Land Vision of Peace, Urges Ceasefire in Gaza; General Secretary Calls for Prayers, Advocacy, as North American Lutheran Bishops Visit Middle East

January 8, 2009

 The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) reiterates its commitment to a vision of peace for both Israelis and Palestinians, urging an immediate cessation of both Israeli military operations on Gaza and Hamas missile attacks on southern Israel, and the swift establishment of a workable ceasefire agreement.

In a statement released today, LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko says, Read the rest of this entry »