Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) National Bishop Susan C. Johnson, four of the five  synod bishops, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson, along with more than half of the 66 bishops of the ELCA, the ELCA secretary, plus spouses and staff plan to visit the Middle East, Jan. 6-13, 2009. Participants will meet with Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian religious, community and political leaders, visit congregations and schools, and sites of religious significance. 

The visit is the 2009 Bishops’ Academy, an annual event in which leaders from both churches engage in theological reflection and study.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) and its bishop, the Rev. Munib A. Younan, plus staff of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) are partners with the ELCA and ELCIC in planning the visit.

A small delegation, including National Bishop Johnson and Presiding Bishop Hanson, will travel first to Jordan, Jan. 3-6. They will meet Jordanian religious and political leaders, plus ambassadors from Canada and the United States, before traveling to Jerusalem to meet their colleagues.

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