Greetings on the Partnership Sunday 2015
Rev. Samer Azar
“…] we are[ fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God”
( Ephesians 2: 19)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I greet you today on the occasion of partnership Sunday that reminds us of our oneness in Christ Jesus and our membership of the household of God.
Indeed we have witnessed lukewarm relationship lately due to lack of encounter with each other. Encounter is very essential for revitalizing and strengthening our mutual partnership. Today it is proven more than ever that Christians worldwide can strength their faiths in partnership, challenge each other and learn from each other.
Our Christian faith is lived out in two different contexts and with various challenges. Thus, our varied experiences constitute a challenge to our understanding to the Gospel message in our respective countries. Partnership can bring new horizon, new thoughts, new ideas and creative ways for our outreaches.
In Jordan we live as minority in number as Christians around 2%. As Lutherans we are among the smallest denominations. Still we have a huge and inevitable role to play in the society:
1. The Good Shepherd Lutheran Congregation in Amman continues to strongly witness to the Grace of God though faith in Jesus Christ in accordance with our Lutheran heritage in a context overwhelmed by merit system.
2. The Community Ecumenical Centre “ Al Khaimeh” advances dialogue, constitutes a platform for intellectual discourse for advancing awareness and knowledge, and advocates for human rights and justice.
3. "Together for Doing Good Initiative" has advanced diaconical work to all needy and underprivileged Moslems and Christians alike, with no discrimination in religion, sex, color and race.
4. The office of the LWF currently present in the premises our Church in Amman since 2013 is playing an outstanding role in alleviating the suffering of the Syrian refugees in Zaa’tari Camp on behalf of the Lutheran World Communion.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Encounter in a good tool to strengthen our partnership. Let us then invest in our church members to meet with each other both in Amman and in the Valley. Jordan continues to be a stable and secure country in the Middle East in spite of the turbulences in our neighborhood. Don't fear coming to Jordan!!!
And as of good news, we were very blessed on July 3, 2015 by the announcement from Bonn, Germany that the historic Baptism Site, the place where Jesus Christ is believed to have been baptized by John the Baptist is enlisted on the World heritage list. This adds to the place in addition to its religious value a world heritage value. This Site has become the fifth site in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan recognized as world heritage in addition to Petra, Quseir Amra, Um Al Rassas and Wadi Rum.
On Eiphany Jan 6, 2014 the ELCJHL and in a big festival service highly represented dedicated the newly built Lutheran Church named "Bethany Beyond the Jordan" at this historic site under the patronage of HM King Abdullah II. This reflects the state of tolerance in Jordan and the custodianship of the Hashemites to the Christian religious sites in Jordan and in Jerusalem.
May God bless both of us as we discern our mutual growth in friendship, partnership and communion, Amen!
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Samer Azar
July 20, 2015
Greetings from Pfarrer Martin Voß, Bad Wiessee
in occasion of Partnership-Sunday on October, 11th 2015:
Reconciliation by Partnership
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Amman, dear Brother Azar,
We are living all in difficult times: So much war, hate, violence! So many people have to leave there homes, so many refugees, not only in Europe, of course in your region too.
In germany we have – not only, but we have – al lot of goodwill people, who help as much as possible, to let welcome the refugees. But there are coming many, daily thousands, to germany, specially to our region, because we are on the border to south-east Europe.
And I fear, there can be a number of refugees, which is also too much for a rich country, what we are if course. It is no question of money, but a question of political solutions – and no one has solutions in the moment. But for longer times, it cannot be a solution, that millions of people have to leave there home regions, as there are many reasons – economy, war, terror.
On the other side, if I would be killed, or dying on hunger, have no more house and future – I also would be a refugee.
If we act in the name of Jesus then first we have to love the creature and the children of God, help always have priority. But help need also an idea, organization und men power.
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, that peace, reconciliation and hope on better times has a chance. Give peace a chance – specially in der near east, how we call your region.
God shall bless you all and do not forget – you have partners in belief/faith/credence here in Germany, especially in the “Tegernseer Tal”.
Pfarrer Martin Voß
Kirchengemeinde Bad Wiessee