Saturday, December 26, 2009

This message is slightly adapted from one I received from Twila Schock of ELCA Global Mission. You can help support the Lutheran schools in the Holy Land at this link:

Find out more about the schools of the ELCJHL at this link: (click on Educational Ministry).

Please take a look.

Twila writes:

Before every confirmation class, my childhood pastor would offer a prayer of thanksgiving, concluding with “And keep us ever mindful of those who go without these good gifts.” Lutheran Schools in the Holy Land also lift up prayers of thanksgiving, as they carry out their Christian educational ministry, preparing Muslim and Christian children alike for peaceful life in a challenging context.

As you consider your end-of-year giving, I invite you to remember Lutheran Schools in the Holy Land. Your gifts are needed to:
+ offer scholarship support. Most families are only able to provide 40 percent of the basic tuition fee.
+ provide computers and educational games for Al-Mahaba kindergarten pupils.
+ build a library for the Dar Al-Kalima School.
+ enhance the Nature’s Classroom program at the Beit Jala Environmental Education Center.
+ complete the chemistry, biology, and physics labs for the Beit Sahour School.

Find a letter from Bishop Munib Younan (below).

Please give now and give generously. Send checks made out to "ELCA Global Gifts" with "Lutheran Schools in the Holy Land" or "GMG0152" noted on the check's memo line to ELCA Global Mission, 8765 W Higgins Road, Chicago, IL 60631. See pages 18–19 of the ELCA Good Gifts catalog for suggestions related to Holy Land Schools or give online at (look under "Partner").

With thanksgiving,
The Rev. Twila Schock, Director
Global Mission Support

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From the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL)

“Let the wise also hear and gain in learning, and the discerning acquire skill”
(Proverbs 1:5)

Salaam and grace to you from Jerusalem, City of Peace!

There is a big difference between learning and memorizing. Memorizing can help you pass tests and excel in trivia games. Learning—with a focus on communication, critical thinking and creativity—helps you develop skills for life. This is the holistic approach taken by the ELCJHL’s Dar al-Kalima School in Bethlehem. Dar al-Kalima (“House of the Word” in Arabic) was founded in 2000 to serve as an educational model for and to build healthy society in Palestine. For this reason, developers of Dar al-Kalima built so-called extra-curricular subjects, like sports, music and art, into the school day.

The Extra-Curricular Program (ECP), as it is called, offers a wide variety of options, from traditional subjects such as geography and chemistry to non-traditional offerings such as drama, embroidery, art, music and story-telling. Students choose their ECP schedule based on their own interests and are encouraged to value and care for their own personal development, paying equal attention to academic, physical and spiritual needs. The aim is to encourage students to be pro-active participants in the learning process, to foster self-confidence, to develop leadership skills and to prepare them for the challenges of their context. Christian values lie at the heart of this approach.

Students also have access to facilities of the Dar al-Kalima Health and Wellness Center, a fitness center and clinic located on the campus of the school. Classes in swimming, aerobics and dance are offered regularly.

To a western audience, Dar al-Kalima’s program may not sound very special. But let me assure you that, for a society that relies on the old “chalk and talk” education model and consigns its students to a fate based on his or her standardized test score, Dar al-Kalima’s approach is nothing short of revolutionary. Further, boys and girls, Muslims and Christians study together in our schools, helping them develop the skills for living in a pluralistic society such as ours.

As we begin a new school year, we are especially mindful of all our international partners, without whom we could not offer Palestinian children the opportunity to learn and become the person God has created them to be.

May you experience the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.

Bishop Munib Younan

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