From Our Bishop's Desk


A series of pastoral letters from our Bishop, The Rev. Paul Egensteiner


A Message for Black History Month | Week 3

Feb 14, 2023


Greetings, Dear Siblings

On January 22 of this year, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land ordained Sally Azar to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament. This action gives Pastor Azar the distinction of being the first female Palestinian pastor in the Holy Land. While the ordination of women has been with us in the ELCA for over 50 years and the ordination of women of color for more than 40, this action by the ELCJHL is revolutionary. Reaction from other Christian communities in the Holy Land has ranged from enthusiastic endorsement to angry criticism. It was a privilege to be present with Pastor Azar and support her as an ally in God’s calling to her.

During Black History Month, when we hear the stories from our siblings of color in African-Descent communities, hopefully, those in the white community can open ourselves to understanding so that we can be allies to our siblings in the Black community. I hope you will see these resources as a gift to make you a more informed, gracious, and courageous ally.

Peace in Christ,
Bishop Paul Egensteiner