By Matt Skinner, Scholar for Adult Education
We are eager to welcome the Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb back to Westminster on Sunday, June 5. A longtime friend of our congregation and leader of some of our global partner institutions, Raheb is founder and president of Dar al-Kalima University in Bethlehem. This university of arts and culture lives out its vision to spread “the values of democracy, freedom of expression, and freedom of thought in order to build a conscious and free Palestinian civil society.” Previously Raheb served for two decades as the senior pastor of Bethlehem’s Christmas Lutheran Church. He has founded a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to benefit Arab communities. Raheb is a widely influential leader and one of the most audible voices among Palestinian Christians. In his tireless efforts and numerous books, he urges others to read the Bible and understand Christian faith in light of Palestinian geography, culture, and experience. Through his roles in higher education, he helps younger generations find opportunities to promote human flourishing, social justice, the arts, and creative resistance.
There are multiple opportunities to benefit from Raheb’s spiritual insights and leadership wisdom during his visit to Westminster. Beginning at 9:15 am, he will offer an educational forum titled “The Church in Palestine: The History, Conditions, and Future of Palestinian Christians.” Join us in Westminster Hall or online via the church’s livestream and learn about what it means to be Christian today in the lands we read about in our scriptures. Raheb will preach in the worship service at 10:30 am. Later, at 2:30 pm, return to Westminster for his presentation and a panel discussion on the topic The Next Generation of Creative Leaders in Palestine: The Power of Arts and Education. The Rev. Dr. Tim Hart-Andersen, Westminster’s senior pastor, will moderate the discussion with Raheb and panelists Imam Makram El-Amin (Masjid An-Nur Mosque), Gabrielle Grier (Juxtaposition Arts), and Dr. Jacqueline DeVries (Augsburg University). Join us, invite others, and spread the word!