NEWBERRY — Newberry College is one of a handful of ELCA colleges and universities selected to host Rev. Munib A. Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and former president of the Lutheran World Federation, during a rare visit to the United States. Younan will be at Newberry College Feb. 13–15.
“We are delighted that Newberry College was selected as a host site for Bishop Younan’s visit,” said Dr. Krista Hughes, director of the Muller Center, which coordinated with the ELCA on Younan’s visit.
Through his books, articles, presentations and sermons, Younan has been a lifelong leader of interfaith dialogue and a vocal proponent for nonviolence based on justice, inclusion and forgiveness. He will discuss his experiences as a Palestinian Christian and Lutheran leader, living out his faith in a notoriously challenging and volatile region of the world where issues of faith are ever-present and inextricably interwoven with the complex political environment.
“This will be a wonderful opportunity for our campus community, local clergy and area congregations to hear first-hand from a highly respected Lutheran leader,” said Newberry campus pastor Rev. Ernie Worman.
In addition to several classroom visits and a luncheon with invited clergy, Newberry College will host several opportunities to hear Younan speak during his South Carolina visit. All of these events are free and open to the public.
Schedule of Public Events
Wednesday, February 14
Ash Wednesday Chapel Service
“Perspectives from the Holy Land” featuring Rev. Munib Younan
Wiles Chapel, 10:05–10:45 a.m.
Ash Wednesday Service
7 p.m., Lutheran Church of the Redeemer (1515 Boundary St., Newberry)
Thursday, February 15
“Loving God & Neighbor: Living Out the Biblical Call in the Holy Land”
Wiles Chapel, 6 p.m.
about Bishop Younan
Bishop Munib A. Younan was born in Jerusalem in 1950 to parents who were Palestinian refugees. Younan holds United Nations Relief and Works Agency refugee status.
Bishop Younan is a founding member of the interfaith trialogue with membership that includes the heads of churches in the Holy Land, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, the Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs and the Islamic Shari’a Courts of the Palestinian Authority. He helped bring about a Mutual Recognition Agreement in 2006 between Middle East Evangelical churches for full communion between churches of the Reformed and Lutheran traditions, establishing mutual recognition of baptism, Eucharist, ministry and ordination.
Younan is sought after as a lecturer and speaker for his perspectives as a Palestinian Christian on Just Peace. He also is active in interreligious encounter, ecumenism and reconciliation in his own region and internationally. He has received numerous awards and prizes for his work in these areas. He is the author of several books, numerous articles and countless lectures and presentations relating to the life of Palestinian Lutherans in the Middle East.
Younan was ordained in 1976 and served the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land for the next 12 years in roles of pastoral leadership and Christian education. He was elected bishop in 1998. He was elected to the presidency of The Lutheran World Federation in 2010, though his involvement with the organization in various leadership roles reaches back to 1981.
Younan has been an active member of the Middle East Council of Churches since 1985 and is currently president for the Evangelical Family. From 2004 to 2010, he was president of the Fellowship of the Middle East Evangelical Churches, leading them to a unanimous vote in favor of women’s ordination in 2010. He is a founding member of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme for Palestine and Israel and has chaired the group’s Local Reference Group since 2002.
Younan completed his secondary education in Palestine and studied deaconry at Luther Opisto College in Finland. He earned his master’s degree in Theology at the University of Helsinki. He is married to Suad Yacoub; the couple has a son, two daughters and four grandchildren.