Al-Liqa’ Center’s Annual Celebration of Christmas
Christmas celebrations were held on Monday 28 December 2009 in the Latin Church’s hall in Shafa ‘Amr.
It was a unique and impressive gathering of the followers of the four local churches: Latin, Melkite Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Anglicans.
Choirs representing these churches took an active part. They included the Choir of the Two Saints Peter and Paul of the Melkite Catholic Church led by Fr. Andrawus Bahuth, the Choir of Saint Paul of the Anglican Church led by Rev. Fu’ad Dagher, the Choir of the Greek Orthodox Churches in Acres, Sakhneen, Shafa ‘Amr and Nazareth led by Archimandrite Philothius and Rev. Fr. Samuel Zayyid, and the Latin Church’s Choir “The Source of Mercy” led by Rev. Fr. Bassam Al-Deir. This gathering was moderated by author and educator Ziyad Shlewit who greeted all attendees wishing them happy holidays.
The Director of Al-Liqa’ Center, Dr. Geries S. Khoury addressed this impressive gathering which symbolized unity of all churches in Shafa ‘Amr in accordance with Christ’s teaching on unity: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me”.
This road toward unity was exhibited today by the churches in Shafa ‘Amr. This would have been difficult if it weren’t for love that unites brethrens in a society with multi religions and multi cultures. Dr. Khoury added that this unique experiment in Shafa ‘Amr should be proliferated in the rest of Galilee cities, towns and churches and especially in our churches in the Arab world. Commenting on President George W. Bush’s term “Roadmap” to peace in the Middle East, Dr. Khoury reflected that this term was known to us for two thousand years when Jesus said: “I am the Road”. The Road of the Lord differs greatly from the Roadmap of Bush and his likes which is full of hate, lies, and selfishness.
Let us march on the road of Jesus whom we are celebrating His Birth today.
Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo, the Latin Vicar in Nazareth, congratulated the people of Shafa ‘Amr on their steps toward unity wishing them in the process merry Christmas and happy holidays.
Moderator Ziyad Shlewet announced in the conclusion of the celebration free room and board stipend to all parish priests in Shafa ‘Amr who wants to attend Al-Liqa’ Center’s “Theology and the Local Church Conference”, 4-6 February, in Saint Elias Monastery in Haifa titled “The Future of Arab Christian Youth in Galilee.”