Bishop Suheil travelled to Germany this past week to attend the Land Mission Festival in Stuttgart, Germany. The Bishop was one of the main presenters and also gave sermons at two services on Sunday, May 13.
Arriving on Thursday, Bishop Suheil began his visit with meetings with our EMS partners: The Revd Ulrike Schmidt-Hesse, The Revd Klaus Schmid, The Revd Uwe Graebe , and Bernhard Dinkelaker discussing the Schneller Institutions and the good work that is going on in them.
On Friday the official program began with a round table discussion on the ‘Christian Presence in the Middle East’. Bishop Suheil presented his point of view at this discussion, saying ‘The Church is trying very hard to encourage Christians to stay in the Land of the Holy One in order to keep the Christian presence and influence in a place where there is so much need for peace, reconciliation and moderation.’
Saturday was a busy day of meetings and an afternoon panel discussion on the topic -“Salt of the Earth – Christians in the Middle East’. Bishop Suheil gave a presentation and responded to questions from those in attendance.
On Sunday, May 13, Bishop Suheil gave the sermon at the morning worship focusing on ‘The Prescription for Peace’. After the service, the Bishop participated in a dialogue about the Christian witness in Germany and discussed his perspective coming from a multi-religious society. He stressed that ‘The work for peace is an important mission for all of us, peace with justice, is burdensome and costly. It is the work of nations, churches, synagogues, mosques. It is the work and the business of every one of us, simply because our Lord asks us to do so.’ It was a pleasure to also have in attendance three German members of parliament.
Bishop Suheil also preached at the main service for the Mission Land Festival in the afternoon. The theme of his sermon focused on Matt. 5:13-16 - “Salt of the Earth”. Bishop Suheil said, ‘Christians in the Middle East function as salt and light in the region. They not only preserve the divine message of peace and love among all peoples, but also serve as bridge-builders within their own communities. Interfaith dialogue, mutual respect, and understanding are what we believe in and work for. God uses the church to make the difference in the world.’
Bishop Suheil also gave the Benediction at both services.
The Bishop wrapped up his visit to Germany with a day of visits and returned home on May 15th.