“Western Christians will be given a unique opportunity to hear the heads of the Jerusalem churches speak out on behalf of the ‘living stones’ of the Holy Land,” says Rateb Rabie, HCEF President. His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem; The Right Reverend Riah Abu El-Assal, Bishop of The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem; His Grace Right Reverend Munib Younan, Bishop of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jerusalem; and Archimandrite Innokentios Exarchos, the personal representative of the His Beatitude Irineos I, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, will speak about the living Christians of the Holy Land and their hopes for increased solidarity with the living Body of Christ throughout the world.

Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation
Press Release

September 16, 2004      
For Immediate Release    
Contact: Patty James
(301) 951-9400
pjames@hcef.org

HCEF Presents its 6th International Conference:  Holy Land Christians Rooted in Bonds of Peace

“Western Christians will be given a unique opportunity to hear the heads of the Jerusalem churches speak out on behalf of the ‘living stones’ of the Holy Land,” says Rateb Rabie, HCEF President.  His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem; The Right Reverend Riah Abu El-Assal, Bishop of The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem; His Grace Right Reverend Munib Younan, Bishop of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jerusalem; and Archimandrite Innokentios Exarchos, the personal representative of the His Beatitude Irineos I, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, will speak about the living Christians of the Holy Land and their hopes for increased solidarity with the living Body of Christ throughout the world. 

Rabie added, “We are delighted that these bishops are coming to our HCEF conference in unity.  We know that the solidarity that will result from their joint efforts will be of great consolation for the faithful in the Holy Land and that Western Christians will be moved by their witness of the living faith of our Mother Church.”


Main Conference Schedule of Events
Friday, October 22 – Saturday, October 23
Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church
3401 Nebraska Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016

Conference program, visit this link: http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/189.cfm
Conference Honorary Committee, visit this link: http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/180.cfm
Conference support letters, visit this link: http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/193.cfm

Awards Banquet
(Friday October 22, 6:00-10:00PM, Holiday Inn Select Bethesda)

Each year, at the time of the 6th International Conference, HCEF grants awards to people and institutions who have accomplished excellent work in support of the Christians of the Holy Land.  Theodore Cardinal McCarrick will be the keynote speaker at the 2004 HCEF Awards Banquet on Friday, October 22, 2004. 
For details, visit: http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/190.cfm
To view award recipients: http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/181.cfm
 
Palestinian Cultural Night
(Saturday, October 23, 7:00-10:00PM, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart)

HCEF brings to each guest a taste of the rich Palestinian culture by serving Arabic food, entertaining with Palestinian Folkloric dance and a fashion show of traditional Palestinian Dress, while exhibiting beautiful handicrafts and embroideries.
For details, visit: http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/200.cfm


HCSN Leadership Institute
(Friday October 22, 8:30AM-12:30PM, Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church)
The HCSN Leadership Institute was successfully inaugurated at the 2003 HCEF International Conference.  The agenda will include an overview of HCEF progress during the past year along with a new proposed organizational structure, case studies of applied leadership initiatives in HCEF, effective ways of leveraging media and other communications tools on behalf of local efforts, and an open dialogue on the role of the Institute in the ongoing progress of HCEF.  Further, there will be opportunities to discuss individual interests in leadership on behalf of HCEF with experienced individuals.

For details, visit: http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/184.cfm


HCSN Youth Summit
(Saturday, October 23, Metropolitan United Methodist Church)

The HCEF Youth Summit is an opportunity for Christian youth from the West to meet five visiting Christian youth from Palestine and learn about what it’s like to live in the Holy Land, the land where our Savior lived and where the Gospel message was first preached!

For details, visit:  http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/185.cfm

Student Leadership Institute
(Friday, October 22 8:30AM-12:30PM, Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church)
During the morning of Friday, October 22, college and university students will engage in a unique seminar-style institute where they will learn about ways to educate Western Christians about the plight of Palestinian Christians, the living stones of the Christian faith in the Holy Land.  Student leaders from Georgetown University (Washington, DC), Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH), and Duke University (Chapel Hill, NC) will describe the successes they have already achieved on their campuses and will help to prepare new student leaders to implement HCEF’s programs for Holy Land Christians on their home campuses.  Students will also look at the ecumenical aspect of forming an HCEF Student Community and how these ecumenical communities have been an important channel of Christian unity.  All are welcome, including those with no previous leadership experience.
For details, visit: http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/186.cfm
Ecumenical Prayer Service                                                                    
(Sunday, October 24, 2:00PM, Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church)
Join the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation in this extraordinary opportunity to gather with the Jerusalem bishops in an Ecumenical Prayer Service to pray in unity for a just peace for all the people who suffer in the Holy Land – Jews, Muslims, and Christians. 
For details, visit: http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/187.cfm
Online conference registration: http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/179.cfm
Registration via mail or fax: http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/191.cfm
Hotel Accomadations:  http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/182.cfm
Holiday Inn Select Bethesda,
8120 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 652-2000
Special Rates Deadline, October 7, 2004

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The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, Inc. (HCEF) is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that provides succor to the Christians of the Holy Land who live in Christian communities dating back in time to those who first heard Jesus Christ preach his gospel.  HCEF sponsors programs that support children’s education, create housing, and provide work programs for community development and indigenous handicrafts.  HCEF Pilgrimages enable Western Christians to develop bonds of solidarity with their Christian brothers and sisters living in the Holy Land.