United by Faith for Action

September 13, 2005                                               
For Immediate Release                               
Contact: Samar Moussa
(301) 951-9400 ext. 211
smoussa@hcef.org

The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) is gearing up for
its conference, which will be held on October 21-22, 2005. This unique
conference will bring together many Christian denominations to work
towards solidarity in supporting Christians and creating peace in the
Holy Land.

The conference theme, “United by Faith for Action”, calls attendees to
collective action, in support of our Holy Land Christian brothers and
sisters, by offering Western Christians a concrete means to contribute
to the long term preservation of the rich Holy Land Christian culture
and tradition, which faces extinction in the current climate.

In keeping with this theme, many panels will be conducted throughout the
conference. Experts on the Holy Land will be speaking specifically about
the plight of the Christians in the area.

Three women from Jerusalem- a Christian, a Jew, and a Muslim- will speak
about their daily lives amidst the violence in their homeland. They also
will express their visions of co-existence of their three different
religions in the region.

Experts  from the Christian and secular media present the advantages and
challenges of reporting the issues of Peace and Justice. While the
secular media has the audience and means to reach almost every American,
its coverage can be driven by appealing headlines and distorted to its
owners’ or readers’ predisposition. While Christian media is accessed by
fewer people, it can deal with Peace and Justice issues that otherwise
might be ignored, and it can move its readers, listeners and viewers
beyond the local ministry to gain a sense of God’s global agenda.

Speakers will discuss Christian Zionism and its effects and obstructions
to a peaceful Holy Land. This will include political and religious views
of mainstream evangelicals.

The conference also targets a young adult audience. The Holy Land
College Community (HCCC) will work together with HCEF in developing
youth groups. There will be a special seminar for college students to
train them to develop campus programs to educate other students on the
plight of Palestinian Christians.

The conference keynote speaker is Rev. Dr. Theodore Schneider, Bishop of
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Metropolitan Washington D.C.
Synod. Bishop Schneider will talk about the involvement of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the actions being taken on
behalf of Christians in the Holy Land.

The Most Reverend Pierbattista Pizzaballa, O.F.M., Superior of the
Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, will be the keynote speaker at the
awards banquet, held on Friday, Oct. 21. The Franciscan Custody of the
Holy Land and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Division for
Global Mission, will receive the Living Stones Solidarity Award. HCEF
will present awards to Fr. Emil Salayta, its co-founder and to Rev. Dr.
Roy Enquist, Chair on the Advisory Board.

In a universal invitation to all Christians, HCEF’s president, Rateb
Rabie, said “I encourage everyone interested in finding the facts about
the Holy Land to attend this conference. There are many misconceptions
Westerners have about the Holy Land and this conference is an important
step towards raising their awareness.”

For more on the schedule, hotel reservations and to register, please
visit HCEF’s website:
Main Conference Schedule of Events
Friday, October 21 – Saturday, October 22
St. Luke Lutheran Church
9100 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Keynote address: Rev. Dr. Theodore Schneider, Bishop of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America, Washington DC Synod
Conference program, visit this link:
<http://hcef.org//index.cfm/ID/274.cfm>
Conference Honorary Committee, visit this link:
<http://hcef.org//index.cfm/ID/276.cfm>
Conference Endorsement Letters, visit this link:
<http://hcef.org//index.cfm/ID/273.cfm>
Awards Banquet
Friday October 21, 6:00pm-10:00pm
Holiday Inn Select Bethesda
8120 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814
Keynote address: Most Reverend Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM, Custos of
the Holy Land
Each year, at the time of the 7 International Conference, HCEF grants
awards to people and institutions who have accomplished excellent work
in support of the Christians of the Holy Land.
For details, visit: <http://hcef.org//index.cfm/ID/288.cfm>

Online Conference Registration:
<https://gifts.hcef.org/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=1000&Category_Co
de=ConferenceFee>
Hotel Accommodations
http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/287.cfm
Holiday Inn Select Bethesda,
8120 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 652-2000


For more information, contact HCEF directly at:
6935 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 214
Bethesda, MD 20815
(301) 951-9400
Fax: (301) 951-9402
Toll Free: 866-871-HCEF (4233)

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.