More than 400 people gathered in early September to celebrate the opening of the new community center â€“ Al Khei-me-h (the Tent) â€“ at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Amman, Jordan.
More than 400 people gathered in early September to celebrate the opening of the new community center – Al Khei-me-h (the Tent) – at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Amman, Jordan. Rev. Samer Azar, Good Shepherd’s pastor and initiator of the project, said this new cultural center fills a gap not offered by other churches in the area. The center will host a mix of art, music, education, youth and senior programs. The opening night featured an art exhibition and musical performance.
The logo contains several important symbols: The leaves are from olive trees, symbolizing life and rootedness in the land for more than 2000 years. The different colors of the leaves stand for the different activities of the center. The leaves together with the white background constitute the colors of the Jordanian Flag. The squares are meant to combine all the different activities to achieve the eight goals of the centre which are:
1.To enhance ecumenical approaches.
2.To serve different age groups.
3.To serve cultural, recreational, social, spiritual and sport issues.
4.To serve the cause of dialogue and religious tolerance.
5.To advance musical skills of young people.
6.To provide access to internet and computer courses.
7.To provide courses according to the growing needs.
8.To provide a facility for exhibiting arts.
Pastor Samer Azar, founder of the center at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, spoke at the opening:
"Al Khaimeh is the name for this Community Ecumenical Centre that will serve social, cultural, spiritual and sport needs of the community. It is complementary to the activities of the Ecumenical Churches in the Kingdom that also serve the human being regardless of religious affiliation and denominational belonging. We intend to enhance good citizenship, deepen the sense of national belonging, and good coexistence, which counteracts the accusations directed against the Arabs and Muslims."
Bishop Younan also said: "Al-Khei-me-h (the Tent) is the place where God is present with his people. We hope that every Christian, Muslim or Jew who enters this place will experience God’s presence."