The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) held an organizational retreat in Rockville, MD on March 16, 2002. Twenty members of the organization were present to discuss the present condition of HCEF and to brainstorm new directions and policies for FY 2002. Participants included representation from the Board of Directors, The Advisory Board, chairs of committees and activists. Some of the participants came from other parts of the country.
The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF)*
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HCEF Holds Organizational Retreat
The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) held an organizational retreat in Rockville, MD on March 16, 2002. Twenty members of the organization were present to discuss the present condition of HCEF and to brainstorm new directions and policies for FY 2002. Participants included representation from the Board of Directors, The Advisory Board, chairs of committees and activists. Some of the participants came from other parts of the country. Progress in the organization’s development and complexity became apparent as the chairpersons of the twelve working committees reported on their activities. Emphasis was placed on continuing ecumenical work with all Christian denominations. Brainstorming occurred regarding the theme of the Fourth International Conference on Holy Land Christians that will be held in Washington, D.C. at the National Presbyterian Church on October 18, 19, 2002. The organization’s income in FY 2001 forwarded to the Holy Land for projects and relief far exceeded the amount for FY 2000. Thus far, for FY 2002, income has exceeded budget by a substantial amount.
HCEF is engaged in a number of projects that provide hope and support for Holy Land Christians. HCEF encourages Christians to remain in the Holy Land in order to maintain a Christian legacy in the land where Christianity was born. HCEF provides funds received from donors to support education of Christian children. Military occupation and the Intifada have resulted in the collapse of the tourist industry. HCEF encourages pilgrimage to the Holy Land and has thus far has arranged two Christian pilgrimages during FY 2002. The handicrafts industry in the Holy Land, so important to the residents of Bethlehem and surrounding towns, has also collapsed due to the dearth of pilgrims. HCEF has responded by creating markets in the United States for olive wood and mother of pearl handicrafts produced by the 40-50 family workshops in the Bethlehem district. HCEF directed $500,000 in donations to a housing project in Beit Jala for young Christian families.
In pursuit of its second mission, HCEF is creating awareness of the plight of Holy Land Christians as they suffer under military occupation. During FY 2001, HCEF held major conferences on the Holy Land Christians in Washington, D.C., Atlanta GA, and Detroit MI. Numerous presentations were provided to Christian church groups. Each session informs Americans about the impact that military occupation has had on the spiritual, social and economic lives of all Palestinians living in the land where the Prince of Peace was born, taught and died.
The Holy land Christian Ecumenical Foundation is an all-volunteer 501c3 organization with the mission of informing Americans about the ongoing plight of Christians in the Holy Land and provides humanitarian assistance to relieve suffering, educational support and assists in job creation.
* The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation is a tax exempt, non-profit organization committed to improving the lives of Christians in the Holy Land by developing bonds of solidarity with Christians in the United States. HCEF, PO Box 6687, Silver Spring, MD 20906. (301) 871-9222, Fax (301) 871-2277. www.hcef.org. email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Toll Free (866) 871-4233