Kassandra Al-Massou Represents BethBC at the Middle East Ecumenical Institute in Lebanon
Kassandra Al-Massou, a Biblical Studies student at Bethlehem Bible College, participated in the 3rd annual ecumenical education course organized by the Middle East Ecumenical Institute in Lebanon. The course included students from youth movements in churches, various Arab countries (Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Palestine and Jordan), and participants from theological colleges and universities.
The lectures were divided into three weeks, which included daily common ecumenical prayers.
The first day included a welcoming speech for the participants, an introductory lecture on the Ecumenical Institute and the training course program. The academic lectures and experiences were shared by the lecturers and participants, which ended with faith testimonies entitled, “How did you interact with the Christian faith?”
The Institute organized ecumenical, educational and recreational visits in order to connect the students of the Institute with each other and to practically apply ecumenism. The participants also visited different churches in South Lebanon.
The second week of the Institute witnessed numerous intensive lectures on the Bible, ecumenical movements and contemporary challenges, as well as a detailed explanation of all denominations, which included discussing the one another’s theology.
The third week covered topics such as the Coptic Church, the Armenian Church, the Assyrian and the Chaldean Church, as well as many biblical studies. Additionally, there were lectures on ecumenism, the World Christian Forum, pastoral theology and the World Council of Churches.
On the last day, a ceremony was organized for the graduating students, which included church and ecumenical events.
Kassandra expressed her joy in participating in this course saying, “Christ is one, and His Church is one. Yes, we have traditions and differences, but they do not affect the essence of the one Church. I was very happy to participate in this course, and to visit so many churches of different traditions. We visited churches that prayed in different languages, including Aramaic, Chaldean and Syriac, but this did not affect the essence of our faith, which is based on faith in one Christ and one Church.”
Amira is the Communications Coordinator of Bethlehem Bible College. She is a committed Palestinian Christian who has a passion for writing about the intersection of faith and seeking justice for her fellow countrymen. To read more of her writings sign up for Bethlehem Bible College’s monthly newsletter.