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NAZARETH – On Saturday, March 11, 2017, an early morning ecumenical meeting was held in the Auditorium of the Nazareth School of Nursing. A moment of sharing, prayer and friendship with the Board of Directors of the Presbyterian foundation EMMS, around a breakfast. Bishop Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar in Israel, was invited to speak and took the opportunity to present Pope Francis’ letter for Lent to the audience.

This “Prayer Breakfast”, an Anglo-Saxon tradition that has become important in the United States, was organized at the invitation of the head of the Nazareth Trust, Dr. Richard Mayhew. The Trust is a local church foundation that runs four realities: the Nazareth Hospital, the School of Nursing, the Nazareth Bible Village and the Serve Nazareth (an international volunteer program).

The event was held on the occasion of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the EMMS International (Edinburg Medical Missionary Society) in Nazareth, led by President Morgan Jamieson. EMMS is a Scottish Presbyterian foundation, founded in 1841, which holds a large number of hospitals and other activities around the world, including the Nazareth Trust. The explorer David Livingstone was one of the most celebrated members.

The Saturday administrative meeting took the form of an ecumenical meeting – the EMMS Board of Directors, the leaders of the four realities of the Nazareth Trust, representatives of Christian parishes and Christian hospitals in Nazareth, as well as the director of the Biblical Evangelical College in Nazareth.

On the program this Saturday, a moment of meeting and exchange around a breakfast, organized by Frank Kantor, spiritual director of the Nazareth Trust. There was also the opportunity to congratulate the new director of the English hospital, Dr. Fahad Hakim. Then the discussion gave way to prayer with songs, invocations and reflections at a time facilitated by Pastor Suheil Bathish, chaplain of the English hospital.

Bishop Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar in Israel, was invited to offer a reflection. The bishop took the opportunity to briefly explain the letter of Pope Francis for this Lent: “The Word is a gift. Others are a gift”. Before giving the final blessing, he invited the assembly to offer the celebrated Lent prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian, to intercede for all the sick and for all those who suffer from the war in Syria and the region.

Information by SAK and photos from AK of Nazareth

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