Vision and Mission
The Lutheran Church and Pilgrim Center at Bethany Beyond Jordan is part of the ELCJHL witness in Jordan and the Holy Land. It is an affirmative response by the ELCJHL to the offer by the Jordanian King to give Christians a central role in the future of the Middle East.
With its roots in the Lutheran tradition, it is a pilgrim place founded on the meaning of baptism which is one of the fundamental tenets of Lutheran theology. We also strive to educate pilgrims on Arab and Middle East Christian contextual theology. Bethany Beyond Jordan is central to the concept of Christian Pilgrimage in the Holy Lands and seen as one of the three most important places of the life of Jesus: His birth in Bethlehem, his baptism in Jordan and his crucifixion and resurrection in Jerusalem.
The pilgrim center will be a place of meditation and study, of listening and learning. The focus will be on the spiritual, historical, political and ecological aspects of the place.
Worship will play a central role with visitors encouraged to renew their baptismal vows. Retreats, baptisms, talks, seminars and pilgrim walks will be organized at the center. Pilgrims and visitors will be able to listen to and talk with local and international lecturers.
The center will be open to all churches and believers. It will be a place of fellowship and dialogue. The center will contribute to the ecumenical life with the other churches at the site.
The center will network with other pilgrim places, locally in Jordan, like Mount Nebo, Madaba and the Holy Land as well as internationally, with partner churches to the ELCJHL and other churches and pilgrim organizations.
Local Christians, Jordanians and Palestinians with a special emphasis on youth, will be encouraged to take part in the life at the center.
The center aims to develop an environmentally friendly policy. The center will have a small restaurant for visitors and sell fair trade locally produced souvenirs.