Newberry College has announced that the Rev. Munib A. Younan, bishop emeritus of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Lands, will return to Newberry Sept. 11–16.
The bishop’s visit will include speaking at the College’s weekly chapel service, a public lecture, class visits and meetings with local clergy.
“We are thrilled to welcome Bishop Younan back to campus for an extended visit,” said Dr. Krista Hughes, director of the College’s Muller Center. “He possesses a wealth of experience and wisdom born of a lifetime commitment to just peace, especially within and among religions.”
A Palestinian Christian native to Jerusalem, Younan is also past president of the Lutheran World Federation. During his tenure, he signed a joint declaration with Pope Francis, stating that what unites the Lutheran and Catholic traditions is greater than that which divides them. The author of three books and a 2017 recipient of Japan’s Niwano Peace Prize, the bishop has been a leading proponent of interfaith dialogue, justice, inclusion and forgiveness.
Younan was first introduced to Newberry in February 2018, when the College was one of a handful of Lutheran colleges and universities selected to host him during a rare visit to the United States. During this visit, he preached at Ash Wednesday services at the College and at Newberry’s Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, and his lecture, “Loving God and Neighbor: Living Out the Biblical Call in the Holy Land,” saw a considerable turnout of students, faculty, staff and community members.
“We are so blessed to have Bishop Younan back to educate and inspire us with his experiences,” said Campus Pastor Ernie Worman. “To explore the big questions and have an open dialogue about faith from different perspectives is a hallmark of Lutheran liberal arts education.”
The bishop will begin his upcoming visit with a guest appearance at Wednesday Chapel, the College’s regular mid-week prayer service, Sept. 11 at 10:10 a.m. in Wiles Chapel, on the College campus.
The keynote of the visit will be a lecture entitled, “Migration and Cross-Cultural Encounter: Perspectives from the Abrahamic Faiths,” slated for Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. in Wiles Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.
“I hope campus and community members will come out and take advantage of having this wise and warm, distinguished guest in our midst,” said Hughes.