MECC Partners Meeting-Day One: Towards Policies for Human Dignities

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The MECC Partners Meeting is an annual meeting for its funding partners over the world, where MECC plays its role as a common platform for dialogue, relief, and communication.

This year, the MECC Partners Meeting was launched on May 7 in the Dhour Chweir Evangelical Center- Ain el Qassis and will last 2 days. The opening session started in a warm and relaxed ambiance among the international and local guests. It was felt that they all came with more hopes, enthusiasm, and a will to collaborate for a better Middle East. Together they lifted an opening prayer, a true realization of MECC’s ecumenical mission, as everyone learned to overcome their differences and apprehensions. Moreover, His Beatitude Cardinal Mar Louis Raphael Sako insisted on giving his special blessing through a letter read by hi representative Auxiliary Bishop Roebrt Saeed Jarjees. “Now, more than ever, the Churches of the East need to unify their vision”, he said. The Panel: Reverend Habib Badr and Mr. Ziad el Sayegh Taking the floor, moderator Rev. Fr Rouphael Zougheib introduced panelists Rev. Habib Badr, President of the National Evangelical Union, and of the MECC Evangelical Family, and Mr. Ziad El Sayegh, MECC Policies and Communication Advisor. The friends and partners of MECC debated on finding “Policies for Human Dignity”. But how? The first answer came from Reverend Habib Badr, who spoke on Christ going to the hell of human suffering. “Hell is not just related to death, it is everywhere: in poverty, war, suffering, and illness”, he said. Christ forced the gates of Hades to save human dignity, “he set for us the example to do the same”. Then Mr. Ziad el Sayegh tackled the issue more politically: “The geography of terrorism that takes the shape of religious clusters indicates that no one is safe anymore. We are witnessing a series of events that are irrelevant to human dignity, to peaceful communities, and to diplomatic conflict resolution”. Mr. El Sayegh insisted on getting out from the concept of “minorities and majorities”. “There are no minorities and majorities. There are people being killed”, he insisted. The panel was followed by a live discussion, which indicates how involved were all the guests, about ninety persons from the four Church families in the Middle East, the local and international NGO’s delegates, together with religious and diplomatic figures from Lebanon and the region. Naturally, the “Partners” coming from around the world also participated in the opening session. The World Council of Churches The World Council of Churches, of which MECC is member, also waved at the gathering Partners through a letter from Secretary General Rev. Dr. Olav Tveit imparted by WCC Middle East Director Ms Carla Khijoyan. Rev. Tveit greeted the MECC and Partners “in the name of hundreds of millions of Christians around the world who look at the region”, applauding the concentration on “just peace and human dignity”. MECC Secretary General Dr Bechealany Then MECC Secretary General Dr Souraya Bechealany presented her report for 2018, which included a video on the Executive Committee that took place in January, and a presentation on the Secretary General activities and official visits for 2018. “Despite the suffering, the year 2018 ends on a note of hope”, she said. Hence, new the strategies and work axes were set for the MECC Secretary General present mandate, in expectation for the 2020 General Assembly: – Developing inter-Christian relationships through ecumenical initiatives and common witness at the service of the marginalized groups. – Promoting inter-Church and interfaith dialogues, and making prophetic stands according to the regional happenings. – Enhancing communication among Christians in the different Middle Eastern Societies for inclusive citizenship, social justice, and human rights. – Using communication and social media will to affect mindsets on the regional and international scales. Dr Bechealany also talked about the restructuring process undertaken in MECC Departments and the role of the Partners in the process. She explained how new departments were created or restarted, mainly the Theological and Ecumenical Department, and the Communication and Public Relations Department. Reports In the afternoon, a financial report witnessed by the auditors lauded MECC’s transparency in the presence of the funding partners. The different departments reports followed, to show how the Partners’ projects and supports were rightly implemented. The reports used expressive videos, already a step ahead to impress the audience. The Partners were given a copy of the new Annual report, with a first print of the MECC new magazine “AL Muntada”- The Forum. MECC Communication and Public Relations Department