Star shining over town

Olive Oil for Sale

Palestinian organic, fair trade, extra virgin olive oil.

500 ml/16.5 oz for $20.00

750 ml/25.4 oz. for $25.00

Now available in the church office We are currently well stocked with olive oil.

FROM THE SHEPHERD SOCIETY https://shepherd-society.org/

Due to political unrest and economic stagnation, the Bethlehem area has a high level of unemployment. In the past, many residents of Bethlehem found employment in Jerusalem. Now, there is a 24-foot high wall separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem. The wall has drastically reduced the number of workers from Bethlehem who are able to hold jobs in Jerusalem.

With the Family Sponsorship Program, you help the neediest families and you convey the message to residents of Bethlehem that they are not forgotten and that someone cares.


We are sponsoring a family of four in Bethlehem. The father is a sales manager and the mother is a housewife. The two children are approaching middle school age at a private school. The father suffers from marrow cancer along with diabetes and blood pressure. The government health insurance does not cover all medical expenses


God of liberation, we come before you like the persistent widow pleading for justice. We continue with our prayers for all Palestinians in the West Bank who are undergoing immense violence. Comfort the bereaved families and heal the injured. Lord, liberate the Palestinians in the West Bank by ending the brutal occupation and colonization they experience. While we are overwhelmed by the ongoing suffering, we know that we must be courageous and act so that we may be witnesses to your kingdom. Lord, send your Holy Spirit to help us act for justice, mercy, liberation, and peace.


Bethlehem at the birth of Jesus was a besieged city. Today Bethlehem is again a besieged city surrounded from three sides by a 25 foot high concrete wall. So what if Jesus were to be born today in Bethlehem? If Jesus were to be born this year, he would not be born in Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph would not be allowed to enter from the Israeli Checkpoint and so too the Magi. The Shepherds would be stuck inside the walls , unable to leave their little town. - Rev. Mitri Raheb

The first nativity scenes were live: real people depicting baby Jesus, Joseph, and Mary as well as a few live animals. Later statues were used; and now many homes use small figures in their creche- including the Wise Men and shepherds who would not have been in attendance at Jesus birth. What else might be different about our beloved nativity set we put up each Christmas? Consider the color of the people represented. Remember that Jesus was a Palestinian Jewish man and would not be the blue eyed blond we frequently see. It is possible to buy historically accurate nativity sets with clothing and coloring to the period making it more real. - Ann Richards

Nativity scenes: an intimate connection It strikes me that the nativity scene, while not a cozy, comfortable environment, is a type of intimate setting of a familiar time: the birth of a child. It can be a very memorable experience and one we may want to share with those closest to us. Traditional nativities don’t include the grandparents from Seattle or Aunt Krista from Colorado with her camera, as mine would if I made a family creche representing the birth of my sons. The traditional creche display is mainly animals and their keepers (who were just nearby), magi and angels, none of whom seem to be of any special prior relation to Mary and Joseph. My question this season is, who would you include in your family creche? Who are the ones that are close to you, that you want around this time of year? And in the tradition of nativity displays, who could you include that is just nearby? - Jesse Steed