The Bible and The Holy Land Today

April 21, 2022. 7PM CDT on Zoom. 
(Registration required)

Retired Methodist Minister Alex Awad was born in Palestine. In 1948, when Israel declared independence, he became a refugee. Rev. Awad has spent decades educating people of faith about the Israeli-Palestinian realities.


Methodists Investing in Care and Action for the HolyLand 

Micah 6:8



Dear Ann Richards, 

It's my pleasure to hear from you.
I hope this finds you well,
The situation here in Palestine is running very serious and numbers of infected people are getting higher everyday. Which makes it hard for me to work regularly because sometimes there is lockdowns and the economical situation of people is getting worse thats why the demands on my pastries decreases.
About my children, both of them Fadi and Nicola are university students. And I am very proud of their achievments. But every semester we struggle to pay the fees. I hope you can help me to find a sponsor to let them pursue their studies.
My work is barely enough for our daily needs and they couldnt find a job due to the pandemic.
I always thank God for granting me and my family with good health.
Remember us in your prayers may God vanish away the burdens that his people is facing.
Happy Thanks Giving.
Please find attached photo of my family, my married daughters and my grandchildren.

Zreineh family

Watch this video

Friends, last year this video was produced by Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in Ohio - one of our largest churches in the UMC. I hope you'll take time to view it, and share it. It does not address the specific politics of the situation so much as tell a very human story from the perspective of Palestinian Christians. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnVxykNxxiU 

Dear Friends of Shepherd Society,

Greetings from the little town of Bethlehem where we are gathered with thousands of tourists celebrating the birth of our Savior. It is a time for celebration and gatherings, and I wish that you may spend your time meaningfully with the people close to your heart. I also want to express our gratitude for having friends like you who continue to support our ministry in this time. While we have faced many challenges due to the political situation over the past year, with your help, we have been able to bring joy and blessing to many families. Christmas is a reminder that, even when things look dark, God is at work in the midst of our situation, meeting us where we are. We look expectantly to 2020, and together, we can bring a message of love and kindness to the families we work with, standing with our Savior, who likewise helped the weak, and found it better to give than receive. All of us here at the Shepherd Society wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

With gratitude,
Sari Zeidan
Head of the Shepherd Society

MICAH supports a Bethlehem family through the Shepherd Societywww.shepherd-society.org

Pastor Rachel Holy Land Journey

Minnesota Clergy has been offered a special invitation (and price) for a Holy Land Exploratory Journey, January 3 -12, 2020 with The Society for Biblical Studies. I’m sure you will agree that Pastor Rachel deserves a break after this challenging year and she is interested in participating in this special offer for Minnesota clergy. MICAH has been able to locate funding for this trip, Thank you for your support!

Zatoun Palestinian Fair Trade Virgin Olive Oil

We sell Zatoun Palestinian Fair Trade Virgin Olive Oil to support the Holy Land. Buy it online from Zatoun or inquire in our church office. Currently we have 750 ml bottles @ $20.00 per bottle. Also available are 150 g. packages of Za'atar @ $5.00. Za'atar is made with wild thyme and sumac mixed with roasted sesame seeds and salt. Recipe sheets are available with the Za'atar, but it is also great with olive oil for dipping. These items are available in the church office. Support the farmers of Palestine in the struggle for their livelihood and land. (Zatoun = Olive)

The United Methodist Church of Northfield has sponsored a struggling Palestinian Christian family for five years. Sponsorships are an outreach program of Bethlehem Bible College and a project of the Global Methodist Church. Our particular family is the Zreineh family, Marleen and her children. They live in a village outside Bethlehem. Marleen is a widow, she is also a baker. It is difficult for her to make ends meet in her small bakery under the Israeli occupation. To raise money for a seventh years’ sponsorship a fundraiser took take place on Saturday, September 28th at the Brick Oven Bakery from 6AM to 6PM. Thank you for stopping at the Brick Oven Bakery for our Fundraiser! We ended up with a larger income than last year with $270.00 (10%) from the Brick Oven Bakery and $126.63 in donations. We have enough to cover our fall (1/2 annual total) sponsorship for our Bethlehem family which is $325.00. The manager at the Brick Oven Bakery reported, "We had a great time, and there were many new visitors to the bakery!"

A letter from the mother of the Bethlehem family

I’m very happy to know that there are such people like you thinking about the Palestinians and feels with them. We are still under the same situation but always thank God for his protection and blessings. It’s summer now, Fadi always attends to the Boy Scout activities, and is enjoying them, while Nicola had his Tawjihi* graduation on the 17th of May. And tomorrow is his last official exam. He tried his best, I wish he will get a good mark.

God bless you
Thank you

*Tawjihi Exams: The exams are taken during the last year of high school and determines not only whether a student will be permitted to enroll in university, but will also limit their selection of majors and classes. Thank God that Nicola was successful in the Tawjihi. He wants to study business in Bethlehem University.


Summer in Palestine


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What is MICAH?
It all began when Alex and Brenda Awad visited our church as United Methodist Church missionaries in Palestine.   At that time Alex was the Director of the Shepherd Society, which is the outreach arm of Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem, Palestine.  Both of these organizations are Advance Specials of the UMC General Board of Global Ministries.  Alex and Brenda showed us a brochure about the work of the Shepherd Society in which  Family Sponsorships were listed as one of their programs. This program connects an international individual, family, or group with a family in the Bethlehem area that is struggling to survive.  Due to political and economic stagnation, the Bethlehem area  has a high level of unemployment.  Through these sponsorships we convey the message to the residents  of Bethlehem that they are not forgotten and that someone cares.
A few members at Northfield United Methodist Church (NUMC) had either visited Palestine or had an interest in the situation of the Palestinian people. After conferring with the pastor, this group decided in 2013 to form a committee at NUMC to sponsor a family with the Shepherd Society. The group was called "Our Bethlehem Family".  The sponsored family, the Marlen Zreineh family, consisted of a widowed mother with two daughters and two sons at home. The Shepherd Society helped Marlen set up a bakery business, but she still needed financial support in order to pay her bills. 
Sponsorships are $650.00 per year.   An annual Work of Mercy month (usually November) at NUMC was an opportunity to raise the sponsorship funds as well as to educate  the congregation on the situation for our family in Bethlehem. The group also decided to have Palestinian olive oil available for sale at NUMC using the Zatoun brand.  A small profit for MICAH is made on these sales.
Speakers, films, book discussions, and displays have been used to further knowledge of life in Palestine for our family. Because of this broader focus,  the name of the group was changed to MICAH - Methodists Investing in Care and Action for the Holy Land,  using Micah 6:8 as the motto.
The congregation responded positively to MICAH's effort to raise financial support for Pastor Jerad's trip to Palestine-Israel in 2017 "Walking the Nativity Trail" (walking in the footsteps of Mary and Joseph). While in Bethlehem,  Pastor Jerad visited the Zreineh family. 

In 2018 a successful project was held to help raise funds to cover our family sponsorship. The Brick Oven Bakery agreed to give 10% of their sales on one Saturday in November.  Marlen being a baker made the project work well. MICAH used much publicity to encourage members of the congregation to shop at the Brick Oven Bakery on that Sarurday.

MICAH appreciates the awesome response of the congregation to the above fundraisers.

MICAH is not included in the NUMC budget.