The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Stars from Bethlehem

This Christmas you can give bright stars from Bethlehem to friends and family—and provide artisans at the International Center the gift of a market for their wares.

A dove and olive leaves shine bright when a candle burns in the clay holder made by artisans who work through the International Center of Bethlehem, directed by Mitri Raheb, pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church.
Mitri Raheb, director of the Bethlehem center and pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church, said about the center’s programs: “While we have experienced times of war so often, we are still working and praying for a time of peace. Yet we believe that faith, hope and creativity are important for all seasons.”

Glass stars, olive-wood carvings, ceramic bells and vases, traditional needlework items, silver pendants made in molds from real olive leaves—these are among the items available through the Al-Kahf Gift Shop. Ordering information is provided on the Web site.

The shop—like the center’s art gallery and workshops—is part of an effort at “reviving the local community’s sense of beauty, strengthening the cultural identity and cultivating the artistic talents.”


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