Global Links March 2023

Latest news and stories from Global Mission

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March 2023
A Milestone for Women Leaders in the Holy Land
Photo: Albin Hillert/LWF

International Women’s Day, March 8, gives us an opportunity to honor past, present and future women leaders throughout our global community. One of those leaders is the Rev. Sally Azar, who recently became the Holy Land’s first female pastor. The Rev. Azar pursued her Master of Arts degree at Near East School of Theology with the support of an ELCA International Leaders Program scholarship. On Jan. 22 she became the first woman ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL).

The Rev. Azar’s siblings in Christ journeyed from around the world to celebrate this joyous event with the ELCJHL. ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton attended the ordination service, along with the Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) participants serving in Jordan and the West Bank.

“Over 100 clergy, including my mom, attended from all over the world and across denominations,” said Harper Bolz-Weber, a YAGM volunteer. “In total, more than 500 people attended the service at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Jerusalem. … I felt honored to have been able to attend and participate in such a historic event, and I’m sure I will never forget it.” YAGM volunteer Sophie Caesar also knew she was taking part in something special: “I could feel the holy spirit moving while assisting in such a monumental service.”

Learn more about the Rev. Azar’s ordination in Living Lutheran.

News Around the World
News Around the World
On Feb. 6 two powerful earthquakes hit Türkiye and significantly impacted neighboring Syria, collapsing thousands of buildings and damaging infrastructure. Over 47,000 people have been killed, and thousands more have been injured. Lutheran Disaster Response is committed to supporting ACT Alliance and other partners in responding to the needs of survivors. Mere hours after the earthquakes hit, ACT Alliance member organizations began distributing emergency supplies, including medicines, bedding and other relief items. They will continue to provide support in the days, months and years of rebuilding ahead.

Support Middle East earthquake relief here.

Our Global Partners
Mission Personnel Reflection
Photo: Franklin Ishida

The 11th Asian Lutheran International Conference (ALIC) took place Jan. 12-17 in Chiang Rai, Thailand. The gathering included over 130 representatives from the U.S., Canada and Asia. Participants attended panel discussions, elected and installed new officers on the Association of Asians and Pacific Islanders executive committee, recognized and honored outgoing officers, and shared their stories with one another.

Watch videos of ALIC sessions here.

Get Involved
Mission Personnel Reflection

  • In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, a generous donor has made a gift of $50,000 to inspire others to give to International Women Leaders (IWL). The IWL program provides full-tuition scholarships to ELCA colleges and universities, as well as scholarships for advanced graduate studies and gender justice seminars. Your gift will make an impact on the lives of emerging women leaders and their communities.
  • ELCA World Hunger invites you to study, pray, reflect and give during 40 Days of Giving — for our families, our neighbors and communities around the world. Visit for resources including a calendar, a study guide, an action guide for congregations and a weekly email series.

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