Thursday, 22. September 2022

Jerusalem Archbishop Guest at the Schneller Festival

General Meeting of the Evangelical Association for the Schneller Schools elects new Executive Committee


The Evangelical Association for the Schneller Schools (EVS) was finally able to hold its annual General Meeting in person again last Sunday. After two years during which the association was only able to meet online due to the pandemic, more than 50 members from near and wide flocked to Fellbach for the Schneller Festival. Members from the worldwide EMS community, who had come to Germany for the 50th anniversary of the EMS, also attended the morning service to hear the sermon delivered by the Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem, Hosam Naoum. The Archbishop preached on the healing of the ten lepers and emphasised the importance of cultivating an attitude of thankfulness in all areas of life and faith.

Rev. Khaled Freij, Director of the Theodor Schneller School in Amman which belongs to the Anglican Diocese in Jerusalem, once again made clear how grateful the EVS can be for the work carried out locally at the Schneller schools. In his speech, he described how the school continued to develop even during the pandemic by utilising its own digital platform. This allowed the school to continue reaching out to all students despite the long months of lockdown and offer new training courses, make important purchases in the vocational training department and complete vital refurbishment work on the grounds. Freij also explained that the TSS is now part of a large network of support and advisory organisations and institutions, such as the German-Jordanian University, the Goethe-Institut, the German Society for International Cooperation, the Jordanian Ministry of Education and Social Affairs and the local school authorities.

Once again, the Lutheran congregation in Fellbach proved to be wonderful hosts. Johanna Schneller came from Fellbach. She was the wife of Theodor Schneller, who at the beginning of the 20th century succeeded his father Johann Ludwig in running the Syrian Orphanage in Jerusalem, the institution that preceded the two Schneller schools in Jordan and Lebanon. At the Schneller Festival, the Lutheran congregation and the City of Fellbach also presented a joint brochure on Johanna Schneller and the connections between Fellbach and Jerusalem.

At the following lunch and the actual General Meeting which took place in the Paul Gerhardt Parish House, everyone had the chance to talk in a relaxed atmosphere with the Archbishop, his Canon Donald Binder who had travelled with him, as well as with Reverend Khaled Freij. The financial report for 2021 was approved and the Executive Committee was discharged by unanimous vote. The association also elected a new Executive Committee for the next five years. New members of the committee include Jutta Herold, Rev. Christoph Hildebrand-Ayasse, Hans-Joachim Jetter and Lisa Schnotz. Musa Al-Munaizel, Rev. Bernd Apel, Dr Silvan Eppinger, Christian Kissling, Anselm Kreh and Kerstin Sommer were re-elected. Rev. Susanne Gölz, Rev. Christian Kurzke, Dr Reinhold Schaal and Martina Waiblinger have stepped down after decades of service on the committee.

Following a change in the constitution, the directors of the two Schneller schools are now full voting members with a seat on the association's Executive Committee. Similarly, the EVS and the EMS each have a seat on the local administrative boards of the two schools in Jordan and Lebanon. On the evening before the General Meeting, a first meeting of the otherwise "old" Executive Committee took place, attended by both directors: Khaled Freij in person and George Haddad from the Johann Ludwig Schneller School in Lebanon via video conference. Both participated wholeheartedly in the debates, which will now take place in English. In this way, the EVS as a member organisation is consequently putting the internationalisation of the EMS into practice, even if this initially means a major change for some members of the association.