Faith Bible Chapel of Denver, Colorado has officially "adopted" the City of Ariel in a pioneering Friends of the Israel Community Development Foundation (ICDF) in conjunction with ICDF in Israel. Christian Friends of ICDF was established in 1995 by Theodore Temple Beckett to promote positive relationships between pro-Israel Christians and the Jewish communities of Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan Heights. Since its inception, Christian Friends has succeeded in twinning nearly 20 churches with Jewish communities.
Ariel was selected as the flagship community in the adoption program and was chosen by one of the largest congregations in the Southwest. Faith Bible Chapel, with some 4,000 members, has been the leader among Christian Zionist churches seeking stronger ties with Israel and the Jewish people. For many years now, FBC has hosted American and Israeli Christians and Jews at its "Israel Awareness Day", a festival of Zionist song and dance, workshops, lectures and exhibits. Members of the church spend the better part of a year planning the program and volunteer their time painting murals, sewing costumes and creating beautiful audio-visual material for the special day.
In June, Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman was guest of honor at FBC's Israel Awareness Day, where he led two workshops on the current affairs of Israel and their impact on the communities in Judea and Samaria. At the main event in the evening, the mayor was presented with a generous donation by the congregation for the purchase of medical equipment for Ariel.
In presenting the gift to Mayor Nachman, Pastor George Morrison expressed his dedication to Ariel and Israel: "Ariel represents what we believe G-d is doing in the Land of Israel, just by bringing the people back to inhabit those arid places again and bringing forth the fruit of that land. We are so much behind what G-d is doing."
The highlight of the evening was the outstanding performance of FBC's International Singers and Dancers. This song and dance troupe is comprised entirely of members of FBC who perform a complete repertoire of Israeli songs and dances. Every year, The Internationals, as they are fondly called at FBC, travel to Israel, performing all over the country as their gift to the people of Israel.
This summer, Ariel was fortunate to host the Internationals. They gave a spectacular performance to a standing-room only crowd at Ariel's municipal pool. These Christian Zionists sang in Hebrew and danced to Israeli music in an amazing show of love and devotion to Israel.
In Mayor Nachman's opening remarks, he expressed gratitude to Pastor George Morrison for educating his congregation to love Israel and support the Jews living in Judea and Samaria. "You have become our partners," Nachman said, "in building the land of Israel. And on behalf of the people of Ariel, I welcome you, not as guests, but as brothers and sisters. I want you to know that you always have a home with us in Ariel."
Cheryl Morrison coordinator of the church's Israel connection, addressed the people of Ariel and summarized her feelings toward Israel in general and Ariel in particular: "The history of the Christians and Jews is not a history that we, as Christians, are proud of. We cannot change the past but we can change the future. We believe that G-d has a plan for the Jewish people and the nation of Israel and that plan includes the people of Ariel being where they are. We thank you for being faithful to G-d by living here."
As a gesture of appreciation for the wonderful talents and expressions of love and support from FBC, Ariel's own entertainment troupe, "Lahakon Ariel," saluted the Internationals with a short performance of their own.
The following morning, the Internationals joined Ariel Development Fund Director, Dina Shalit for a moving vine-planting ceremony in fulfillment of the prophecy of Jeremiah 3:15: "Again you will plant vineyards upon the hills of Samaria." As the young people planted their vines on the Samarian Hills, they gained a clearer understanding of the significance of Ariel, located in the center of Biblical Israel. The people of Ariel look forward to an ongoing warm relationship with the members of Faith Bible Chapel.
|Autumn 1996 Table of Contents|
|Message from the Mayor||A Word from our Chairman|
|Ariel "Adopted" by Bible Believers||Discrimination Continues|
|Faithful Friends||Ariel Ambassadors in America|
|Ariel's 18th Birthday||About Town|
|Ariel Residents Speak Out||Editor's Note|
|Front Cover||Back Cover|