The Good Friday Offering: 2012-2022
The 10th decade concludes our series on the history of the Good Friday Offering. For 100 years, The Episcopal Church has been a faithful partner with the Churches in the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East in supporting the work and ministry in that place. The Good Friday Offering supports pastoral care, education, and health care efforts by our brothers and sisters, our siblings in Jerusalem and the Middle East.
The General Convention in 2012, meeting in Indianapolis, resolved, “That the work of the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Good Friday Offering be commended to all Episcopalians as faithful vehicles for providing economic and other support to the Diocese of Jerusalem and its institutions.”
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, elected in 2015, has been and continues to be an ardent supporter of this work. In 2016, he wrote, “Our journey as Episcopalians also includes remembering our sister and brother Christians in the Holy Land who maintain the faith which we hold so dear. The political, social, and spiritual challenges are well known. Their witness is an inspiration.”
“Love is at the foundation of the Good Friday Offering of our Church which provides an opportunity for every parish throughout our Church to be connected with the ministry of love and compassion carried out by our Anglican sisters and brothers throughout the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East,” Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry wrote to the bishops and clergy of The Episcopal Church. “Love is at the heart of the meaning of the cross. Love is at the heart of the life Christ calls us to live. Love is at the heart of the movement Jesus began and which we live in our own time.”
During much of this past decade, the amount raised each year was in the range of $300,000 – $320,000 – astounding sums, given the humble beginnings of this amazing ministry. In the past two years, given the difficulties of COVID and its restrictions, our gifts have been substantially reduced, while needs on the ground have continued to increase. As we celebrate the centennial of the Good Friday Offering, our hope is that a spirit of generosity and sharing may enable our support of some continuing and new and vibrant ministry in the Middle East.
As Bishop Curry said so well last year, “This prior era a century ago reminds us that ours is not the only time in which forces beyond our control affect the lives of God’s people. We are all aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected virtually every person on the planet in one way or another… I am sorely aware of the needs of our own families, churches and communities in this most difficult time. For those who are able to give, the Good Friday Offering is a reminder for our Anglican brothers and sisters in the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East that The Episcopal Church stands in solidarity with them in Jesus’ Name.”
Please join us in celebrating a century of gifts and rejoicing in 2,000 years of Good News. Give now at iam.ec/goodfridayoffering or text ‘GFO’ to 91999 (messaging and data rates apply). For more information, contact Archdeacon Paul Feheley, Episcopal Church Middle East partnership officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.