Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop writes to congregations about Good Friday offering for Jerusalem and Middle East
“The Episcopal Church has been in partnership with the Diocese of Jerusalem for a very long time,” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori writes in the annual Good Friday letter to all congregations asking them to consider assistance for Jerusalem and the Middle East.
“The offering we collect on Good Friday carries on the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, through support for the many ministries of healing, feeding, and teaching among the dioceses of the Province,” the Presiding Bishop writes.
Funds collected from the Good Friday Offering are gathered and distributed to the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East which includes the Dioceses of Jerusalem and Cyprus and the Gulf, all members of the Anglican Communion.
“May our offering this year strengthen the bonds among all God’s people, and bless each one with concrete and eternal signs of more abundant life,” she concludes.
Information and resources for the Good Friday Offering are available here
For more information contact the Rev. Canon Robert Edmunds, Episcopal Church Middle East Partnership Officer.
The following is the Presiding Bishop’s letter:
My brothers and sisters in Christ:
The Episcopal Church has been in partnership with the Diocese of Jerusalem for a very long time. Since 1922, we have taken an offering in our churches on Good Friday to support the work of the gospel in the Land of the Holy One. That Land is still the place of deep division and conflict, more than 2000 years after the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. He and his earthly family suffered under threat of oppressive regimes, fled as refugees to another land, labored to supply their bodily needs in the face of dire economic realities, and he himself was executed as an enemy of the state. All of those realities are present today in the Anglican/Episcopal Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.
The offering we collect on Good Friday carries on the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, through support for the many ministries of healing, feeding, and teaching among the dioceses of the Province. Refugees are cared for, the sick and injured are healed, the dead are buried, children educated, women empowered by these ministries – and all are welcomed with open arms, like Abraham and Sarah’s guests. Jesus cared for all in need, without regard for nationality or creed, and these ministries do the same. It is the work of shalom and salaam, building peace in the hearts of suffering individuals and communities.
I urge you to learn more, to pray for the people of the Land of the Holy One, and to give generously this year. I would encourage us all to use the fast of Lent to focus on the hunger (both spiritual and physical) of these peoples, and contribute out of our abundance and our poverty.
May our offering this year strengthen the bonds among all God’s people, and bless each one with concrete and eternal signs of more abundant life.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church