Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop writes to congregations about Good Friday offering for Jerusalem and Middle East
“In spite of the challenges, the strength and vitality of the witness of indigenous Christians throughout the Middle East is inspiring,” 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 Good Friday Offering provides essential funding to strengthen the visibility of the Christian presence throughout the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East,” the Presiding Bishop writes. “That funding is critical to the ongoing ministry of both institutions, as well as others in the region.”
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.
Information and resources for the Good Friday Offering are available at www.episcopalchurch.org/goodfridayoffering
For more information contact the Rev. Canon Robert Edmunds, Episcopal Church Middle East Partnership Officer.
The following is the Presiding Bishop’s letter:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I have just returned from a Christmas season visit to Bethlehem and Jerusalem at the invitation of the Rt. Rev. Suheil Dawani, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. The joy and wonder of the holy season continue to resonate within me even as we know that the peace for which we all pray has yet to become reality in the very same lands where our Lord was born.
In spite of the challenges, the strength and vitality of the witness of indigenous Christians throughout the Middle East is inspiring. To pray with and among people for the healing of body and soul as well as for the healing of relationships between peoples divided by history and pain brings us all to the greatest hope we share – that a healing and reconciling witness to God’s presence and reign will bring about a durable and lasting peace for all of God’s children. That is the foundation for a new heaven and a new earth.
The Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza has endured violence, lack of supplies, inadequate equipment, and funding reductions amid enormous and expanding demand for its services. This hospital, owned and operated by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, is a beacon of hope and healing. The Ras Morbat Clinic, part of Christ Church in Aden and sponsored by the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, is another outpost of compassion in the name of Christ for all who need treatment.
The Good Friday Offering provides essential funding to strengthen the visibility of the Christian presence throughout the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. That funding is critical to the ongoing ministry of both institutions, as well as others in the region.
Bishop Dawani has said, “The Good Friday Offering is a tangible witness of our partnership with our brothers and sisters in the Episcopal Church. As our Lord’s sacrifice on the cross inspires us to live a life of selflessness, the Good Friday Offering is an example of Easter morning where new life is found. We are grateful for the support of this offering that assists us in maintaining the Christian presence in the Land of the Holy One through diocesan ministries promoting peace and reconciliation, health care, education and compassion for all of God’s children.”
I encourage you and your congregation to join me in supporting our sister and brother Anglicans throughout the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East through the Good Friday Offering. Our support for these ministries will encourage hope for the future, and light the way through dark times. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. John 1:5
Your servant in Christ,
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
The Episcopal Church
Good Friday Offering resources