Editor’s note: Since 1922, Episcopalians have supported the ministries of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East through the annual Good Friday Offering. The Episcopal Church's Office of Anglican and Global Relations announces the availability of Good Friday Offering materials for parishes to use to spread the word about this important appeal.
In his annual Epiphany letter, Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold has asked that Episcopalians continue to pray for their sisters and brothers in the Holy Land and to support the Good Friday Offering as an opportunity to demonstrate solidarity with Anglicans and all Christians in that troubled region of the world. For the past 84 years the Episcopal Church has taken up a Good Friday Offering to be sent to the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, symbolizing unity with and passionate concern for those who witness to Christ throughout that region.
The Province of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East covers an enormous area: the whole southern Mediterranean coast from Algeria to Lebanon and Syria, and down to the Persian Gulf and the Horn of Africa. Yet it is one of the smaller Provinces of the Anglican Communion in membership. Outside of the Holy City the countryside is overwhelmingly Islamic and Jewish, and even in Jerusalem the dominant Christian traditions are Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian Apostolic.
However, Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal maintains a visible Anglican presence in the Diocese of Jerusalem — which includes Israel, the Palestine National Authority, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon — and his sister dioceses of Egypt and North Africa, Cyprus and the Gulf, and Iran are equally involved with numerous ministries throughout the region.
Support received through the Good Friday Offering translates into operating hospitals, schools, orphanages and many other programs, accomplished for the benefit of all people in the province, Christian, Jewish and Muslim alike.
The witness of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East is highlighted in the special Good Friday Offering materials available from Episcopal Books and Resource Center; these materials include a bulletin shell, offering envelopes and a poster. A form to order the 2006 offering materials, which include a poster, a bulletin shell, and offering envelopes, accompanied the Epiphany letter. The bulletin shell and the poster are also available online at http://www.episcopalchurch.org/agr/
Good Friday Offering materials are also available through Episcopal Books and Resource Center by calling 800.903.5544.