Song of Praise and Prayer for Jerusalem –
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’
Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem. (Psalm 122:1-2)
Resolution A171 – General Synod, July 2013, Ottawa
Be it resolved that this General Synod:
Invite Anglicans in Canada each year:
i. To observe the Seventh Sunday of Easter, commonly known as the Sunday after Ascension Day, as Jerusalem Sunday;
ii. On that day give special attention to the work of the Anglican Church in the land of our Lord’s birth, death and resurrection, and;
iii. On that day take up a special financial offering as a gift to the Diocese of Jerusalem.
EXPLANATORY NOTE/BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Anglican Church of Canada and the Diocese of Jerusalem have been companions in mission for many years – a relationship strengthened by prayer and learning about the life and witness of the diocese in Jerusalem, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. This resolution is intended to celebrate the ‘living stones’ of the Diocese of Jerusalem – Arab Christians and others serving in ministries of hospitality, education, health care, and reconciliation. This resolution is also intended to encourage local Canadian parishes and individuals to consider a special gift to the ministries of the Diocese of Jerusalem.
Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her… As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 66:11,13)
The Rt. Rev’d Bishop Suheil Salman Dawani was consecrated as Bishop Coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem in January, 2006, and he was installed as Diocesan and the 14th Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem on April 15, 2007. He was born in Nablus, West Bank in 1951 and is married to Shafeeqa Fu’ad Massad; they have three daughters, Sama, Tala, and Luban.
Here is a letter from Bishop Suheil to our ++Fred:
As Diocesan Bishop, Bishop Dawani is the Chief Pastor of the 27 parishes spread through the five political regions of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. As Bishop, he is also Chairman of the Board of each of more than thirty institutions of education and healthcare spread throughout the five countries of the Diocese, including Gaza.
The diocesan schools, hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation and vocational training centers provide the best possible services while reaching out to assist those who cannot afford to pay for services and strengthening the Christian presence in this region. In a multicultural, multi-faith, multi-ethnic diocese spread across five countries, Bishop Suheil is a strong advocate for peace and reconciliation. A significant member of many ecumenical and interfaith organizations, he works with the Archbishop of Canterbury on Anglican and interfaith issues. One of the thirteen recognized Heads of Churches in Israel, Bishop Dawani faithfully encourages leaders of the Churches to make every effort to strengthen the Christian presence as a moderate and mediating Body in a region torn by anxiety and unrest.
The Diocese of Jerusalem is one of four dioceses of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East. The diocese is home to almost thirty parishes, 30 priests and more than 7,000 church members in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria. Healthcare and education ministries are active and growing with the provision of hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centres and schools. A diocesan Peace and Reconciliation department works to strengthen interfaith dialogue, and Kids4Peace educates the next generation about acceptance and respect of difference and diversity. St. George the Martyr Cathedral (below), Jerusalem is well known for its ministry to pilgrims and visitors.
Saint George’s College, situated in the grounds of the Anglican Cathedral, provides year-round courses combining academic study, spirituality and travel. It is a place of pilgrimage, hospitality and community. Here people have transforming faith experiences through prayer, reflection and discovery. The College is an institution of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, and welcomes Pilgrims to the Diocese from all over the world to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and to meet the “Living Stones” in the Church today.
The history of the Anglican Church in Jerusalem goes back to 1841. Political developments in the region have long effected the organization and ministry of the diocese. Today, The Rt. Rev. Suheil Dawani , 14th Anglican and 4th Palestinian Bishop, emphasizes the critical role of Anglicans everywhere in ministries of peace and reconciliation. In referring to the importance of the city of Jerusalem, Bishop Suheil emphasizes it is his duty, and that of all Christians, to make Jerusalem a model for peace between the three Abrahamic faiths. “It is our task to give hope to the hopeless. In our daily lives may we be guided by the star of God’s love.”