By Marites N. Sison on April, 04 2014
Jerusalem Sunday will honour the mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.
On June 1, Canadian Anglicans will observe Jerusalem Sunday for the first time.
The new annual observance comes from General Synod’s 2013 resolution to set aside the seventh Sunday of Easter, commonly known as the Sunday after the Ascension, as a day to learn about the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. A special collection will also be requested for that diocese’s ministries in education, reconciliation, health care and hospitality.
“The Anglican Church of Canada and the Diocese of Jerusalem have been companions in mission for many years,” explained Andrea Mann, global relations director. “Jerusalem Sunday is intended to lift up this relationship and celebrate the ‘living stones’ of the diocese—Arab Christians and others serving in ministries of hospitality, education, health care and reconciliation in Jerusalem, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.”
Jerusalem Sunday is also important because “Jerusalem is a place of deep significance in the Christian story and in our Christian faith, historically and right up to today,” said Mann.
Many Canadian Anglicans visit Jerusalem; they listen about Jerusalem from Sunday to Sunday throughout the year, and others attend courses at the diocesan-run St. George’s College, Mann said. “There is already, and has been and will continue to be, a personal connection between Canadian Anglicans, between parishes, between dioceses and the [Diocese of] Jerusalem.”
But she noted that while the range and depth of connection are increasing, “we might as Canadian Anglicans visit Jerusalem, the Holy Land, on a tour and never encounter a Palestinian Christian, never visit the Diocese of Jerusalem knowingly…”
At the 2013 General Synod, the Canadian church also passed a resolution on peace and justice in Palestine and Israel, which commits Canadian Anglicans to educate themselves more deeply about the issue, to explore and challenge theories and beliefs such as Christian Zionism, anti-Semitism, theories denying the right of Israel to exist, Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiments.
Jerusalem Sunday observance offers a tangible expression of the Anglican church’s support for its companion relationship with the Diocese of Jerusalem, Mann added.