Registration continues for the Nov. 16 Mission Thursday webinar that will focus on “Mission Challenges amid the Israel-Hamas War.” Sponsored by the Global Episcopal Mission Network (GEMN), the webinar will be held at 1 p.m. Eastern on Zoom. Register here at Eventbrite for the free, one-hour event. All are welcome.
Mission in Israel, Palestine and Gaza has been especially difficult during the war that began Oct. 7 with the Hamas attack that killed more than 1,400 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to Israel. As of Nov. 10, Israeli air strikes on Gaza had killed about 10,000 people, according to Hamas.
Among many events capturing world attention was the blast at Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City on Oct. 17. Owned and operated by the Diocese of Jerusalem, Ahli Arab is the only Christian hospital in Gaza. It cares for the poor and is supported by the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ).
At the Nov. 16 Mission Thursday, Ms. Diana Branton, AFEDJ communications director, will discuss how AFEDJ is supporting the ministries and humanitarian outreach of Archbishop Hosam Naoum and the Diocese of Jerusalem, which includes Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. She also directs “Bearing Witness,” a free, video-based study program that shares the stories of people living in Palestine and Israel and the ministries of the diocese.
Joining Branton will be the Rev. Canon Nicholas Porter, AFEDJ trustee, former priest of the Diocese of Jerusalem, and founding director of Jerusalem Peacebuilders. The webinar will include time for questions and discussion.
Founded in 1988 during the first Intifada, AFEDJ is a nonpolitical and nonsectarian nonprofit organization that raises financial support for schools, hospitals and centers for children with disabilities in Palestine – including Gaza – Israel, Jordan and Lebanon. Its mission is “to transform lives of vulnerable and displaced people in the region.”
In related news:
• The United Thank Offering, in partnership with the Good Friday Offering, announced on Nov. 2 that it will match up to $100,000 of donations given through Dec. 15 to help sustain outreach ministries in the Diocese of Jerusalem.
• Presiding Bishop Michael Curry issued a statement on Nov. 7 decrying the reported killing of 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza so far by the Israeli military in response to Hamas’s massacre of Israelis. Curry called for an end to all killing in the region and acknowledged the conflict’s complexities.
• The Office of Global Partnerships devoted its monthly Networking Call to the crisis on Nov. 1. Speakers included Chuck Robertson, the Presiding Bishop’s canon for ministry outside the Episcopal Church; Paul Feheley, regional partnership officer for the Middle East; Lynnaia Main, the church’s representative to the United Nations; missionaries Katie Kirk and Max Sklar; and Fadi Diab, rector of St. Andrew’s Church in Ramallah on the West Bank.
Pictured above: Class in the Arab Episcopal School in Jordan supported by the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. (Photo by AFEDJ board member Judy Quick of the Diocese of Alabama)