The challenges of mission amid the war that has erupted between Hamas in Gaza and the state of Israel will be the focus of the Nov. 16 Mission Thursday sponsored by the Global Episcopal Mission Network (GEMN).
Mission Thursday will be held at 1 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 16 on Zoom. Register here at Eventbrite for the free, one-hour webinar.
Mission in Israel, Palestine and Gaza has been especially difficult amid the war that began Oct. 7 with the Hamas attack that killed more than 1,400 people in Israel, according to Israel. As of Oct. 24, Israeli air strikes on Gaza had killed about 6,000 people, including several thousand children, according to Hamas.
Many will have seen the report of the blast at Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City on Oct. 17, pictured above. Owned and operated by the Diocese of Jerusalem, Ahli Arab is the only Christian hospital in Gaza. It cares for the poorest of the poor and is supported by the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ).
Presenting on Nov. 16 will be two representatives of AFEDJ, which was founded in 1988 at the time of the first Intifada. A nonpolitical and nonsectarian nonprofit organization, AFEDJ raises financial support for schools, hospitals, and centers for children with disabilities in Palestine – including Gaza – Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon. “Our mission is to transform lives of vulnerable and displaced people in the region,” AFEDJ says.
Ms. Diana Branton will speak as communications director for AFEDJ. 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 Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem that bring hope and healing in that volatile part of the world. Joining Branton will be the Rev. Canon Nicholas Porter, an EFEDJ trustee, former priest of the Diocese of Jerusalem, and founding director of Jerusalem Peacebuilders.
Branton and Porter 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. The webinar will include time for Q&A and discussion.
The purpose of GEMN is to gather, inspire and equip people to participate in God’s global mission. Its core values are humility, inclusion and companionship. The network includes dioceses, mission organizations, congregations, seminaries, religious orders and individuals.