ASSISTANCE FOR THOSE IN THE HOLY LAND —
Please take time to read this appeal from Episcopal Maryland bishops to take loving action toward humanitarian aid assistance in the Holy Land —
Specifically in this regard, the bishops are urging us to support, as we are able, the work of the the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and to join them in supporting the compassionate ministry of the Ahli Hospital in the Gaza strip.
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A MESSAGE FROM BISHOPS EUGENE TAYLOR SUTTON
AND CARRIE SCHOFIELD-BROADBENT
A Message on the Violence in the Holy Land
October 12, 2023
All of us are horrified by the recent violence in Israel, Gaza, and other affected areas. The brutality visited upon civilian populations in those lands is unconscionable; the images of children and elderly people being kidnapped, abused, and killed are seared in our minds. Our hearts are heavy with lamentation over what is happening in the Holy Land – a land that the three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam hold so dear.
This is a raw time of heightened emotions – horror, rage, and sadness – and we can feel helpless at times. There are, however, three practices that we encourage you to undertake immediately. We sincerely believe that doing these things will make a meaningful and positive impact on those affected by the recent escalation of violence in that part of the world.
First, we urge you to pray. Pray with the psalmist for the peace of Jerusalem and the Holy Land (Ps. 122:6). Pray for the safe return of people kidnapped in Israel. Pray for the victims of missiles and bombs in both Israel and Gaza. Pray for the healing of all those wounded and traumatized. Pray for those leaders who must make difficult decisions swiftly, with limited information. Pray for the people and organizations that work for peace, justice, and reconciliation in the Land of the Holy One.
Remember to pray for our Anglican brothers and sisters in the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East, and for its Archbishop, the Most Rev. Hosam Naoum. In times of intense conflict like these our siblings in Christ in the Middle East, who are very much a minority in all the countries they live in, suffer alongside their neighbors. Pray that God preserves these “living stones” who bear witness to justice and peace in that land. Pray especially for the staff and patients of Ahli Hospital in Gaza, one of the diocese’s several ministries of mercy and compassion for all people.
Second, we urge you to reach out to neighbors who have family and friends in Israel and Palestine. We are also committed to reaching out and strengthening our interfaith relationships, both here in Maryland and beyond. Ask after people your neighbors care about, offer to pray for them by name, and listen compassionately to their concerns—all of these are things that good and faithful friends do. We cannot let the differing perspectives we have on the broader political issues prevent us from offering genuine friendship to all of our neighbors, both Jewish and Muslim.
Third, we urge you to financially support as you are able the work of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. This can be done most effectively through humanitarian aid donations to the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem https://afedj.org/give/give-online/. We have made a special gift to support the compassionate ministry of the Ahli Hospital in the Gaza strip, and we encourage you to join us in doing so.
It is likely that people in the Holy Land will continue to suffer tremendously in the days and weeks to come. We commend them to God’s mercy, and fervently pray for God’s peace to prevail.
Blessings and peace,
The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton
The Right Rev. Carrie Schofield-Broadbent