Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem–August newsletter
Greetings from the Holy City of Jerusalem!
The latter part of August was busy meeting with the various school boards in preparation for the beginning of another school year. While there is a considerable amount of work involved to ensure that everything is ready to provide our students with a solid academic programme, these meetings have an element of excitement and satisfaction as we prepare to receive these young people and fulfill the sacred trust placed in us to educate them so they can lead happy, meaningful and productive lives. I extend to all the dedicated staff of our schools my prayers and best wishes for a fulfilling school year and to all our students a truly joyous year of learning and personal development.
I am very grateful to the clergy of the Diocese for the important ministry they provide to our young people through the year, but also during the summer holidays. Many young people attended camps during the recent weeks and received important Christian formation in fun-filled ways. Helping Christian youth to continue to mature in their faith and to live out their baptism by taking their rightful place in church and in society is a truly precious gift to impart to them.
Unfortunately, the summer has also included many challenging days. Egypt continues to experience social upheaval and many people have died in recent demonstrations. Egyptian Christians have been threatened and killed and many churches have been damaged. Likewise, the situation in Syria remains violent and there is the alarming possibility of intervention that could lead to widespread conflict in the region. As indigenous Christians of the Holy Land and the Middle East, our voice is united and our message is clear – we want peace, we pray for peace, we serve peace. At a recent gathering of more than 650 Christian pilgrims in the Bishop’s Peace Garden, we were an assembly of more than 50 countries and 20 Christian denominations united in our prayer for peace.
Finally, we were blessed to have the engagement of Salim Dawani, a young deacon, to Adma Shehadeh, a wonderful woman, who together will share much happiness and contribute significantly to the parishes they will have the joy of serving. As well, there have been many occasions to share meals with family and friends under the summer sky and to give thanks to God for His presence in our Lives.
Amidst all the challenges of life, we move forward in faith, hope, peace, and love.
Greetings and Peace in the Name of our Risen and Ascended Lord Jesus Christ!
The Rt. Rev. Suheil Dawani
Episcopal Bishop of Jerusalem