Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem–September newsletter
Greetings from the Diocese of Jerusalem!
September began with an invitation by King Abdullah and Prince Ghazi of Jordan to all the Heads of Churches in the Middle East, as well as religious leaders from various parts of the world, to join with His Majesty and Royal Highness in Amman for a two-day conference to discuss the ‘Challenges Facing Christian Arabs.’ This crucial and timely event gave opportunity both to name the challenges and to examine ways to effectively overcome them. Of paramount importance was the direct support His Majesty gives to ensure that Indigenous Christian presence in Jordan and throughout the Middle East not only survives but indeed thrives.
During this month, the drums of war seemed to beat louder than usual. The majority of people throughout the Middle East prayed that the impending military intervention into Syria would not come to past. Our prayers for peace were joined with men and women of goodwill from around the world and I am grateful to Almighty God that military intervention did not take place. As sons and daughters of the Middle East, we know in the most painful way that the outcome of such interventions brings only increased chaos and suffering for the whole region. Of course, we denounce the use of chemical weapons by any party, but violence simply breeds violence. The Land of the Holy One and the entire region cries out for peace with justice. We are grateful for the diplomatic efforts that have begun and pray that with their success will come greater peace and stability for Syria, the Middle East, and the whole world.
Finally, September brought several occasions to visit and be visited by friends. Accompanied by the Diocesan Medical Director, we were most warmly welcomed to the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church, held in Nashville, Tennessee. Presiding Bishop Katharine once again demonstrated her tremendous support for the witness and ministries of the Diocese of Jerusalem. Later, we were visited here in Jerusalem by our dear brother and friend, Bishop Jon Bruno of the Diocese of Los Angeles. We also welcomed many groups of pilgrims from the USA, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, and other parts of God’s world, who came to the Land of the Holy One to grow in faith and in their commitment to sharing the Good News of God in Jesus Christ. I am grateful to each of you!
Blessings and Peace,
+ Bishop Suheil Dawani
Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem