The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East operates through dozens of parishes, numerous schools and institutes of learning for children K-12 and adults, and several clinics, hospitals and rehabilitation centers. The school and medical facilities serve Muslims, Christians and people of all faiths throughout Palestine and the Occupied Territories of the West Bank and Gaza, Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
The diocese began a companion relationships with the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East in 2009. The Companion Diocese Committee is charged with implementing the agreement and working on the challenges faced by the Diocese of Jerusalem in the areas of awareness, assistance and advocacy.
Tom Johnson chairs the committee. Parishioners from Holy Trinity Bowie, St. John's Lafayette Square, St. Paul's K Street, St. Mark's Capitol Hill, St. Columba's, St. Anne's Damascus, Redeemer, St. Augustine's, the cathedral Congregation and other parishes actively serve on the committee and provide leadership and support in our various activities. Contact the group at email@example.com to volunteer or request their newsletter.
Many members of the diocese have made pilgrimages to the Holy Land. The committee sponsors some pilgrimage opportunities and recommends others. Contact the commitee for more information.
Promoting a Just Peace in the Holy Land
Since September 2012, the committee has offered parishes a 45-60 minute program, Promoting a Just Peace in the Holy Land.
The principal component of the program is a 30-35 minute slide and video presentation. Recently updated, the presentation was given during a workshop at the 2014 Diocesan Convention. Using photographs, maps, and video excerpts, it covers the following topics:
- Introduction to the companion relationship between the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (EDOJ) and the Episcopal Diocese of Washington (EDOW)
- Role of the Companion Diocese Committee for Jerusalem
- Overview of the EDOJ: The five countries it serves and the role of its parishes, schools, health facilities, and other institutions in stabilizing communities and promoting peace
- The context within which the EDOJ works in the Holy Land: the conflicting Israeli and Palestinian narratives about rights to the land
- The changing location of populations and boundaries since the First World War
- Impact that Israel’s expanding settlements and its military occupation of the West Bank have on the lives of Palestinian Christians and Muslims
- Efforts by Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Holy Land to promote reconciliation, justice, and peace
- What Episcopalians can do: suggestions for individuals and congregations
All participants receive two handouts prepared by the Committee: a resource list of recommended books, films, and web sites and a list of suggested next steps.
Copies of "Steadfast Hope" are also available for $5.00. Steadfast Hope is a 48-page booklet and companion DVD originally published in 2009 by the Presbyterian Church USA. It was updated in 2011 by the Episcopal Peace Fellowship. The 2012 Diocesan Convention recommended it for use by individuals and congregations.
If you have questions about the Committee’s presentation or would like to discuss scheduling it for your congregation, please contact the education team at firstname.lastname@example.org.