Photo Credit: Diocese of Jerusalem
[ENS, by Mary Frances Schjonberg] The presiding Bishop of the US-based Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, has been installed as a canon of St George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem, during a Palm Sunday Evensong yesterday (Sunday, 25 March). The Archbishop in Jerusalem, Suheil Dawani, said that he prayed that the honour would help the Presiding Bishop carry “this cathedral and the people of this land in your heart throughout your ministry.”
The Very Revd Hosam Naoum, Dean of St George’s, told Episcopal News Service that it is “intrinsic and essential” to have the Episcopal Church represented in the cathedral as an episcopal canon. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, as well as the leaders of Anglican Communion provinces in each continent, also hold such status. Presiding Bishops Ed Browning, Frank Griswold and Katharine Jefferts Schori also held the position during their tenures.
“The cathedral here becomes a sign for unity in the Anglican Communion, despite all the difference we have,” Naoum said. “That is the message that comes out from Jerusalem to the whole worldwide church.”
The canons are expected to pray for the cathedral and the diocese’s ministry as a way to “strengthen and deepen” the existing relationships. “It also becomes a mutual relationship where we will also be supportive of your ministry” in the Episcopal Church, the dean said.
Those relationships “become a beacon of how for the whole world when the church is united as a community and as a family of Christ,” he said.
Such unified Christian communities are becoming more and more important, the archbishop said. During his sermon, Dawani said Jerusalem’s traditional Palm Sunday procession up and down the Mount of Olives includes Christians of every denomination and expression. More than 20,000 pilgrims walk together, “reminding us that in this land the Christians speak with one voice; this is a voice that must speak in a way that speaks the truth of Christ, sometimes even in the face of great forces.”
Those who would be what Dawani called “Christ’s prophets in the world” must know that, especially in the Middle East, communities and people are suffering because others “do not respond in love, but in hate.”
- This article is an edited extract of a larger article by Mary Frances Schjonberg for the Episcopal News Service detailing the start of an official visit by Bishop Michael curry to the Diocese of Jerusalem, which includes Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.
Click here for the full original article and detailed coverage of Bishop Curry’s visit throughout this week.