Photo Credit: Yoav Dothan / Wikimedia
Anglicans in Canada are being asked to pray for the peace of Jerusalem next month, on a date designated Jerusalem Sunday by the province. The Church’s General Synod passed a resolution at its 2013 meeting to “observe the Seventh Sunday of Easter, commonly known as the Sunday after Ascension Day, as Jerusalem Sunday.” The annual day has been welcomed by the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, Suheil Dawani, who described it as “a tremendous encouragement and further testimony to our oneness in the Body of Christ and our bond-of-affection as members of the Anglican Communion.”
This year, Jerusalem Sunday falls on 13 May; and Anglicans in Canada are being encouraged to “celebrate companionship in God’s mission with the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem in Jerusalem, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.” The Church of Canada’s website explains that the diocese in Jerusalem “is a historic and active member of the Christian, ecumenical and interfaith community of the Middle East. It is home to several thousand Arab Anglicans in thirty parishes and situated in one of the world’s holiest destinations for Christian, Jewish and Muslim pilgrims.”
In addition to praying, churches in the province are being invited to support the Princess Basma Centre, a rehabilitation centre for children with disabilities, and one of the healthcare ministries of the Diocese of Jerusalem.
“Regrettably, few religious tourists to the Holy Land today encounter Palestinian and other Arab Christians, or visit a parish church, school or hospital,” the Church says on its website. “Jerusalem Sunday introduces us to the ‘living stones’ of the local Anglican church, to the ancestors of the first Christian communities indigenous to the region. Jerusalem Sunday is an opportunity to meet Arab sisters and brothers in Christ in the Anglican Communion, and hear them talk about discipleship in the 21st century.”
Archbishop Suheil has recorded a prayer for Jerusalem, which churches are encouraged to use and show during their services.