Every year, The ELCIC joins with the Anglican Church in Canada in lifting up the seventh Sunday of Easter as "Jerusalem and the Holy Land Sunday". It is an opportunity for Anglicans and Lutherans in Canada to learn more about and support God’s mission in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan & the Holy Land (ELCJHL) and the Diocese of Jerusalem.
This year, Bishop Ibrahim Azar of the ELCJHL has prepared a video message for this occasion which you can view above. In it he highlights two priorities of the ELCJHL - lifting up the ministry of women in the church and environmental stewardship. These ministries are primarily carried out through the work of the Women's Desk headed by Ranan Issa, and the Environmental Education Centre (EEC).
The Women's Desk holds conferences and events on gender justice open to the wider community. In addition, two women from the Church sit on the region's ecclesiastical courts which hear cases on marriage, divorce and child custody. The Church will also make history later this year by ordaining the first Palestinian woman. The Church's EEC facilitates environmental education for a dozen schools in the region. Each of the four schools operated by ELCJHL have environemntal clubs and two of the schools are installing solar panels later this year.
As we pray for our besieged church partners, carrying out their work in occupied territories or in areas designated as war zones we are reminded that "the prayers of the faithful are to be expressed in action and holy work." Therefore, on this Sunday, we are also invited to make an offering in support of Augusta Victoria Hospital, located in the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem. Most of the patients served by Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) continue to be in social need and seeking life-saving specialized care. On a daily basis, these specialty services touch countless lives, both young and old, from communities across the Palestinian territories. In light of the escalating violence, AVH has expanded its Triage Unit into a Temporary Emergency Set-up to help receive and treat injured individuals.
You can make a donation to the Augusta Victoria Hospital by marking your cheque or e-transfer to Gloria Dei - "CLWR - Augusta Victoria Hospital."