The Episcopal Church has been a partner of our Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories since 1922 through the Good Friday offering. We have supported the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, its parishes and institutions, with our prayers, our presence, and our treasure. Palestinian Christians have supported and inspired us with their faithfulness through years of terrible conflict and oppression. Their faith is aptly described by the Arabic word, sumoud, meaning steadfastness. Victims of a continuing injustice, they are anything but victims. Living under such adverse conditions, Palestinian Christians and Muslims teach us about faith, hope, love, forgiveness, and courage. And when we visit them, their hospitality is genuine, warm and abundant.
The Palestine/Israel Network supports and encourages these partnerships for many reasons. We hope our partnership may help stem the flow of Christians from the Holy Land. We know we are enlarged by our relationship with them. Most of all, because, as our friend Fr. Fadi Diab reminds us, “We are family.”
There are many avenues for this partnership. The American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ) has, since 1989, channeled millions of dollars to parishes, schools and medical institutions important to the Palestinian people, Christian and Muslim alike.
American Episcopal dioceses have established partnerships with the Diocese of Jerusalem, nurturing the health of both. Parishes partner with parishes in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. We list these on an adjoining page and encourage PIN members to use these and other partnerships to connect with these “living stones”.
Finally, other denominations and churches have important partnerships with Palestinian Christians as well as our Episcopal Church. The Presbyterian Church, the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist and Lutheran (ELCA) churches are deeply committed to seeking justice and peace in that troubled land and supporting all Palestinians, Christian, Muslim and secular. Whenever possible, we will collaborate with our fellow Christians – Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox – to enlarge our mission and enhance our connection with the Palestinian people.