NEWS

Jerusalem Sunday, May 24, 2020

Introduction to Jerusalem Sunday, May 24, 2020
(and PWRDF partner the Diocese of Jerusalem)

Jerusalem Sunday invites particular attention and prayer for one of the principal global partnerships of our Anglican Church of Canada; the people, churches and ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East. Who are they? They are a remnant community spread thinly across the Middle East and Jerusalem. They are part of a Christian minority in these lands. They face complex contextual challenges affecting every aspect of their lives. Even though millions of Christian pilgrims, for instance, visit the land of the Holy One in hopes of walking on the stones where Jesus walked, those Christian pilgrims rarely pause to notice, or worship with, or learn about the “living stones” of the local Christian community.

The Anglican Church of Canada has had a long and meaningful relationship with the Anglican (Episcopal) Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East. They are a diocese of some 7000 members formed into 30 parishes who worship in the name of Jesus and serve faithfully in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. They oversee an enormous outreach ministry of some 30 institutions, employing more than 5000 people providing education, vocational training, medical care in hospitals and clinics, rehabilitation for the hearing impaired, care for children with disabilities, and residential support to the elderly. They are a vibrant faithful community offering a bold witness to the compassionate love of God in action. They need to know that they are not forgotten, not ignored, but recognized and valued as part of our oneness in Christ.

So today we will pray for them.

The Diocese of Jerusalem is a partner with the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. The principle focus for PWRDF in the region has been the support of the Diocese of Jerusalem’s work with the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, occupied and frequently violence-ridden territory.  In May of 2019, PWRDF Huron was gifted with a special bequest of $109.000., which was subsequently passed along to support the purchase of special urology equipment for the Al Ahli Arab Hospital. Thanks to this recent gift, the special urology equipment will be used to treat kidney stones, an increasing problem among the general population, and especially children. Because of contaminated aquifers in Gaza (either by encroaching water from the Mediterranean Sea or other chemicals and minerals), 96% of the water is not safe for drinking. Those who cannot afford to purchase bottled water continue to use the unsafe sources, causing kidney stones as well as a variety of water-borne illnesses. In the summer, as people grow more dehydrated, the problem of kidney stones intensifies. With the arrival of the new urology equipment this month, Al-Ahli Arab Hospital will finally have a way of eliminating kidney stones, and easing the suffering of many Gazans. A reflection by the Rev. Andreas Thiel, a committee member of PWRDF Huron who recently visited the partner, may be found at https://pwrdf.org/from-huron-to-gaza-pwrdf-supports-health-care-access/

Motivated by this gift, PWRDF Huron in 2020 hopes to strengthen the support in the Diocese of Huron for the Diocese of Jerusalem and the work of PWRDF in the area. PWRDF Huron invites parishes of the Diocese to observe “Jerusalem Sunday” and to make PWRDF offering envelopes available for gifts designated for this work.  Simply indicate “for Jerusalem” in the information line of cheques or envelopes.

A motion of General Synod 2013 designated Easter 7 (Sunday After Ascension) as Jerusalem Sunday and worship resources have been made available at www.anglican.ca

Some of these resources from 2019 are attached for use. This is a collection, so the expectation is that you will pick and choose for your context and not use them all.  Closer to May, it is likely that 2020 resources will be posted as well.

In 2020, Jerusalem Sunday will be May 24.  As this is also the date for the opening service of Huron Diocesan Synod, offerings collected could be brought by synod delegates and included in the offering at the service.

As Canadian Christians we can learn from a partner like the Diocese of Jerusalem about the complex and long-term effects of populations being uprooted from the land by political events and agendas and particularly, in this most recent instance, of the impact of lack of access to clean water on the health of all people, especially the most vulnerable.  This partnership may help to strengthen our own domestic resolve for education, advocacy and action.  PWRDF Huron encourages also the inclusion of prayers for the ongoing work of reconciliation and new and just relationship with the Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) of Canada.

Prayers of The People:

PRAYER FOR JERUSALEM SUNDAY (Written by the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz)

O God, we give thanks that your dear Son has gathered us in the embrace of his redeeming love and sent us to make that love known to the ends of the earth.

We pray your continued blessings on the steadfast witness of the Church in Jerusalem and throughout the Middle East.

Give your deep joy to those who welcome the pilgrims seeking to know this land and its many peoples.

Grace those who proclaim the Gospel.

Guide all who teach a new generation of young people.

Draw near to those who are sick and bless those who tend them.

Sustain the hope in all who long and labour for a just and lasting peace in the land of The Holy One.

And may the companions of Jerusalem be many and faithful.

We pray in the name of our merciful Saviour, Friend, and Brother, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Litany A

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: may they prosper who love you! (Psalm 122.6)

Let us pray to God, the Holy Spirit, saying;

Come, Holy Spirit, Come

Come, Holy Spirit: hear us as we pray for the Church here and everywhere. For our Bishops and leaders, for our Clergy and teachers, for the Anglican Communion around the world and, particularly today, for the church in Jerusalem, for the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and The Holy land, that all may proclaim your word of peace and reconciliation.

 Come, Holy Spirit, Come

Come, Holy Spirit: hear us as we pray for justice and peace on earth. For leaders of this country of Canada and for leaders of all nations, particularly remembering today Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. May peace and harmony abundantly bless these achingly beautiful and historic places of your Creation, O God.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come

Come, Holy Spirit: hear us as we pray for the holy city of Jerusalem. Bring to those who lead Jewish, Muslim, and Christian communities a spirit of cooperation and collaboration as this ancient and blessed city continues to be ‘holy’ for us all.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come

Come, Holy Spirit, be with all those in need. We pray for victims of war and violence, for refugees and prisoners, for all who are afflicted or oppressed, that they may be held in your healing power. We pray for those who have died . . . that they may live eternally in God’s presence, and for those who mourn, that they may be comforted.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come

(add other local biddings)

Into your hands, O God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through Jesus Christ our risen and ascended Lord. Amen.

Litany B

In thanksgiving, let us offer our prayers to the source of all love and life, saying, “We give you thanks, O Lord God.”

For the Anglican Church of Canada and the Anglican Communion of which we are a part, for the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, for their faithful witness in a difficult time and for their commitment to peace and reconciliation, and today, for the ministries of women as mothers and family caregivers, teachers, physicians, nurses and health practitioners, researchers, administrators, organizers and more.

We give you thanks, O Lord God.

For the ministries of the Diocese of Jerusalem, for institutions of education and healing, for ministries of witness and reconciliation, of the work of peace-making and service to those in need,

We give you thanks, O Lord God.

For the beauty of the land of the Holy One, for the generous hospitality of the Christian community, for opportunities to share our stories and walk together on our pilgrim journey,

We give you thanks, O Lord God.

For all the blessings of this life, for strength in adversity, for comfort in sorrow, for grace to serve,

We give you thanks, O Lord God.

For the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, in whose name we pray,

We give thanks, O Lord God. Amen.

A JERUSALEM PRAYER (From the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem for the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel 2011)

Almighty and Merciful God, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, you gathered the first Christians in Jerusalem. Grant that, like the first church of Jerusalem, we may come together, and with courage, we may preach and live the Word, and the good news of truth, reconciliation, and peace.

God Creator, Giver of Life, Bearer of Pain, Initiator of Love, you made the world and everything in it. You created the human race in your image and likeness, and gave us the earth for all to share. Break down the walls that separate us.

God of Justice, your generosity is without bounds. Guard us from selfishness; inspire us to be instruments of love, and witnesses of your mercy and justice. Help us to face challenges and to struggle against all that is born of injustice. Lead us to act together in places and situations of want and need: where families are driven from their homes, where the vulnerable suffer in the hands of the powerful, where poverty and unemployment destroy lives.

God of Hope, you continue to call us to work for Peace in our world, broken and wounded by injustice, violence, and indifference. Alone, we are overwhelmed by challenges but together, and inspired by your Spirit, we can prevail beyond dreams and imagination. In fear we lose hope, and feel the futility of our efforts. Instill in our hearts and minds the image of your suffering and compassionate love as a source of courage and strength.

God, Protector of the widow, the orphan and the stranger, in a world where many know despair, you raised your Son Jesus Christ to give hope for humanity and renewal to the earth. Strengthen and unify your Church against the forces of evil in this part of the world, where aggression of all forms, killings and the blood of martyrs shed even in places of worship, obscure the hope of a new life.

God of Peace and Mercy, inspire nations to transform oppression and violence into freedom and peace for the sake of the poor, the vulnerable and the broken-hearted. Help us to respect and promote the equality and dignity of all, particularly in your Holy Land. Grant discernment to leaders and legislators, that righteousness and truth may flourish among all peoples throughout the world.

Psalm Prayers from the BAS

Lord Jesus, give us the peace of the new Jerusalem. Bring all nations into your kingdom to share your gifts, that they may render thanks to you without end and may come to your eternal city, where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen. (Psalm 122)

Giver of life and source of all blessings, may the leaders of the nations serve your people with justice and protect them from violence, hardship, and exploitation. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our King. Amen.  (Psalm 21)

Shield and protector of all, hear the prayers of those who call upon you, and set them free from violence, persecution, and fear, that all may know that deliverance belongs to you. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.  (Psalm 3)

God of eternal light, open our eyes to the vision of your holy city coming down from heaven; make our hearts sensitive to your presence, and our wills eager to join in the comfort and healing your bring to all the world. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.  (Psalm 87)

God of pilgrims, strengthen our faith, we pray. Guide us through the uncertainties of our journey, and hold before us the vision of your eternal kingdom, made known to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Psalm 78)

A PRAYER BY GERALD BUTT written for St. George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem

O Lord soften the stone hearts
of those who preach and practice
intolerance and bigotry;
as the sun’s setting glow
softens the stone walls
of your holy city, Jerusalem.

Lord, the rocky hills, the valleys,
the deserts and the sea shores
are filled with the echoes of centuries of pain.
Lord, bring peace to house and village.
Comfort the mothers who fret
and those who mourn.
Lord, keep strong the twisted old root
of the olive tree,
and protect the young vine.

Lord of water and stone,
of bread and wine,
Lord of the resurrection,
feed hope, and bring peace,
to this wracked but beautiful Holy Land. Amen.  

Suggested Hymns:

From Common Praise:

  • CP 278 Jerusalem the Golden
  • CP 472 Let There Be Light
  • CP 575 Let Streams of Living Justice
  • CP 418 Draw The Circle Wide
  • CP 576 For the Healing of the Nations
  • CP 388 Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken (.. Zion city of our God..)
  • CP 596 O Holy City Seen of John
  • CP 157 Rise Up and Shine

From Evangelical Lutheran Worship:

  • 704  When Pain of the World Surrounds Us
  • 546  To Be Your Presence
  • 628  Jerusalem, My Happy Home

From other sources:

  • Sent By The Lord Am I (Iona Community, GIA Publications)
  • Lord, When You Came to the Seashore (Gather 781)
  • Christ, Be Our Light (Gather 590)
Resources:

Jerusalem Sunday PowerPoint Presentation

Parish Script for PWRDF 2020

Prepared by Rev. Canon Greg Smith