The Rev. Todd McDowell traveled to the Holy Land with a group of pilgrims from Grace Church for two weeks in February. Fr. Todd remained in Jerusalem on sabbatical for an additional four weeks. This is his second in a series of reflections from his trip.

One of the great joys in my six weeks in the Holy Land was to learn of and see first-hand the ministry of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East. These Christians and their ancestors have been witnesses to the Gospel in this land since the first Pentecost. The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East has more than 30 institutions which provide hospitals, rehab clinics and schools throughout the Palestinian Territory, Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.

Their schools provide some of the finest education available. Bishop Suheil of the Diocese of Jerusalem is convinced that it will be through great education that tomorrow’s peacemakers will be formed. Hospitals provide care for those in need regardless of religion or ability to pay. Our church is doing incredible ministry in a land of great conflict.

Our pilgrims visited St. Philip’s in Nablus, where the local Episcopal Church currently provides a kindergarten which they hope to expand to a full elementary school. Each morning I heard from my window the students at St. George’s School in Jerusalem, where Palestinian children, both Christian and Muslim, receive an education of the highest standards.

I am very excited to report that our Easter Offering for the Diocese of Jerusalem has reached nearly $4,000, which will be shared with these ministries. Thank you for your generosity. I am hopeful that we at Grace can
establish a close link with our sisters and brothers in the Middle East, and that in the future we may be able to
visit their ministries and work together for peace in the Land of the Holy One.

In Christ’s love,

Todd +

 

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