December 2020
Throughout this unsettled and unsettling year,
your steady support lifted our brothers and sisters
in the Holy Land
From the earliest impact of COVID-19 in the Middle East and the economic crisis that has crushed the livelihoods of families across the region, to the devastating explosion in Beirut in August, you have stepped up again and again to support the Diocese of Jerusalem’s Christian witness in the Holy Land.

We are deeply grateful for the support you have shown throughout the year, both your prayers and your generous gifts.

During a year when it would have been easier to dwell on our own problems and to forget about conflict and suffering far away, you have not forgotten the people of the Diocese of Jerusalem and those they serve. 

As Suhaila Tarazi, the director of Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza has said,

“Ahli Hospital is the church at work, the hands of Jesus in this desperate place. We are witnesses, to Jesus. We are the spirit of reconciliation responding to tragedy with love and compassion for the victims of division. I thank all of our American friends. Without your strong stand beside us, it would be difficult for us to continue. You give us the feeling that we are not alone in this ministry. That we are not forgotten.”

You have not forgotten, and we are honored to stand with you. In such a household of faith, our Lord is present, bringing his blessings of healing and love.

Best wishes for a blessed Advent and a merry Christmas.
Pay a daily visit to the Holy Land with our online Advent calendar
Yesterday we featured this sweet video clip of Holy Land Institute for the Deaf Director, Archdeacon Luay Haddad, playing hand-clapping games with eager students.
AFEDJ’s Holy Land Advent Calendar is already delighting hundreds of visitors with its daily glimpse into the lives of Holy Land Christians and the schools and hospitals of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. 

Start your day with a splash of joy by opening a door onto a photo or a brief video.

The doors stay open with each passing day, so it’s easy to catch up.

C'mon, check it out at 
Give a Christmas gift that helps families in the Holy Land through December 11
As you think about how to remember all of those people on your list who don’t need more stuff, consider an online donation that benefits families served by the remarkable ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. 

If you make your donation on or before Friday, December 11, we’ll send a personalized Christmas card to your recipient announcing your gift.

Gift donations may be directed to where the need is greatest or to a specific school, hospital, or center for children with disabilities. As always, AFEDJ ensures that 100 percent of your dedicated donation goes directly to the designated institution. 

Celebrate St. Nicholas of Myra on December 6 with this interactive painting
On the Second Sunday of Advent, celebrate St. Nicholas of Myra, the fourth century bishop in what is now Turkey. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships. 

Whether he wore a red cassock is still up for debate.
We do know that the St. Nicholas Center at Virginia Theological Seminary offers a beautiful interactive story painting with clickable vignettes from St. Nicholas' life and ministry. (Above is a portion of the interactive painting, Life and Miracles of Saint Nicholas, by Alexander Boguslawski.) 
Take part in the Bethlehem Christmas live-stream of Lessons and Carols
Saturday, December 19, at 10 a.m. (EST)
Join members of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania and Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem for the 14th annual simulcast service celebrating the birth of Jesus. The service will be broadcast from Bethlehem and, for the first time, from the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral.

Hymns, prayers, and readings will alternate in Arabic and English from each location, with Archbishop Suheil Dawani offering the homily. The simulcast service will connect Christians across the world. 

Ready for a walking tour of the Old City?
Make a donation to AFEDJ and receive a guide to the gates of Jerusalem
The Rev. Canon Don Binder, chaplain to Archbishop Suheil Dawani, has created a 30-page ebook called The Gates of Jerusalem and has graciously offered to send it to anyone who makes a donation to the ministries of the Diocese of Jerusalem before the end of the year.

The richly-illustrated walking guide to the Old City’s historic gates is fully printable and offers historical and biblical background on each gate along the way, as well as devotional material for each stop.

Canon Binder explained, “As you know, this has been an incredibly hard year for Christians and others living in the Holy Land, with the flow of pilgrims having been reduced to nearly zero. Over these past ten months, the Diocese of Jerusalem has been helping needy families here hurt by the economic and medical fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic. But in order to continue this important work, we need your help. I will send a copy of The Gates of Jerusalem as my personal thanks to you for your support.”

Once you make a donation at, simply email Canon Binder a copy of the acknowledgment or receipt (with the donation amount deleted or blackened out, please!) to him at

And he will send along a copy of the ebook. Merry Christmas!
AFEDJ offers a safe, secure channel to make gifts to support the work of the humanitarian institutions of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.
American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem | 203-655-3575

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