January 2021
In 2020 you chose the road of generosity and that has made all the difference
An important part of our work is to share stories of the faithful witness of Christians in the Holy Land with you, their American friends. As 2020 came to a close, it became clear that another remarkable story was emerging.

That is the story of how, over the course of the most unsettled and unsettling year in memory, you - the supporters of the schools and hospitals in the Diocese of Jerusalem - responded with incredible generosity. Your gifts - and many, many of you made multiple donations when called upon - enabled AFEDJ to send almost 50% more financial support to Jerusalem than in 2019. 

Your gifts made a difference to the members of Beirut’s All Saints Church and their neighbors affected by the August blast. Your support to Archbishop Suheil Dawani’s fund for St. Luke’s Hospital in Nablus and Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza allowed those institutions to prepare for the pandemic and continue to offer healthcare to their patients. 

The story of your caring for the people of the region - made manifest by your generosity - is one we share with the leaders of the Diocese of Jerusalem institutions. Earlier this week Dr. Walid Kerry, director of St. Luke’s Hospital, said, “Anyone who prays for us and our ministry supports us. It’s not all about money.”

Canon Don Binder, chaplain to Archbishop Dawani, put it this way, “It really highlights the generosity of our American friends during a year of special hardship. We have much for which to be thankful.”
A special Christmas gift for St. Luke’s Hospital 
Three weeks. 

That’s the time it took for the clergy and concerned members of St. John’s Norwood Church in Chevy Chase, Maryland, to raise more than $114,000 to fully fund a critically needed 4D ultrasound machine for St. Luke’s Hospital in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
a screenshot from the St. Luke's Hospital ultrasound video
Because St. Luke's 20-year-old ultrasound machine is obsolete, replacement parts are no longer available. Patients in need of urgent care must be referred to other institutions. For those who are uninsured and depend on St. Luke’s for free services, their care is compromised. 

“It is our belief the inability of any member of our community to afford healthcare should not and will not be an obstacle to receiving high quality care. We need the tools to do our job,” said Dr. Walid Kerry, St. Luke’s director. “For many patients, St. Luke’s is their last, if not only, hope.” 

Late this fall St. John’s rector, the Rev. Sari Ateek, and its deacon and AFEDJ trustee, the Rev. Anne Derse, found out about St. Luke’s need for a new ultrasound machine. On December 7, in partnership with AFEDJ, they approached people in their congregation, neighboring Episcopal congregations, and other churches in the greater Washington, D.C. region to raise more than $100,000 for a new ultrasound machine before Christmas. By Christmas Eve, with the help of more than 70 individuals and churches, they exceeded their goal. 
On January 13, Ateek and Derse and members of St. John’s shared the good news with Dr. Kerry and St. Luke’s public relations director, Salwa Khoury, over Zoom.

Dr. Kerry said of the surprise announcement, "We thank all congregations and individuals who contributed to this campaign and who took it upon themselves to offer aid to complete strangers in need the world over."

He added, "However, we do not feel, at all, like strangers. This was an act of community, of family, and we are proud and honored to consider all of you the family of St. Luke’s Hospital."
Will your church be our partner in a global mission grant?
For the past two years, AFEDJ has partnered with churches in dioceses that sponsor Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) or global mission grant programs. Since the fall of 2018, we’ve partnered with 20 parishes in 15 dioceses for grant awards between $1,000 to $12,000 in support of the Family Empowerment Program at Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre and the Child Trauma Clinic at Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza. 

In 2021 we hope to join together with an even greater number of parishes to identify opportunities to win diocesan support through grants. AFEDJ staff make it easy to say yes! We’ll work with churches to craft the grant application and assist with reporting and publicity once the grant is awarded. 

If your church is in one of the following dioceses, we’d love to start a conversation about partnering in 2021: Connecticut, Fort Worth, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Milwaukee, New Hampshire, Newark, New York, North Carolina, Northern California, Ohio, Olympia, Rhode Island, Rochester, Southern Ohio, Texas, Western Missouri, Western Massachusetts, and Western North Carolina.

If your church is in one of the following dioceses, we’d love your help navigating the grant program for the first time: California, Central New York, Eastern Oregon, Indianapolis, Long Island, Michigan, Pittsburgh, and Upper South Carolina.

Please be in touch with AFEDJ Communications Director Heidi Shott at hshott@afedj.org or 207.592.7353 to start the conversation.
Registration now open for post-Easter programs
at St. George’s College
With hope for a new year that will allow travel to Jerusalem once more, the Very Rev. Cn. Richard Sewell, dean of St. George’s College, invites pilgrims and students to enroll now for 2021 and 2022 courses and trips that commence in April. 

While a deposit is required, the College has a flexible refund policy in place because of the uncertainties of the pandemic. Courses and trips open for 2021 include: Introduction to the Bible Lands, Jordan Study Tour, Palestine of Jesus, Women in the Bible, and Footsteps of Jesus, among others.

Visit St. George’s College website to learn more.
With all doors open on our 2020 Holy Land Advent Calendar, binge away
If you were too busy to join the thousands of people who visited AFEDJ’s Holy Land Advent Calendar last month, it’s not too late! 

All 24 doors are now wide open. Explore behind each door to learn more about a Holy Land ministry or location from a photo, a brief video, a nugget of information, or sometimes all three. 

Below: Find out why one young woman at Saviour’s School in Zarqa, Jordan, aspires to become a dentist! 
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