I knew the Good Friday Offering went to support the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem, but I knew no details until reading Dialog, a quarterly publication of the Diocese of Texas (east Texas).
It was a surprise to me to learn that we Episcopalians operate 15 schools in Israel, Palestine and Jordan. Many of the students of our schools are rejects from the area’s public schools because they are handicapped by blindness. Sighted students are mainstreamed with blind students. There is a photo of a sighted student leading blind classmates (hands on shoulders of the student in front) out to recess.
In the article “Peace Begins at School,” I read, “An educated student has more options, can make decisions based on fact, can group problem-solve and work with others to reach shared goals. This prepares them for future leadership and the capacity to sustain a peace when it comes. Stabilizing communities by offering jobs, education and health care services is a critical diocesan goal.”
In another article, “Centre Assists Most Vulnerable Children,” I learned of the Princess Basma Centre for Children with Disabilities. Another school entrusted to the Diocese of Jerusalem, it serves disabled children regardless of their religious affiliation. Princess Basma was a sister of Jordan’s King Hussein.
Heretofore I had envisioned the Good Friday Offering as just maintaining small Christian congregations in Jerusalem. Its work is so much more. This Good Friday, instead of digging through my change for a contribution, I shall write a check.