Bulletin Insert – April 2, 2017

The Good Friday Offering

Throughout Lent, and especially on Good Friday, Episcopal parishes and congregations are encouraged to contribute to the Good Friday Offering, an Episcopal tradition reaching back to 1922. In the aftermath of World War I, the Church sought to create new and enduring relationships with and among the Christians of the Middle East, beginning with the Department of Missions sending the Rev. William C. Emhardt to travel the region. From these initial efforts, which focused on a combination of relief work and the improvement of ecumenical and Anglican relations, the Good Friday Offering was created.

Good Friday Offering Episcopal Church

Old Town Jerusalem, courtesy of Elizabeth Boe, Global Partnerships, The Episcopal Church

The Synod of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East provides a recommendation to The Episcopal Church on how to distribute funds raised for the Good Friday Offering. These funds are used for a variety of humanitarian purposes, including an eye clinic, hospitals, scholarship aid for young people, empowerment programs for women, rehabilitation programs, and similar efforts.

Presiding Bishop Michael Bruce Curry urges all Episcopal congregations to contribute to the Offering. He writes,

“We walk the walk of Christ when we walk in solidarity with the Christians of the Middle East, who keep the faith in the very land Jesus called home. We walk the walk of Christ when we advocate for the voices of those who work fearlessly for peace in the midst of unremitting violence. We walk the walk of Christ when we support ministries of healing, education, pastoral care, and interfaith cooperation rooted in a deep desire for a future full of reconciliation and hope. The Good Friday Offering is our opportunity to add some of the substance of our lives to the substance of our prayers.”

To assist parishes in participating in the Good Friday Offering, free, downloadable materials are available at http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/good-friday-offering-resources. Materials include Holy Week meditations from St. George’s College in Jerusalem, an educational series from the Diocese of Jerusalem, and a Frequently Asked Questions bulletin insert.

Collections for the Good Friday Offering are best combined in a single parish or diocesan check and sent by the end of the calendar year to: DFMS – Protestant Episcopal Church US; P.O. Box 958983; St. Louis, MO 63195-8983. Please be sure all checks are made out to The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, with “Good Friday Offering” added in the note field.

For more information, please contact The Episcopal Church’s Middle East Partnership officer, the Rev. Canon Robert Edmunds: redmunds@episcopalchurch.org.

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