The Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough, in the Church of Ireland, launched its “Shine a light for the Diocese of Jerusalem” Appeal on Monday 4 December at St Ann’s Church Dublin.
Bringing greetings from the Diocese of Jerusalem, the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem and the Middle East, Hosam Naoum, spoke of the blessing of the partnership between the two dioceses in the exchange of prayers, support and presence as well as the dedication they have for one another.
He shared a verse from Romans 15:13: ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit’. He said this was an inspiration as we embark on the journey of Advent and we ask God to enrich us with the living hope of Jesus Christ. He said this was particularly relevant in Jerusalem where, just a short distance from St George’s Cathedral, was the Empty Tomb which was a reminder that God is a living hope.
“I hope and pray that the God of hope continues to inspire us to do God’s work in a world that so much thirsts and hungers for God’s goodness, God’s peace, in the midst of war and devastation and alienation,” he said.
The launch drew people from a range of civic and religious backgrounds and included a message from the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, Hosam Naoum. It was followed by a Vigil for Peace led by the Archbishop of Dublin and Glendalough, Michael Jackson and Canon Paul Arbuthnot, Vicar of St Ann’s.
Among those in attendance were former President of Ireland Mary McAleese and Prof Jim Lucey, Inspector of Mental Health Services and former Medical Director of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services. Both were the first Honorary Lay Canons to be appointed to the Chapter of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. Other guests included Bishop Ferran Glenfield, Chairperson of Bishops’ Appeal which is partnering with Dublin and Glendalough as part of their Advent and Christmas appeal; the President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Revd David Turtle; Shaykh Dr Umar Al–Qadri, Chairperson, Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Centre of Ireland; and Chief Iman and Mufti, Islamic Centre of Ireland; and Prof Tony Fahey, Chairperson of the Board of Social Justice Ireland.
The Revd Sean Hanily played two pieces on accordion, one a lament, ‘Gol na mBan san Ár’, and the other, O’Carolan’s Concerto in which he was accompanied by St Ann’s Director of Music Charles Marshall on the organ.
Launching the appeal, Archbishop Michael Jackson, outlined the link of friendship between the Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough and the Diocese of Jerusalem. He explained that the Diocese of Jerusalem is home to about 7,000 Anglicans and responsible for 30 institutions, including hospitals, schools, clinics and rehabilitation centres which welcome all people regardless of their faith or background. These include Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza.
“In this dark time in the Holy Land we are asking everyone to Shine a Light for the Diocese of Jerusalem… We join with those around the world in raising funds to support the work of the Diocese of Jerusalem in serving those affected by war. Partnership is very much what we are about in what we are doing. I hope that people who are here and people joining us online will be in a position to give whatever they can. They should feel secure in the knowledge that all monies given through this appeal will go directly to the Diocese of Jerusalem and its institutions in dealing with the fall out of the conflict in whatever way is needed,” he stated. “This appeal is not solely, or even primarily, about money. It is about partnering and solidarity with those who live in a theatre of war and in a crucible of faith.”
The Archbishop added that the appeal arises out of a heart–rending need in a part of the world which is close to the heart of all of us as Christmas draws closer. He emphasised that the appeal is not political and does not seek to apportion blame or trade in the virtue of any one cause.
“What we, in the world outside The Holy Land, see is devastation that needs fixing. Our response is properly humanitarian because it addresses the needs of human beings, people like us. We have witnessed young people being gunned down at an all-night festival. We have witnessed homes in kibbutzim where people were cooking dinner reduced to a bloodstained murder scene. We have witnessed children with their names being written on their legs in the hope that, when they are killed, their bodies may be reunited with the families. We have witnessed patients in hospital having their wounds treated with vinegar and without any anaesthetic relief. Our pledge is to facilitate the long-term improvement in the life and the dignity of all and to work with The Diocese of Jerusalem to do this,” he said. He added that his personal financial target for the appeal is €250,000 in order to make a positive structural difference in the region.
The Vigil centred around three aspects of Anglican liturgy – the recitation of psalmody, the reading of scripture, and the praying of collects. You are welcome to use this Vigil in its entirety, or you may wish to adapt it for use in the home or in your own parish church. However, you decide to use this liturgy, we hope that it will be of use to you as you continue to pray for all who suffer in the Holy Land.
Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal for World Aid and Development
Watch full message from Archbishop Hosam here
Link to text for vigil