[Anglican Communion News Service] The Most Rev. Hosam Naoum, the primate of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, has launched a Christmas and Advent appeal for children and families in the Holy Land who are in urgent need.
In his Advent pastoral letter, he said, “As our beloved brothers in the gospel of Jesus Christ, I invite you to join the 2023 Advent and Christmas project as a means of living into the true meaning of Christmas by giving to those in need in the Holy Land. This Christmas season we aim to bring smiles to the faces of as many children as possible, as well as support to struggling families. And so we would welcome and greatly appreciate your love, support and generous contributions towards this fund for needy families at Christmas.”
Hosam explained that “due to the current situation in our beloved Holy Land and the heartbreaking scenes that have shattered our hearts, we have decided this year to limit our celebrations to prayers, liturgies and carols within our churches.” He continued, “In a spirit of solidarity within the Body of Christ, I invite you to join us in this discipline by reflecting on the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ more than two thousand years ago, as well as on the conditions prevailing in the land at that time.” He went on to say that “they were no better than the circumstances here today.”
Hosam also shared an Advent booklet of daily prayers and reflections written by clergy from across the Diocese of Jerusalem. He said, “Together as a diocese — including our clergy, congregations and institution s— and in unity with our sister churches and partners around the world, we pray and journey together in hope, peace, joy and love. We focus our attention on encountering the person of Jesus Christ. I therefore invite you to join us in meditating during this holy season on the virtues of the Gospel: “Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.” These four virtues are an integral part of Christian teaching. We highlight them in the booklet to assist and guide us all in the anticipation of the Lord’s coming.”
The Rt. Rev. Anthony Poggo, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, said, “Join me in praying for our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land who will be celebrating Christmas in very different and difficult circumstances this year. Please give what you can to the Christmas appeal. The Advent prayers produced by the Diocese of Jerusalem’s clergy are an excellent resource to guide our thoughts, hearts and prayers. Use them daily as you meditate on the four virtues of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love this Christmas season.”