Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Episcopal Church in Gaza

You may not know this, but the Episcopal Church has a presence in Gaza through Episcopal Relief & Development, the arm of our church that aids victims of war, disaster and poverty. 

Yesterday ERD sent the following message asking for immediate financial help and prayer so that it can assist with those injured in the Israeli-Hamas conflict:
Since the recent upsurge on December 27th, the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict has left more than 550 people dead, and 2,500 injured. Episcopal Relief & Development’s partner, the Ahli Arab Hospital, reports devastating civilian casualties and a rising death toll in Gaza City.

During this time of crisis, Episcopal Relief & Development remains in close contact with its partner the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. Episcopal Relief & Development has responded to an urgent appeal from the Diocese by sending initial emergency funds to the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza.

“We continue to monitor the needs of the Diocese of Jerusalem and are preparing to send additional emergency funds. Please pray for the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Ahi Arab Hospital as they risk their own lives to provide lifesaving emergency care to people injured in the ongoing conflict” said Rob Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief & development.

Ahli Arab Hospital, located at the heart of Gaza City, has treated more than 100 injured civilians since the beginning of the December attacks. The hospital continues to provide essential emergency health care to injured civilians. Ahli Arab Hospital has not turned anyone away despite increasingly dire conditions. The staff and volunteers at the hospital desperately need medicine and emergency supplies to continue their life saving work.

You can donate online to Episcopal Relief and Development for its work in Gaza by clicking HERE

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is among the many religious leaders calling for a cease-fire. You can read her statement here: Presiding Bishop on Gaza. Incidentally, a number of commentators friendly to Israel, including David Brooks in the New York Times yesterday, are pointing out that the longer the Israeli military action in Gaza lasts the less effective it is becoming. When the central result is more victims, it creates a new recruiting ground for terrorists and Islamic extremists and the circle of hate and violence continues.


PJ said...

Thank you for such a hearfelt commentary. Our prayer group is addressing the situation in Gaza. We feel that only through prayer can this sad cycle be finished once and for all.

The Rev. James Richardson said...

Dear PJ --
Thanks for your comment and for your prayer group. Scroll down the blog and have a look at the posting I did a couple of days ago on the Jewish prayer for peace.
Blessings to you,

Episcopal Relief & Development said...

Sincere thanks for sharing news about Episcopal Relief & Developent's work in Gaza. We sent additional funds to our partners at Al Ahli Arab Hospital yesterday. We are grateful for your support and your prayers.