In September 2010 and October 2012, mission groups from St. John’s Church traveled to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan to explore the Holy Land and join in fellowship with the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. A group of St. John’s parishioners made another pilgrimage to the Holy Land in October 2014.
St. John’s began strengthening its ties with the Diocese of Jerusalem in 2010 after the dioceses of Washington and Jerusalem began a partnership to foster a greater awareness and understanding of the issues faced by the Diocese of Jerusalem. A Companion Diocese Committee, which includes members of St. John’s Church, was formed and charged with focusing on issues of education, healthcare and advocacy.
As part of its commitment to the Diocese of Jerusalem, in November 2011, St. John’s sponsored five members from St. Andrew’s Church, Ramallah, Palestine, for a week-long visit to meet with parishioners and see the sites of Washington, DC.
Also, since 2011, St. John’s has supported the work of the Diocese of Jerusalem with financial contributions to St. Andrew’s Church, Ramallah, for the construction of its health center; St. Paul’s Church Shefa Amr, Israel, for the construction of its activities/community building; and Our Saviour School, Zarka, Jordan, for scholarship help. During our pilgrimage in October 2014, we visited and worshipped with the people of St. Paul’s Church, Shefa Amr, to continue to develop our relationship with that congregation. We also will visit the Princess Basma Center for Disabled Children, Jerusalem, to learn more about how St. John’s can be of assistance in its ministry.