For one hundred years, Episcopal churches have been providing financial support for the ministry of the Anglican Communion Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East from their Good Friday offerings.
In the aftermath of World War I, The Episcopal Church sought to create new relationships with Christians of the Middle East. Initial efforts focused on a combination of relief work and improving ecumenical and Anglican relations. Ultimately, The Good Friday Offering was enacted by the 47th (1922) General Convention of The Episcopal Church as an effective way for Episcopalians to express their support for the ministries of the three dioceses of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.
More recently, in West Missouri, Bishop Barry Howe and Fr. Steven Wilson suggested that our congregations might fulfill this annual offering through the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ). Bishop Barry served as a former chair of AFEDJ, and Fr. Steve was an active board member for many years. Both traveled to many of the donation sites and gave personal accounts of the value of services provided in these locations.
To further the reach and breadth of the Good Friday Offering, our diocese began offering matching grants under the umbrella of the Millennium Goals in 2004. Today, we call it the International Outreach Grant (IOG). All congregations are encouraged to apply for an IOG matching grant in any amount up to $1,000; a $250 donation becomes $500!
Episcopalians are notoriously generous, sharing their love, compassion, and financial gifts. Hopefully, West Missouri’s vestries and congregations will continue this good work by designating their 2022 Good Friday collection for Jerusalem and the Middle East.
- Good Friday Offering Resources. Buletin inserts, posters and a letter from the presiding Bishop.
- History of the Good Friday Offering (The Episcopal Church).
- Click here for more information on applying for an International Outreach Grant in West Missouri.
- Articles on the International Outreach Grant
You can also watch the following video from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, which explains how these gifts make an astounding difference in many people’s lives in the homeland of Jesus.