Christmas Wishes   
December, 2014

Dear Friends,


...for to you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord....  

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to all men."


         Each day, I try to take a moment to center myself and re-grasp what Christmas means. We know that it's the child who changed way we view the world. But Jesus is a baby.  What he will accomplish and become for the world are still literally nascent.  That aura of Christmas possibility, hope and potential is at the core of the Holy Land experience -- at the time of Jesus' birth and today.

        In the land that birthed the three Abrahamic faiths, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, turmoil and fear have been the norm for thousands of years. We can't change the tide of history, but each of us can offer real, immediate comfort and hope to families in our Holy Land who have little of either. We can stabilize Christian communities and make a real difference in lives today.


        Thank you, thank you to each of you who support education, healthcare, rehabilitation and pastoral care for those of all faiths who proclaim one God. That's the real Christmas gift.


        The Most Rev. Suheil Dawani, Archbishop in Jerusalem, shares his gratitude with each of you: "I give thanks to God for your standing with us and supporting the ministries of the Diocese of Jerusalem, especially in Gaza.  I pray that this Christmas season will fill you once again with all hope, love, peace, and joy."  His steadfast hope in that volatile land is a great blessing to us all.  


        And finally, AFEDJ's Chairman, the Rt. Rev. Barry R. Howe, sends this warm wish: "May the celebration of the birth of the Christchild renew in us God's assurance of His divine presence, enveloping us with an intimate love that is unconditional and everlasting!" Amen.

-  Anne Lynn, President, AFEDJ 

Quick Links
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Join the 8th Annual Bethlehem Prayer Service
Saturday, Dec. 20 at 10 am.

Washington National Cathedral and live streaming from anywhere 
nativity 12
Episcopal and Lutheran bishops and clergy and laity in a simulcast Christmas service with the people of Bethlehem. 
Information and live stream

Need a Last Minute Christmas Gift?  
By ordering olive oil and other treats from Palestine, you give a memorable gift while supporting the olive oil Palestinian economy.  And a portion of each purchase goes to AFEDJ.  That's three gifts in one!  We partner with both Canaan Fair Trade and Import Peace.  So take a look at their offerings and order now!
Zatoun offers olive oil, zatar, soap and more.  Canaan Fair Trade offers a broader range of products including gift baskets, tahini, sundried tomatoes, etc. 

Christmas Wishes


Our Christmas wishes for the Diocese of Jerusalem: red girl Christmas 10


*  A peaceful week in Gaza so children can celebrate a joyous and blessed Christmas.

*  A gift for each child in the West Bank.

*  Enough scholarship aid to cover all the needy children in Christ School, Nazareth.

*  Chairs for the classrooms at Saviour School, Zarka, Jordan.

*  Prayers for Archbishop Suheil and his clergy and staff to raise up their work and offer our thanks.


Congratulations to Computer Students!

Congratulations to the team of five ETVTC students who competed in the "Celebration of Innovation" competition sponsored by Al Quds University. They won the regional competition and will now advance to the finals. This Ramallah high school program in computer science is a year and a half old and is already attracting national attention. We're so proud of you Anas, George, Jonny, Majd and Mohammad!

Events & Pilgrimages

November 21, 2014
If you're in the Washington DC area, come to the opening reception of the Jerusalem Fund's Gallery exhibition, "And We Have Countries."  Friday 6- 8, which the exhibition open through January.  44 artists interpret the poem by Mahmoud Darwish.  2025 Virginia Ave NW, Washington DC.

November 23 and 24, 2014
If you're in the Rochester NY area, the Witness Palestine film series continues with Voices Across the Divide at The Little, 240 First Avenue at 2 pm on Sunday, Nov. 23.  On Monday, Nov. 24, catch Stone Cold Justice and From al-Araqub to Susiya at The Little at 6:45.  Nov. 24 includes a panel discussion.  Complete information at

January 14, twice in February and other 2015 dates

St. George's College in Jerusalem is offering its popular Palestine of Jesus course Includes accommodations and visits to holy sites.  This course is offered several times each year and is one of a rich variety of offerings at the College, which is located in St. George's Cathedral Close.  Visit their website


January 30 - February 10, 2015

In the Footsteps of Jesus

Visits to Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Hebron and Nazareth.  Accommodations are designed to increase contact with local residents and facilitate conversation.  Arranged by the Siraj Center and Sabeel.  Cost is $1900 plus airfare.  


April 24 - May 5, 2015

Join a pilgrimage headed by the Very Rev. Gail Greenwell of Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati.  This Lightline trip includes time in Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus and Nazareth. Cost of $4095 includes airfare to Cincinnati, but can be adjusted for other US destinations.  More info at 


April 30 - May 23, 2015

Places, People and Prayers, a Cross Cultural Encounter with the Holy Land is the name of the trip organized by Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Dr. Dorothy Jean Weaver and Rev. Kevin Clark.  Trip will include holy sites, Yad Vashem, a Palestinian refugee camp, a synagogue service, and a Bedouin visit.  Trip leaves from Washington DC and cost includes travel: $5375.   More information here.


May 30 - June 13, 2015

Sabeel Colorado's two week fact finding trip will include a visit to the Sabeel Center in Jerusalem, a Bedouin community, Augusta Victoria Hospital, a refugee camp, Bethlehem, Nablus and Nazareth.  You'll stand with the Women in Black and talk with participants in Breaking the Silence.  More information here 


September 4 - 16, 2015

Join pilgrims from Washington National Cathedral and the Rev. Canon John Peterson for an immersion in first century culture and 21st century life in the Holy Land.  More information from here.


September 1 - 13, 2015

St. Mark's Capitol Hill in Washington DC has organized several interfaith tours through MEJDI Tours and will lead another this fall.  Further information here.   


October 6 - 17, 2015

Rev. Deborah Dresser and Rev. Tom Verde will lead an Iyad Qumri trip to the Holy Land which will include a range of holy sites plus visits to the Judean desert, Ramallah and Taybeh, one of the few Christian villages in the West Bank.  Cost is $1870 plus airfare and tips.  More info at

November 6 - November 16, 2015
Join a 10 day Iyad Qumri trip which will include Jerusalem, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, Bethlehem, the Judean desert and much more.  Cost is $1710 plus airfare and tips.  Group will be leaving from Buffalo NY.  Organized by veteran pilgrim Fr. Earle King here or more details at St. Martin in the Fields website


As a non-political, independent nonprofit, AFEDJ acts as a partner with the Diocese of Jerusalem by helping to increase its capacity to teach and heal. AFEDJ raises funds for, and promotes the humanitarian work of, the Diocese of Jerusalem and its institutions so it may better serve the needs of all people in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Israel. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.