Good Friday Offering: Remembering our brothers and sisters in the Middle East as we worship online during Holy Week
Earlier this year, Presiding Bishop Curry invited Episcopal parishes to consider supporting the Good Friday Offering. Since 1922, Episcopalians have supported ministries of the dioceses of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East through special offerings during their Good Friday services. These offerings provide critical assistance to the ministries of this Province to promote peace and mutual understanding through pastoral care, as well as health and educational programs throughout the region.
On March 17, 2020, in response to the coronavirus global health crisis and the recommendation from the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to suspend public gatherings of more than 10 people, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry sent a message to Episcopalians concerning the suspension of in-person gatherings for public worship during the sacred time of Holy Week and Easter Day and possibly beyond.
“It is important to emphasize the suspension of in-person gatherings is not a suspension of worship. I very much encourage and support online worship,” said Curry.
The move to online worship has also affected giving patterns. Just as Episcopalians are finding ways to worship together while remaining physically apart, more churches are now offering ways for members to give online.
Recognizing that for many Episcopalians, the Good Friday Offering is an important part of their Holy Week tradition, offerings may now be made through both a secure donation webpage as well as a text giving option: text “GFO” to 91999. These options enable continuation of the spiritual practice of giving while participating in a virtual worship service.
To learn more about the ministries of the dioceses of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, please read David Paulsen’s Episcopal News Service article “Episcopalians now can give online to Good Friday Offering to support Middle East ministries”. Additional resources, including an updated bulletin insert and cover and information on ways to give, are available here.
For more information about the Good Friday Offering, contact the Rev. Robert Edmunds, Middle East Partnership Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org For questions about online giving or to make a gift by phone, contact April Frazier, Gift Processing Officer, at 212-716-6002.