Day of Fasting and Prayer for Peace, October 17, 2023

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It’s Complicated—War (and Peace) in the Holy Land

MONDAY, OCTOBER 30, 7–8 P.M., online via Zoom only

Dean Thomason will offer a brief historical perspective on the war unfolding now. How did we get here? Its roots can be traced across decades, even centuries. How do we find a way out? We will look at Just War Theory and other ethical guides to war and peace specific to the Holy Land. Guided by the theological virtues of faith, hope and love, we will seek to humanize all involved. And we will hold time for a structured conversation around our grief at what is and our hopes for what may yet be amidst the suffering and strife. Note: this is not a platform for demagoguery, debate, or partisan point-making. Take a pass if that is your impulse. We seek a space of compassion (the word literally means “to suffer together”). Join using this Zoom link.

We continue to watch with horror at the war, hatred, violence, and destruction in the Holy Land. On Sunday, in the midst of the overwhelming and ongoing tragedy, we learned that Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, an institution long supported by Saint Mark's Cathedral, has been struck by rocket fire, damaging the Diagnostic Cancer Treatment Center and injuring four hospital workers.

UPDATE 10/17: The Ahli Arab Hospital has been struck by a missile, killing a reported 500 people.

The Most Rev. Hosam Naoum, Archbishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East, has released a statement in which he, in conjunction with leaders of other Christian denominations in the Holy Land, calls for a Day of Fasting and Prayer for peace, reconciliation, and an end to the war on Tuesday, October 17.

To that end, Saint Mark's Cathedral, Seattle, will offer the following:

    1. The cathedral nave will be open to all from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    2. A special Zoom-only service of Morning Prayer at 8:30 a.m. (Join using this link*)
    3. A brief service of Noonday Prayer will be offered in person in the cathedral nave at 12 p.m. Our Bishop Provisional, The Most Rev. Melissa Skelton, will officiate.
      • UPDATE: This brief liturgy, followed by a period of quiet prayer, will be livestreamed.
    4. Prayers for peace will be offered at the regular daily Zoom-only Evening Prayer at 6 p.m. (Join using this link.)
    5. All are invited to join regular Tuesday evening Contemplative Prayer, 7 to 8 p.m. This gathering begins with an extended period of silence.

Archbishop Naoum's pastoral letter concludes:

We entrust the countries of our Lord’s earthly home into the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, asking him to have mercy on us and to give us his peace and blessing. Amen.

UPDATE: A video of Noonday Prayer:

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