‘Live the Lively Faith’ – Archbishop of Dublin Attends Majma of Diocese of Jerusalem
Archbishop Michael Jackson, accompanied by the Revd Dr William Olhausen, Rector of St Matthias, Ballybrack, is currently attending the Majma (Synod) of the Diocese of Jerusalem, with whom we have a partnership link. The diocese covers Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Syria and Lebanon and clergy and members of the diocese are gathering in Amman for three days. Here is the Archbishop’s report of the first two days.
Arriving early on Monday morning, we went before lunch with two of the clergy who had been on the pilgrimage to Dublin & Glendalough in June of this year to Mount Nebo and to Madaba. Mount Nebo is the point from which the children of Israel entered the Promised Land overseen by Moses. Madaba is an historically Christian town in which there is an ancient mosaic in the floor depicting the location of the Twelve Tribes in the Land of the Holy One.
The Majma began with a celebration of Holy Communion in The Church of The Redeemer, Amman. The church had undergone extensive renovation and refurbishment, including the installation of a series of stunning stained glass windows, in celebration of its 70th anniversary. Fittingly the Rector preached the sermon weaving together the themes of thanksgiving and future hopes. In the course of his sermon he said: “The Apostle Paul urges us to live the lively faith in our hearts, in the core of our being and in ourselves; for act does not bear fruit without love, and without communicating with God”.
The Majma continues on November 5 and 6 in The Hotel Bristol Conference Centre in Amman.
Following worship in the Conference Hall which included joyous singing, prayer and a sermon on Romans 12.1: Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship, the Majma received greetings from a range of visitors.
These included the representative of the Greek Catholic Church in Jerusalem, the Bishop of Pennsylvania and the Primate of Canada. I was afforded an opportunity to bring greetings from the Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough and to summarize the many creative and celebratory components of the link between the dioceses, including the recent shared retreat in Emmaus Conference Centre, Dublin. I spoke of the idea of a living sacrifice (Romans 12.1) as enabling us to connect with Christ and to be connected with Christ. It is through this self–understanding as individuals, as a community, through our work and through our relationships with The Other that we hold together our citizenship and our Christianity.
I presented Archbishop Suheil with the collection of money from the Dublin & Glendalough Diocesan Synod for a Caring Institution in the diocese (Archbishop Suheil gave this to Salt Vocational Institute, Jordan, for those with disabilities), a copy of The Diocesan Cycle of Prayer and the Report of the Diocesan Council for Mission. He also received the publication: ‘Growing in the Image and Likeness of God’ which outlines our dioceses’ engagement with The Five Marks of Mission to date through Come&C written jointly by the Revd Canon David Tuohy SJ and Dr Maria Feeney and a Celtic Cross from St Patrick’s Cathedral.
The Majma continued by learning of the achievements of the Women’s Group for empowerment of women and girls in the diocese. There are opportunities through this for us to connect secondary schools in our two dioceses for the future.
In his Presidential Address, Archbishop Suheil spoke with feeling of a comprehensive picture of worship: “People may say that we are going to church for worship, but they can also say that we worship God when we go to school, to work, or to the office. Our true worship is when we help the poor and the marginalized, and when we care for the needy children”. This is an inspiring challenge and opportunity to us for our daily life in the greater Dublin areas as much as it is in the five countries that constitute the Diocese of Jerusalem.
The Majma continues on November 6 in The Hotel Bristol Conference Centre in Amman and we will continue to participate and contribute.