Dear friends,

Like all of you, I have watched the events of the last 10 days in Israel and Gaza with horror, sadness, and helplessness. I don’t pretend to be an expert in the politics of the Middle East, but I do know, as President Biden said, that the Hamas attacks on Israel were evil. And I know that there are many innocent people in Gaza who are also suffering. 

Tomorrow will be a day of prayer for the Holy Land throughout the Episcopal Church. St. Dunstan’s will be open all day for those who would like to come and pray in that sacred space. And, of course, you can also pray at home, at work, or wherever you are. Below are some prayers offered by the national church. May God guide our feet into the way of peace.

With love,


Episcopalians everywhere are invited to observe a day of prayer and fasting on Tuesday, Oct. 17, to pray without ceasing for justice, reconciliation, peace, and an end to hatred and war.

We join in this effort with the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, the leading ecumenical group representing senior Christian leaders in the region, which includes Archbishop Hosam Naoum of The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East.

Prayers for Peace

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one God; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquility your dominion may increase until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Almighty God, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

From the Book of Common Prayer [pgs. 815-816]

A Litany for the Holy Land

                              By The Rev. Leyla Kamalick King, a Palestinian-American priest based in Texas: 

God of Love, you created all people as one family and called us to live together in justice, harmony, and peace.

Surround us with your love as we pray for the Holy Land.  Lord, in your mercy,
God of Righteousness, who demands that our worldly governors take up their responsibility to protect those in their charge and uphold the dignity of all human beings, pour your wisdom into the leaders of this world [especially Benjamin Netanyahu, the leaders of Hamas, and Joe Biden].  

For all who bear such responsibility, that they may put the good of the whole over their own greed for power, Lord, in your mercy,

God of Compassion, who even in the darkest times, shows us your path: we give you thanks for all those who in the face of crisis wrought by evil-doers, work to help the helpless, to hold out hope to the desolate, to speak for the voiceless and to bring understanding and knowledge to a world darkened by ignorance and hate.

For our siblings who risk much to aid others, that their actions may be successful, and their words may be heard, Lord, in your mercy,

God of Mercy, who binds up the wounds of those who suffer, bless the victims of the consequences of fear and hate in the last week and over the past 75 years of conflict in the Holy Land: those injured and traumatized, those bereaved and grieving, those held as captives and prisoners, those who face deprivation and desperation because of systems of violence and oppression, so that they may move forward in this life standing firm in your truth and avoiding the temptation of vengeance.

For all whose lives are forever marked by suffering, that they may be blessed with the hope of your presence, Lord, in your mercy,

God of Life, whose faithfulness to us is never-ending, we remember before you those who have died by the violence that has become shockingly routine in your Holy Land; receive them into your heart where they may know the peace and joy of eternal life in you.

For all who have died, that they may rest in that place where pain is no more, Lord, in your mercy,

God of Justice, who calls us to uphold the dignity of every human being, every child of this earth, beloved of you: empower your Church to help you heal this terrible cycle of violence and revenge; give us courage to rise above our fear that nothing can be done in the face of the conflict and chaos of our own creating; grant us the conviction to advocate for change and to work for the establishment of your peace, your shalom, you salaam, in this broken world.

For your dream of justice and peace on earth, and for us, that we may take up your call to build it, Lord, in your mercy,

All this we pray in the name of the One who offered his life so that we might live, Jesus Christ. AMEN.

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