Forging a Deeper Covenantal Relationship with Diocese of Jerusalem

Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

Signing the Covenant with the Diocese of Jerusalem

Bishop Daniel Gutiérrez of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania and Archbishop Hosam Naoum of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem have renewed and deepened the covenant agreement of “mutual prayer, affection, and common cause” that links the two historic dioceses.

The agreement commits both dioceses “to seek opportunities to worship with one another and pray for each other, to teach each other from our shared experiences, and to enliven the faith of our people, so that through our love for one another, the world might know we are disciples of Jesus.”

“This is groundbreaking in many ways.  It is not a companion relationship, but a covenantal journey.” said Gutiérrez.  “We have committed to learn from one another, listen to one another, exchange clergy and students.  We will journey as siblings - spiritually, physically, prayerfully and lovingly.  It is a life-giving relationship between our diocese and the Holy Land.”

It builds on a previous pact signed by Gutiérrez and Naoum's predecessor, the Most Rev. Suheil Dawani, in 2020. Since signing the original agreement, the Diocese of Pennsylvania now hosts the joint Advent service of lessons and carols simulcast live between Philadelphia and Bethlehem, which previously had been hosted by Washington National Cathedral.

Gutiérrez also leads the international steering committee for the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center for children with disabilities, and appointed a diocesan Canon for the Holy Land to underscore his commitment to creating lasting bonds between the two dioceses.

The new agreement was signed by Gutiérrez and Naoum at a celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Cathedral of St. George in Jerusalem on Sept. 4, 2022, while Gutiérrez was leading the first of three scheduled diocesan pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

It recognizes “the importance of binding not only our episcopal leadership but also our clergy, laity, youth, and ministries of healing and education. We affirm our need to meet one another as equals and uplift one another in mutual benefit.”

The next Diocese of Pennsylvania pilgrimage to the Holy Land is scheduled for March 15-28, 2023. For more information, visit the diocese’s 2023 Diocesan Holy Land Pilgrimage page.