The Standing Committee of the Province of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East met in Larnaca, Cyprus on 25 May 2021—the first face-to-face meeting of its members since the start of the pandemic. It was also the first physical meeting of members since the formation of the newly configured Province in June 2020, when the Diocese of Egypt was established as the Province of Alexandria, thus ceasing to be part of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.
The Standing Committee meeting was attended by the Primate of the Province and Bishop in Cyprus and the Gulf, the Most Reverend Michael Lewis; the newly installed Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, who holds the honorific title of Archbishop in Jerusalem, the Most Reverend Hosam Naoum; Archdeacon in Cyprus and Provincial Synod and Standing Committee member for Cyprus and the Gulf the Venerable Christopher Futcher; Provincial Secretary and Provincial Synod and Standing Committee member for the Diocese of Jerusalem the Reverend Canon Fuad Dagher; and Acting Provincial Treasurer and non-voting member of Provincial Synod and Standing Committee the Venerable Dr William Schwartz. Also present was chaplain to the Bishop in Jerusalem and non-voting member of Provincial Synod and Standing Committee the Reverend Canon Don Binder; and, joining by zoom, Provincial Administrator Mr Joel Kelling. The member for the Diocese of Iran could not be present due to pandemic travel restrictions. The meeting was organised by Mrs Georgia Katsantonis, PA to Archbishop Michael.
Archbishop Michael commended the positive and constructive proceedings, which covered a range of issues, including those related to the new structure of the Province. “Despite the considerable challenges facing many parts of the Province, members share a great sense of energy and common purpose as we move forward together.”
Regular meetings of Provincial Synod and Standing Committee are held on alternate years, with the newly configured Province holding its first Synod in November 2020, by zoom. The next meeting of Provincial Synod will take place in May 2022, scheduled to coincide with a planned Clergy and Spouses Conference, which it is hoped will be held in Jordan.