Support Christians in the Land of the Holy One: How?
Rt. Rev. James B. Magness
Grand Chaplain, GPUSA

Recently there has been significant communication and conversation within our order about how to support our Christian sisters and brothers in the Holy Land; Christians who day-in and day-out live with ever increasing challenges. Many of you may be aware that the Israeli government has issued and reiterated its commitment to annex a sizable portion of the West Bank, previously considered to be Palestinian land occupied by Palestinian people. What we hear from our Palestinian friends, particularly from Christians, is that this is an encroachment that will make their already difficult lives even more difficult.

Many of our dames and knights are asking about how as individuals they might do something for the Christian people in that land, almost all of whom are Palestinian. They are asking about how they might have an impact upon how the leaders of our nation communicate with Israeli leaders. While there are not unlimited avenues through which to express our support for Palestinian Christian, there are ways. For example, each bonafide resident of this country is represented in the halls of government in Washington, DC by members of the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. As individuals we have every right to make telephone calls, send emails, or write letters to inform our elected officials that we have concerns for the lives of Palestinian Christians.

Though this expression of support for our fellow Christians is both important and effective, there is another path of support that may not have occurred you. Most Templars who have heard me speak know of my belief in the importance of Templar membership in a local – that is, near your primary residence – Christian church or congregation. It may come as a surprise to you, but in and through that membership you have the capacity for broadened contact with the resources of that congregation and the Christian denomination/faith community to which it belongs. For example, as a member of The Episcopal Church, when it comes to relations with our elected officials I am represented by our Office of Government Relations in Washington, DC. Like most larger faith communities, The Episcopal Church periodically creates legislation that establishes its position on issues for which the Office of Government Relations can express support with members of the US House of Representatives, members of the US Senate, and with our President. In so doing individual Christians can have a far greater impact than any of us can ever have as individuals. I know for a fact that almost all of our major Christian faith communities have passed legislation that calls for the support of the rights of Christians in the Holy Land.

For me to make such contact is an important component of my faith life. As a Jesus Christ follower, I am encouraged by our own Christian heritage of supporting our siblings in Christ from afar. In the first chapter of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Christians at Ephesus, he wrote the following:

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.” (Ephesians 1:15-19 | NRSV).

Though the Apostle was physically separated from the fledgling community of Christians at Ephesus, never did he forget about either their suffering or their abundance of faith. His message to them was that he has not forgotten them and that through their faith in their Lord Jesus they had access to almost incomprehensible power.

I am providing you with a modest and not all-inclusive list of ten Christian faith communities in the United States that sponsor government relations agencies. These agencies work with elected and appointed individuals with the responsibility to foster the international interests of the citizens of our country. Please take a look at the list, and if you feel so moved to express your convictions about support for our Holy Land Christian sisters and brothers, please make contact with one of these or other Christian faith community government relations groups. As individual Templars we have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul to express support for our Christian siblings in the Land of the Holy One. I pray for you as you determine the ways God is calling you to support our fellow Christians.

American Baptist Church USA (ABCUSA)
Baptist Joint Committee

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF)
CBF Advocacy

Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)
Ethics and Religion Liberty Commission

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
ELCA Advocacy

Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS)
Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty

Orthodox Church in America
Office of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations

Presbyterian Church, USA (PCUSA)
Presbyterian Office of Public Witness

Roman Catholic Church – US (RC)
US Conference of Catholic Bishops Office of Government Relations

The Episcopal Church (TEC)
Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations

United Methodist Church (UMC)
UMC Government Relations


July/August 2020
Regular publication of SMOTJ GPUSA

In This Issue

  Words from the Grand Prior

  World Week of Peace

  Grand Chirurgeon: An Introduction

  Royal Patron Significance

  Augusta Victoria Hospital

  True Templar Giving

  OSMTH Bridge Building

  Hagia Sophia Concern

  Support Holy Land Christians: How?

  Always Forward

  In Disguise

  GPUSA Calendar

  Calling All Templar Poets

OSMTH Poetry Contest
Chvse. Kathleen Watson
Grand Inspector

An OSMTH Poetry Contest was announced in the Spring issue of the OSMTH Carpe Diem. The contest is open to all members of OSMTH Grand Priories. The Grand Prior of France recently reminded all the Grand Priors of the contest. Take the time to read the announcement and then put your poetry thinking cap on and enter the contest. GPUSA can be well-represented with our talented poets!

We are the Modern Knights Templar, an Ecumenical Christian and Chivalric charitable Order. We do not claim a direct lineage to the original Knights of the Temple, but we do seek to emulate their positive attributes in our daily lives today. We have adopted two of the original Templar missions of Protecting Christians at Risk particularly in the Holy Land and the Middle East and in Keeping the Road to Jerusalem open to all people as our own.

Non Nobis, Domine, Non Nobis, Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam ®

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