This article was originally shared December 2019.
For the fourth time in a row, The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina provided funds enabling international guests to participate in the tri-annual New Wineskins for Global Missions Conference held September 26-29 at the Ridgecrest Conference Center in Ridgecrest, NC. The gathering, one of the largest Anglican mission-equipping conferences in North America, brought 1,200 Anglicans together for plenaries and brief “MAP” talks on issues surrounding global missions.
Members of the Diocese, who accounted for 10 percent of the total number of attendees, funded 16 international guests paying either in part or in whole for their travel, meals and all of their conference participation.
The Rev. Bob Lawrence, a member of the diocese’s Anglican Missional Partnership Committee (who recently stepped down as its chair) organized the visits arranging for housing, travel and helping to connect those who didn’t have previously existing relationships with churches in the diocese seeking to make connections. Many had the opportunity to preach or teach in local churches while they were here. (Click here to see “Better Together” article).
October 3 Event Opportunity to Initiate Relationships
In addition, on Thursday, October 3, the Diocese hosted an event at the Cathedral of St. Luke & St. Paul, Charleston, where a number of those sponsored by the Diocese as well as those sponsored by individual churches, shared about the work they’re involved in in their own areas.
Prior to introducing the panel, Bishop Lawrence said, “If you are from a congregation and are here tonight either as a layperson or as a priest that does not have a missional relationship with a diocese or province somewhere in the world, you’ve got an opportunity right here before you to form a relationship with one of them.”
Archbishop Elect, Stephen Kaziimba, of the Anglican Church of Uganda, spoke first sharing about the challenges he faces in a diocese of 740 churches. Providing clean water is a focus for the diocese, and education is a priority as well. His diocese has 450 elementary schools and 22 high schools. “We must always visit the schools and preach the gospel,” he said. “Once you have neglected the school you have neglected the nation.” As a bishop he confirms from 100–200 each Sunday, giving each new confirmand a Bible. When he is consecrated as the ninth Archbishop of the Church of Uganda March 1, 2020, he will oversee more than 10 million Anglicans, “And the church is still growing,” he said.
The Rev. Fred Ochieng, Vicar of Emmanuel Church in the Shaurimoyo Parish in the Anglican Diocese of Maseno South, Kisumu-Kenya (see article, left), invited those present to take steps to form relationships with brothers and sisters in his area. “Pray for us,” he said. “Be our friend. Relationships are more important than anything. Consider coming for a mission. Be a sender. Consider supporting us financially.” Ochieng stressed that while his congregation is seeking to be self-sustaining, they need assistance to move in that direction. He invited attendees to support theological training for their clergy. “Support one of our clergy to go to (the theological training in) Marsabit.”
“I’ve got to give our bishop credit,” said the Rev. Gary Beson, Rector of St. Timothy’s, Cane Bay, after the evening presentation. “He’s really emphasized ‘Biblical Anglicanism for a Global Age.’ (My wife) Sue and I were having dinner with Fred (the Rev. Fred Ochieng of Kenya) and Qampicha (Bishop Daniel Wario Qampicha The Bishop of the Diocese of Marsabit, Kenya) the other night. They said, ‘There’s not another diocese in the US as interested in what’s going on in the world as you are.’”
The Rev. Wey Camp, Rector of Trinity, Edisto, whose church helped sponsor guests from Peru said, “I’m thrilled to be a part of a diocese that would sponsor so many Anglican leaders coming to New Wineskins. I was very sinfully proud of The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina.”
Thirteen guests spoke October 3, 2019 including:
• Bishop Probal Dutta, Bishop of Grace Trust, India
• The Rev. John Chol Daau, Episcopal Church of South Sudan
• Bishop Daniel Wario Qampicha, Diocese of Marsabit, Kenya
• Bishop Stephen Kaziimba, Diocese of Mityana, Uganda
• Bishop Seth Ndayirukiye, Bishop of Matana, Burundi
• Bishop Francis Matui, Bishop of Makueni, Kenya
• The Rev. Bernard Bisoke Balikenga, Provincial Youth Coordinator, Anglican Church of the Congo
• Bishop Johnson Gakumba, Diocese of Northern Uganda
• The Rev. Fred Ochieng Onyango, Vicar, Emmanuel Church, Shaurimoyo Parish, Diocese of Maseno South, Kisumu-Kenya
• The Rev. Canon Dr. Rebecca Nyegenye, Provost of All Saints Cathedral, Kampala, Uganda
• Bishop George Kasangaki, Diocese of Masindi-Kitara, Uganda
• Bishop Joseph Kibucwa, Diocese of Kirinyaga, Kenya
By Joy Hunter, Editor
(Image by Joy Hunter)