Mission - Events

African Mission and Evangelism Co-ordinators meet in Nairobi April 2004

CAPA group photograph - click for larger image (150k)The first Inter Anglican Mission and Evangelism Provincial Co-ordinators Consultation was held in Resurrection Gardens in Nairobi, May 2002. This was soon followed by an Inter Anglican Conference for Mission Organisations in February 2003 bringing together over 100 people from almost every province of the Anglican Communion. One of the outcomes of these gatherings has been the coming together of mission leaders in various regions of the Communion. Two weeks ago, again in Nairobi the Mission and Evangelism Co-ordinators from the Provinces of Africa met to look at mission in their own contexts and to find a way forward.

click for larger image (165k)

With the theme of 'Transforming Mission: Taking our place in mission in God's world' the conference was opened by the Most Revd Benjamin Nzimbi, Primate of Kenya. 'Mission is about transformed lives and we want this for our continent', he said adding that the Church needs to be bold and strong and to take the Gospel to Africa and beyond. The theme was continued 'Transformation is not possible without a personal encounter with God' said Marjorie Murphy in her presentation. If we are to see transformation in mission we need a transformation of our lives by God. Zac Niringiye talked the about social transformation through schools and health services that Africa has experienced through the transforming message of the gospel. But the key question on the issue of transformation, he said, is the crucial aspect of leadership and leadership development of capable people who can engage in political, social, economical and moral issues of the day.

Congo delegates - click for larger image (220k)

The conference was attended by evangelism co-ordinators, bishops and lay representatives from the 12 provinces of Africa and the diocese of Egypt. All the delegates were involved in mission in their provinces or dioceses and shared their stories in small groups as they discussed issues that both enhance and hinder evangelism in their contexts. The stories varied of encouraging growth in Egypt through church planting going beyond the church walls into the villages and markets, the reconciliation of the peoples in Rwanda, ten years after the genocide, the struggles in Northern Uganda of seeking to reach the needs of the people who have experienced so much fear, hunger and death under the Lord's Resistance Army, evangelism in the new diocese of Zanzibar in a predominantly Muslim country, small group evangelism and pastoral family visits in Madagascar and the peace building in South Africa.

The aims of the conference were:

Discussion group - click for larger image (230k)
  • To follow up on the Anglican Communion Mission and Evangelism Conferences: the Nairobi Mission Co-ordinators conference, in 2002 and the Mission Organisations conference held in Cyprus in 2003. This time the focus will be on the Anglican Churches in Africa, and how they can be agents of transforming mission.
  • To create ownership of the mission and evangelism agenda by the key players in the Anglican Churches in Africa
  • To foster greater partnership and synergy in Anglican Mission in Africa and beyond
  • To develop common vision and goals for mission and evangelism
  • To assess the "unfinished work" within Africa and the global mandate
  • To encourage efforts of transforming mission by the Church
  • To create a database of resources available for transforming mission

The CAPA Primates who were meeting simultaneously in their own meeting joined the conference for a few hours one afternoon. They heard the presentations of the small group meetings and later joined in the small group discussion after a presentation on Looking to the Future. The Primates challenged the conference that every Anglican should be an evangelist. 'Fire exists by burning and the church exists by mission and evangelism', he encouraged.

Kibera

Mission in the Kenyan context was demonstrated as the delegates visited Kibera slum, home to one million Kenyans on the outskirts of Nairobi. There are no legal water or electricity supplies in the corrugated iron single room shacks sometimes occupied by ten people. The Revd Richard W Mayabi, the priest of St Jerome's Anglican Church in Kibera works amongst some of the world's most impoverished people. Despite the shocking surroundings his work is thriving, his congregation growing, and he has high hopes and a vision for the future.

ACNS managing editor Michael Craske with CAPA's Justus Waimiri - click for larger image (210k)

Two services and Sunday school are held each Sunday as well as a very active Mothers' Union and Choir. With assistance from the Church Army, and working together with the Pentecostals, they have set up a training school for evangelism within the Kibera area to train their own church leaders. This centre also includes a discipleship training for local people who have come to Christ through the witness of the Revd Mayabi and his team. You can read more of this story by Michael Craske on Anglican Communion News Service ACNS 3816.

With some members of the Mothers Union in Kibera - click for larger image (135k)

Through the three days of the conference the delegates heard the development of mission in the Anglican Communion from the time of independent provinces in order to see their place in the whole Church. They looked at where they are now, the situation in African today and were challenged by the Chair of CAPA, the Most Revd Peter Akinola on the way forward. Their summary of the Conference came in the form of a list of ideas and actions for the future.

 

 

"The Way Forward" - Ideas and Actions for the Future

Summary of Action Points from the Conference

Strategy plan - click for larger image (120k)
  1. Church structure and hierarchy (leadership) should be re-examined "the spirit of the leader is produced in the subjects"
  2. Understanding mission and evangelism-needs to be clarified (back to the Bible)
  3. Nature of theological training in the Anglican communion- (its relevance today).
  4. Create a model/ approach of reaching out.
  5. Resources: how to tap the resources we have for use-(overcoming the dependency syndrome).
    • To be addressed straight from the Bible colleges
    • Establishment of income generating activities
  6. Creating networks and partnerships for enhancing transformation of mission at all levels within the Anglican Communion.
  7. Sustainability of what has been put in place. (capacity building)-balancing the five fold ministry as identified in Ephesians 4:11 in order to enhance proper growth in all ministries.
  8. Responding to both moral and spiritual situations and issues e.g. corruption, homosexualism, tribalism etc.
    • How do we react?
    • The church should be the world's pace setter and not vice versa
  9. Proper planning monitoring and evaluation
    • Develop mechanisms at the various levels to ensure proper process for mission planning.
    • Goal setting and strategizing
  10. An institution to act and ensure continuity of what has now started e.g. CAPA to facilitate partnerships and networks. Provinces to take initiative to link up with others without necessarily waiting for CAPA. Hairdressing in Kibera - click for larger image (160k)
    • Making use of primates, bishops and others in leadership to follow up and make reports.
    • Enhance and ensure communication is clear at all levels- response is very necessary.
    • Strengthening relational links
    • CAPA to take responsibility to visit provinces and dioceses to monitor work on mission
    • Introduce a CAPA news magazine (financial implication?)
    • Co-ordination desk at CAPA to help guide on links and outreach.
    • Follow up of this conference by CAPA to ensure implementation of issues in provinces and dioceses to assess the needs and resources.