Friendship and identity

Staff_team_2015 Posted by Roger Cooke on Mon, 26 Feb 2018 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

One of the important elements of a visit to Mission Partners is the opportunity to ‘check-in’ with them and with the Global Partner with whom they’re based. Last week, Jenny spent time with Lyn and Keith Scott and with Archbishop Albert Chama, at whose invitation the Scotts are working with the Diocese of Northern Zambia.

The Anglican Province of Central Africa, of which Archbishop Chama is Primate, consists of 15 dioceses across the four countries of Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Archbishop Chama is therefore required to travel quite a bit, but he made time to be in Kitwe for our partner visit.

As well as connecting with CMSI formally, this time provided an opportunity for Archbishop Albert and Archbishop Richard to renew a friendship that was formed at a meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka (Zambia’s capital city) in 2016.

Yesterday, Archbishop Richard preached at a service of Confirmation at St James’ Church, Buchi. The celebratory service, which lasted around four hours, also included the blessing of a new borehole in the area, and the several hundred in attendance also received communion or a blessing. 53 of those present were confirmed by the two archbishops.

Archbishop Richard preached on the theme of friendship in Christ, which he said was part of the Confirmation commitment. He outlined the key elements of a friendship, and urged the need to be ‘loyal, ready to listen, to be reconciled and to let people see God through us as we demonstrate his love.’ During the service, the archbishop was given a Bemba (the Zambian language) name by the members of the Mothers’ Union – Mulenga. This was a lovely way to recognise the significance of the visit and that theme of friendship in Christ.

Meanwhile, I journeyed with Keith Scott to St Luke’s Church, Luangwa where I preached. Keith fulfils some Sunday duties in the diocese and St Luke’s is a parish over which has has been given temporary responsibility. The theme for my sermon was identity in Christ, and I referenced the new names given to Abraham and Sarah, which were coupled with a renewed sense of understanding who God is and how we relate to Him.

The weekend ended with a meal hosted by Archbishop Albert and his wife Ashila. Archbishop Richard will spend the remainder of the trip staying with the Chamas, while I’ll stay with the Scotts.

Today (Monday) sees the two archbishops visiting in the diocese, while I’m joining one of the diocesan clergy in his parishes. Jenny departs Zambia today and travels to Kenya, where she will visit two of CMSI’s other Global Partners: the Urban Development Programme of All Saints’ Cathedral, and the Diocese of Kajiado, where Mission Partners Maggie and Ronnie Briggs are based.

Please continue to pray for the team as they travel, and as Archbishop Richard and Adrian visit and teach over the next few days.

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