At the invitation of Archbishop Fidele Dirokpa, Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, attended the Provincial Synod meeting of L’Eglise Anglicane du Congo held in Bunia last week. The synod meeting was held immediately after a round table discussion with overseas partners, the first time that such a meeting had been held.
The Synod meeting began with an opening eucharist held in All Saints, Bunia. This service was also one of celebration and thanksgiving for the ministry of Archbishop Fidele, marking twenty five years since his ordination as a bishop. The service was attended by members of synod, overseas partners, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, as well as a several hundred local well wishers.
During his visit the Secretary General was able to visit the site provincial theological seminary, ISThA, in Bunia and the house of the diocesan bishop. It was hoped that the seminary would be able to move back to Bunia from its temporary home in Aru (the place where people fled during the fighting) in August 2007. Those visiting the site noted that much reconstruction was needed for both the seminary and the diocesan bishop’s house.
Archbishop Fidele Dirokpa and Secretary General, Canon Kenneth Kearon
At the end of this his first visit to the Province, the Secretary - General expressed his delight, great appreciation for the warmth of the welcome he had received, and said that he would be taking away with him a greater understanding of the life of Christians in DR Congo and the work of the Anglican Church there.
The Secretary-General also reminded the Province that it is important to tell the stories of their work and witness to what God is doing in DR Congo so that the whole Communion can stand with them and pray for them. As he left Bunia, Canon Kearon said: ‘I was particularly moved to hear of the healing and reconciliation work of the Anglicans and the hopes of many dioceses to widen and extend this ministry. They need our prayers and the support of the whole Anglican Communion.’
Also visiting the Provincial Synod meeting was the Lambeth Conference Manager, Sue Parks, who attended to speak about the plans for next year’s Lambeth Conference.