[CPCA, by Bellah Zulu] A young Anglican from Central Africa has said that the Anglican Consultative Council-16 (ACC-16) which will be held in Lusaka, Zambia in April next year, “is a unique opportunity for young people to fully express themselves and shine.”
Warren Mwelwa Fellows, a Warrant Officer in the Church’s Boys Brigade said this in an interview during the launch of the ACC-16, in Lusaka on November 29. “This is an important event because it will bring together youth from different parts of the province and also from other parts of the Anglican Communion,” he said.
Warren made a passionate appeal to the older people in the church whom he says usually “do things by the book.” He said: “As young people we want to be able to express ourselves and shine on that day, through our modern songs and dances.”
“Allowing young people to fully express themselves at church helps them stay at church and hence abstaining from harmful and illicit vices such as alcohol and drugs,” he said. “This will also help bring other young people who may not even members of our church to come and attend the event.”
Preaching during the event, the secretary general of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon urged all Christians especially parents to “love their children enough to share Christ with them instead of just worrying about our children’s hairstyles and dressing.”
“All people have worry but Jesus doesn’t want us to be weighed down by worry because it doesn’t help us at all, but wants to help us lively wisely and well,” he said.
Speaking during a video message played during the service, spiritual leader of the over 85 million strong Anglican Communion, and Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby appealed to all Anglicans in the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) to be “open and transparent and share how it is like to be Anglican in Central Africa.”
Archbishop Welby thanked CPCA for agreeing to host the event and asked for fervent prayers from Central Africa Anglicans. “Pray together and in a systematic way for ACC-16 because it’s not often that we get to meet Anglican representatives from the larger part of the Anglican Communion,” he said.
At the end of the event, the Archbishop of CPCA, Albert Chama, had an opportunity to inspect a Guard of Honour presented by the Boys Brigade. He used the opportunity to thank the young people for showing up in large numbers at the event. “I encourage you to use the values of discipline and hard work that you’re taught to follow Christ, but also to show up in even larger number for the actual event next year,” he said.
Chairperson of the local organising committee for the ACC-16, Dr Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula also highlighted the relevance of the event. “ACC-16 will help CPCA grow since it creates momentum and gives an opportunity to reflect on our faith and the need to do more,” she said. “The event also gives Zambia Anglicans an opportunity to share the values of tolerance since it’s a country that has enjoyed peace despite having various faiths and groups.”
The launch it was characterised by joyful singing and dancing led by a young and energetic praise team. The vibrant and assorted coloured clothes and garments further accentuated the beauty and diversity that has come to be associated with the Anglican Church in Africa. It was attended by more than one thousand people mostly from Zambia, but also from CPCA and other parts of the world.
The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) is one of the four instruments of the Anglican Communion and meets every three years in different parts of the world. There have been fifteen meetings of the Council with the last meeting, ACC-15, held in Auckland New Zealand in 2012. The theme for ACC-16 is, “Intentional Discipleship in a World of Differences.”