Photo Credit: Diocese of Texas
[Diocese of Texas] On Sunday morning, January 26, Trinity Episcopal Church in Galveston welcomed the Most Rev. Jacob Chimeledya, Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Tanzania. The Province of Tanzania represents 27 dioceses and approximately 5 million Anglicans, more than twice the number of Episcopalians in the United States.
The visit was a reunion for Archbishop Chimeledya and Trinity’s rector, the Rev. Susan Kennard, who were fellow seminary students at Virginia Theological Seminary. After graduation from VTS, the two kept in touch, and recently, Trinity made a donation to a new girls boarding school, Queen Esther Girls Secondary School in the Diocese of Mpwapwa.
“We resolved that we must have a secondary school specifically for girls,” Archbishop Chimeledya explained during a pre-service Sunday School gathering. “When you travel to Tanzania, you can see the disparities in representation. In the civil service, the men outnumber the women because the women have been denied chances to go to school. So, we built a school for girls.”
When Kennard heard that the families of many young girls were unable to afford the $680 yearly tuition, she brought the idea of helping these students to the Trinity vestry. They agreed to support the cause with money raised from their Phoenix Jewelry project, a ministry that makes jewelry from their Tiffany stained glass window, which was shattered during Hurricane Ike. Their donation paid the tuition for 10 young girls.
“This was a list of girls whose parents had to use their tuition money to buy food,” Kennard said. “So, we were able to zero-out those accounts. We prayed for them and remember them all by name.”
For Archbishop Chimeledya, the donation represented a unique collaboration. “Thank you very much for your support,” he told Trinity parishioners. “We value very much partnerships in mission. Not everyone from here will be able to visit Tanzania, but you can help change the life of one girl and become an instrument of change in that country, right here.”
After hearing his presentation, one woman wrote a check to pay for the tuition of another needy schoolgirl. At the church service, the children of Trinity presented Archbishop Chimeledya with a banner featuring the motto of the Diocese of Mpwapwa, "Kumtazama Yesu," meaning "Looking unto Jesus" in Swahili. The church also presented him a $1000 check to use at his discretion.
To learn more about the Queen Esther Girls Secondary School, click here. Visit trinitygalv.org to learn more about Trinity, Galveston.