By Bellah Zulu, ACNS
Primates from across Africa are meeting in Lagos, Nigeria, this weekend to discuss the Church's role in promoting stability across the continent.
The meeting has been organised by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) to enable Primates to “positively engage with each other in their various contexts of their calling, to become drivers of dialogue around pertinent issues in their respective countries.”
“Africa [is] a land of great promise but we are still riddled with all kinds of challenges,” said CAPA General Secretary, Canon Grace Kaiso. “The Church in my view is indispensable in finding solutions to Africa's problems. So am anticipating some deep reflection to take place and clear mechanisms to be developed for the Primates to carry the agreed tasks forward.
“[Africa's problems] require some rethinking on the part of the Church so that we get well positioned to influence processes on the continent. Only then we can take advantage of the positive energy that surrounds Africa to contribute to the quality of life of God's people and stability in our nations.”
All but two African Anglican Primates - of the The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & The Middle East and Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan & Sudan - are travelling to Nigeria to attend the meeting between February 8 and 14.
This is the first meeting of CAPA Primates in several years. Other scheduled meetings had been postponed.
Another key topic for the meeting is theological education. The Primates will seek to address how theological education can be used as a catalyst in the “building up of God’s people and in responding to all the key pastoral issues facing Africa today.”
“These will be issues such as evangelisation in face of secularising forces, Muslim / Christian relations, famine and hunger, ethnic and resource based conflicts and the young people and their future," said Canon Grace.
CAPA is a major unifying factor for the Anglican Church on the continent and seeks to effectively co-ordinate and provide a platform for the Church to celebrate life, consult and address challenges on the continent in order to fulfill God’s promise for abundant life.