Episcopalians and Tanzanians partner in mission


There’s been a spate of news about partnerships between Episcopal churches and dioceses in the U.S. working in concert with Tanzanians. An incomplete listing is below. We’d love to know of more.

Robin Denney, an agricultural missionary to the Episcopal Church of the Sudan reports on her recent trip to Tanzania to teach the benefits of solar cooking. She writes, “Bishop Gerard, and others in Western Tanganika are very interested in solar cooking, because of it’s potential impact on the lives of women….”

The Rt. Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves, Bishop of the Diocese of El Camino Real, tells a story of a chance encounter with a Tanzanian boy who changed her life.

The chance meeting with a disfigured child — an epileptic scarred and infected after falling into a cooking fire during a seizure — has led to a campaign by church members in the diocese to provide solar cooking classes, scholarships and other help to the boy’s village.

The Sadiki story begins in March, as three bishops were visiting Africa after a partnership pact among congregations on the Central Coast, in England and in West Tanganyika.

Read it all here.

The cover story in this month’s Virginia Episcopalian is The Call to Tanzania: Partnerships, relationships bring Virginians to east Africa. Extracts:

There’s a certain infectious quality about the Diocese of Central Tanganyika in Tanzania, particularly, it would seem, for Virginians. Since 2006, partnerships between the two dioceses have been growing at a feverish rate, and with good cause. Virginians who have traveled to Tanzania inevitably come back and speak of a trait that is hard to pinpoint, although the word “joyful” pops up again and again. But perhaps most frequently, Virginians who return from Tanzania find themselves with a passionate desire to return to the Diocese of Central Tanganyika. Now, more than ever, the people of Tanzania are in need, and Virginians are responding.

Grace, Kilmarnock has partnered with Bankola in a unique relationship thanks to a ministry called Carpenter’s Kids. Started as a partnership between the Diocese of Central Tanganyika and the Episcopal Diocese of New York, Carpenter’s Kids supports some of the most impoverished children by seeking to pair each of its 200 parishes with partners. These partners typically commit to providing 50 of the village’s most vulnerable and needy children with uniforms, school supplies, soap, socks, a daily hot meal and emergency care for five years.

Mwitikira is where St. Paul’s, Richmond found its second home. When they decided to support the village in 2007 as part of a commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), they probably didn’t realize that it would be the start of a relationship that would call numerous parishioners across oceans and continents to visit with their partner village.

St. John’s, West Point has also maintained a lasting relationship with the Diocese of Central Tanganyika. Past projects have included sending toothbrushes to a needy parish in the diocese. The Very Rev. Beth Palmer, rector, also spent time teaching at Msalato….

VTS has also been able to build a reciprocal visiting partnership with the Diocese of Central Taganyika. A delegation from VTS visited Tanzania this past summer. Josiah Rengers, a middler, and Meredith Holt, a senior, accompanied Ms. Steffensen and the Rev. Jacques Hadler, director of field education for VTS. As part of the reciprocal relationship, this January, four students from Msalato will come to VTS thanks to a grant from Trinity, Wall Street.

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