Friday, August 27, 2010

Episcopal Church of the Sudan: "put the safety, livelihoods, and rights of the poorest and most vulnerable first."

The Bishops of the Sudanese Church issued a statement at the All Africa Bishops' Conference in Entebbe, Uganda. Anglican blogger David Virtue posted it this morning.

It is a sobering yet inspiring statement, as the church in The Sudan calls on the country to implement all provisions of its "Comprehensive Peace Agreement." The CPA was put in place to end a civil war during which "The Government of Sudan declared jihad against Sudanese Christians, and between 1983 and 2005, around 2.5 million people died, millions were maimed, and over 4 million more were displaced to camps—some of whom have not been permitted to return until this day." Displaced Sudanese have a significant community here in Sioux Falls, including an Episcopal congregation which has raised up clergy from its membership.

The Diocese of South Dakota has a continuing reconstruction relationship with the village of Pajut in South Sudan, detailed recently in the Church News (pdf - story begins on p. 4)

Psalm 17 was appointed for Morning Prayer today. I found some of its verses useful to pray for the Sudanese church:

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings,

From the wicked who assault me, from my deadly enemies who surround me.

They have closed their heart to pity, and their mouth speaks proud things.

They press me hard, now they surround me, watching how they may cast me to the ground,

Like a lion, greedy for its prey, and like a young lion lurking in secret places...

But at my vindication I shall see your face; when I awake, I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.

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