Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sudan's Bishops to work for church unity across new national border

Anglican Communion News Service - Digest: "We will remain one united church", bishops tells Sudan.

"As the people of Southern Sudan have voted for secession with the South becoming a new nation from 9th July 2011, we would like to assure the Christians of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan that the ECS will remain as one united church as part of the 80 million worldwide Anglican Communion. The church is one body; God has no borders. We will not abandon each other regardless of the political geographical boundaries.

We pray that Almighty God will help us foster unity, peace and democracy as exhibited by all Sudanese and witnessed by the whole world during this referendum process. We must all embrace the spirit of self-sacrifice, hard work, respect for one another, tolerance, and honesty as we endeavour to build the two new nations. Unity in diversity is our strength."

You can provide direct support to their efforts by supporting educational efforts in Christian communities in South Sudan. You can give to help teachers in the village of Pajut or to help a South Sudanese teacher earning his degree in Nairobi, Kenya.

Use my PayPal port to the right or email me for more info.


larry kurtz said...

"Let’s fast forward to the present when an authoritarian regime rules the whole of Sudan. Previous to the authoritarian drift of this nation, there were already covert operations by Christian clerico-fascist operators to enforce an agenda of creating a schism in the long run by carving out a Christian south."

Hardly surprising.


TLF+ said...

Interesting internet opinion at the link but Opus Dei? I read the DaVinci Code, too. But even if some of the details are true the good news is that Christian subversives are hopelessly incompetent, since we don't have blocs of nations under "Christian law" or world-rattling terror attacks pulled off by Christian suicide teams.

I've know "on the ground" Sudan hands for decades. The situation is complex, with tribal rivalries, the unique needs of nomadic herders who need access to land in both north and south, the Muslim-on-Muslim violence in Dafur, and of course the north-south divide with its obvious cleavages - and also its screaming need for cooperation between the oil rich south and the production and shipping capacity of the north.

"Christian clerico-fascists?" The South Sudan project supported by the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota build fresh water wells, grinding mills and a school - the primary impact of which is to free girls from full days of menial labor so they can be educated and build a different kind of society.

Not ideal or perfect - the Argus Leader did a nice job last Sunday describing the South Sudanese community here in Sioux Falls, warts and all. But fascists? They're here because they were fleeing massacres, rape, slavery.

larry kurtz said...

Maybe you could help me understand why efforts are being invested in Sudan but not on reservations in South Dakota where massacres of the spirit are rampant.

Anonymous said...

The Diocese of South Dakota works on all the state's reservations. Right now there is a significant at risk youth-suicide prevention initiative on Standing Rock. One parish has provided a 6 figure matching grant.

larry kurtz said...

How many of these assets speak Lakota, Nakota, or Dakota?

The Archer of the Forest said...

Investments are being made in both places. What exactly is your point?
An asset can't speak any language. I am not following your logic.

larry kurtz said...

Without simpatico, charities are just more white people enabling the status quo.

If change is to be affected from anywhere other than the akíčhita, for the younger men, and načá, for elders and former leaders, language immersion is essential.

TLF+ said...

Larry, I think I've not addressed some of your core questions - I'm running between work raindrops so let me give it a shot:

The Diocese of South Dakota and the Episcopal Church are certainly part of the White cultural destruction of traditional L/N/Dakota people - but then so is White education, White Government and pretty much anything else White that settled in here.

The Diocese of South Dakota also has a decent history of advocating for the Native people and seeking, imperfectly, to honor the existing tradition. Fr. Paul Sneve in Rapid City, son of SD author Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, says "This is Lakota diocese." In terms of L/D/Nakota speaking leadership, Fr. Robert Two Bulls on Pine Ridge, new Deacon Patricia White Horse Carda in Yankton, senior priest of the Diocese Webster Two Hawk of Ft. Pierre are just a few examples of a long line in Native clergy and lay leaders. William Hobart Hare, the first Episcopal Bishop here, was instrumental in securing the "Bad Man" laws that afford Tribes some redress against White predators.

The Diocesan Convention each fall is a fellowship that is half White, half "Red" and now sports a couple of Black tables with our Sudanese congregation represented. No, this is not perfection; we can ignore, slight, misunderstand and otherwise let one another down just like anybody else. But in an 86% White state (according to the most recent census), if is pretty amazing to walk into the meetings of the Diocese and see a very different reality.

My interest in the Sudan is not an anti-Islamic or other random hobby horse. We have a significant Sudanese community in Sioux Falls, and a significant Episcopal Congregation. Our last Bishop (Sisseton-Whapeton, btw) ordained two Sudanese clergy from that group.

So I would say that with all of the human flaws and flawed history that cannot be denied, we manifest some worthwhile and noble efforts that don't require apology. We've sought to live out values that Christ teaches. We fail frequently, but we can certainly claim to have gone beyond symbolism to live out the implications of our faith.

larry kurtz said...

Thank you, padre; that was very helpful. How is the cooperation with other sects going and who is doing the best job?

The Archer of the Forest said...

I would second Father Tim's assertions above. We as a Church fully acknowledge that grave sins have done in South Dakota because of various ethnic and political motives. We do what we can to try to rectify things done in the past. However, what is in the past is in the past, and we do not have a magic wand to wave to make all past wrongs go away. By the grace of God, we can only do what we can do and try to learn from the past and move forward.

I would add that various Lakota and Sudanese communities in the Diocese of South Dakota are free to conduct worship services in their native languages if they so choose. We try very hard to respect and encourage the cultural heritage of all of God's children in South Dakota.

I can give you one example off the top of my head. Last year at the Episcopal Youth Camp, a group of Rosebud Lakota were invited to be presenters. The group came and did a wonderful presentation of Traditional Lakota dance and culture. The children loved it, as did the Lakota who participated.

Again, I am sure we are far from perfect in these regards, but it is a start. I find your terminology of "other sects" rather patronizing, but we are all trying to do the best we can given the reality of South Dakota dynamics, as I am sure other branches of Christianity are grappling with other ways of helping heal some of the racial and ethnic divisions in South Dakota. Ecumenical dialog and cooperation efforts are far too numerous to go into here.

And, as always, we are always open to other constructive suggestions on how best to move forward as a Church and as the Body of Christ.

larry kurtz said...

Salaam aleikum, Arch.

Unfortunately, the past is all too real in Bill Janklow's world where the tribes are continually marginalized and told to "suck it up and be assimilated." Warrior Societies have far more power to bring hope to youth in the aftermath of sectarian abuses in South Dakota and other states.

Expect blowback and expect it soon.

The Archer of the Forest said...

So, am I to assume by your inference that violence and war is the answer?

larry kurtz said...

Of course not or ip wouldn't be talking to the clergy. You guys might enough balls to fix it.

When you have some time to reverse engineer the real dialogue, start here.

If only you were old enough to remember Louis J. Miller.