By ACNS staff
The Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa has challenged itself to harness untapped resources and strengthen intra-continental relationships to benefit God's mission.
In a Communiqué issued at the end of the 11th CAPA Council meeting in Burundi, the regional body stated that: "We are convinced that working together in mutual trust and love strengthens our capacity to bring in a transformative energy that will unlock our potential from which hope and new possibilities will emerge.
"We explored various mechanisms for mutual strengthening and collaboration in intra-continental partnerships in pursuit of our calling in Christ under the theme, ‘Harnessing our unity to unlock our potential and secure our future.’"
It went on: "In fulfilling the objectives of our strategic plan namely the promotion of compassionate and accountable leadership; community health, HIV and AIDS; healing, forgiveness and renewal for just and peaceful societies; stewardship of resources, advancing critical theological reflection and action; and advocacy, we recognise the vast untapped resources within the continent. We challenge ourselves to explore mechanisms for optimally harnessing these various categories of resources for mission at different levels."
The statement called on Provinces and dioceses to act to ensure greater participation of young people in the life of the Church. It also recognised the need for strengthening the role of theological institutions in equipping lay and ordinands for effective ministry and supporting in-service training programmes for clergy and bishops.
However, the statement also highlighted those issues that were of concern to CAPA including the fragile nature of many of the states across Africa; the tension between Muslims and Christians; the "destructive impact" of small arms in the hands of civilians; and the recurrance of famine in the continent.
The Resolutions issued along with the Communiqué included the acceptance of the Strategic Plan for the next five years; the establishment of the Anglican Alliance as a "framework for facilitating and strengthening responses to emergencies, disasters and global advocacy initiatives"; an endorsement of UMOJA and Primary Healthcare models; and an agreement to strengthen the Communications Department.
The Communiqué and Resolutions can be read below:
Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (C A P A)
Eleventh Council Meeting
Bujumbura, Burundi, February 2012
Preamble: We, the delegates representing the Provinces of Burundi, Central Africa, Congo, the Indian Ocean, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, West Africa and the Diocese of Egypt of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), gathered at Hotel Source du Nil, Bujumbura, Burundi between 4th and 8th February 2012 for the eleventh General Meeting of Council under the chairmanship of the Most Revd Ian Ernest hereby issue this communiqué. We have met as representatives of the Anglicans to affirm our oneness in the Body of Christ. We renewed our commitment to individual and collective witness to Christ in our respective contexts on the continent.
We are convinced that working together in mutual trust and love strengthens our capacity to bring in a transformative energy that will unlock our potential from which hope and new possibilities will emerge. We explored various mechanisms for mutual strengthening and collaboration in intra-continental partnerships in pursuit of our calling in Christ under the theme, ‘Harnessing our unity to unlock our potential and secure our future.’
1. We had the opportunity to fellowship with our brothers and sisters of the Province of Burundi and celebrated the Eucharist together at Holy Trinity Cathedral. We are extremely grateful for the warm welcome and hospitality shown to us by the Primate of the Anglican Church of Burundi, The Most Rev Bernard Ntahoturi; the Bishop of Bujumbura, the Rt. Rev. Pie Ntukamazina and the local support team. We are also thankful for the words of welcome expressed by the Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon. Eduard Nduwimana, on behalf of the Government of Burundi.
2. We also had the privilege of paying a visit to the President of Burundi, His Excellency, Hon. Pierre Nkurunziza, and congratulated him and the people of Burundi for the transition from conflict and the progress towards peace and development. We encouraged him to continue on the path of national reconciliation and consolidation of democracy. We assured him of our continued prayers for Burundi. His Excellency expressed appreciation for the enormous contribution of the Anglican of Burundi to nation building and pleaded for the Church on the continent to intensify efforts towards poverty eradication and peace building.
3. We give thanks to God for the continued fast numerical growth in our various Provinces as noted at this meeting, but we acknowledge the need for enhanced discipleship. We commit ourselves to strengthen a continental vision for mission actively promoting evangelism coupled with nurturing of believers.
4. Over the last four days we reflected and deliberated on a number of social, environmental and pastoral mission issues that concern the church and society and have adopted the 2011-2015 Strategic Plan that articulates our priorities for addressing these issues.
5. We are concerned about the persistent fragile nature of many of the states in our continent – the rise in post-election violence, deep-seated corruption, dysfunctional economies, all affecting economic, political and social development. We urge our political leaders to create frameworks for national multi-stakeholder dialogue as a means of responding to the growing discontent.
6. We are deeply disturbed by the growing tension between Muslims and Christians, resulting in unnecessary loss of lives and property. We offer ourselves to work in collaboration with leaders of other faith communities to lobby respective governments on greater civilian protection towards stabilizing our communities. We call for solidarity with Christians in the Sudan, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Egypt.
7. We are concerned with the destructive impact that small arms in the hands of civilians has on the welfare of people in our communities and sustainable development. We join other stakeholders in a campaign against their proliferation.
8. We seek to establish mechanisms for conflict management and transformation within our structure and commit ourselves to campaigning for similar mechanisms at the regional and state levels as a means to changing the existing prevalent culture of combative confrontational protests.
9. We are deeply disturbed by the recurrence of famine in the continent despite our wealth of working knowledge that can deter this. We therefore commit to forge partnerships towards creating food security. Furthermore, we call on respective African governments and faith leaders to invest in sustainable development in ensuring the realization of the MDG by 2015 and beyond.
10. In fulfilling the objectives of our strategic plan namely the promotion of compassionate and accountable leadership; community health, HIV and AIDS; healing, forgiveness and renewal for just and peaceful societies; stewardship of resources, advancing critical theological reflection and action; and advocacy, we recognise the vast untapped resources within the continent. We challenge ourselves to explore mechanisms for optimally harnessing these various categories of resources for mission at different levels.
11. We acknowledge with humility the continued good will, respect and trust that religious leaders enjoy in our communities and pledge to use this influence to bear on policy makers and policy implementation.
12. Recognizing the importance of investing in young people, we call on Provinces and dioceses to put in place structures, mechanisms, and empowerment programmes for their increased participation in the life of the church. We therefore commit ourselves and urge other stakeholders to nurture young people towards responsible citizenship at every stage of their development.
13. We recognize the need for strengthening the role of theological institutions in equipping lay and ordinands for effective ministry and supporting in-service training programmes for clergy and bishops.
14. We acknowledge the tremendous work done in the last four years by the CAPA secretariat and Standing Committee under the wise and visionary leadership of our Chairman, the Most Rev Ian Ernest, whose term of office has come to an end. We also noted with appreciation the immense contribution by the General Secretary, Rev Canon Grace Kaiso, since his appointment, to the progress of CAPA and its ministry.
15. We elected the Most Rev Bernard Ntahoturi as the new Chairman, the Most Rev Albert Chama as the Vice, and Ms Grace Wambua as Treasurer.
16. We look forward to God’s continued blessing as we carry on working together for the growth of the Church and the renewal of the continent.
The Most Rev Ian Ernest
8th February 2012
COUNCIL OF ANGLICAN PROVINCES OF AFRICA (CAPA)
11th COUNCIL MEETING
BUJUMBURA, BURUNDI, FROM 4TH TO 8TH FEBRUARY, 2012
1. The Council notes the contributions of the retired Archbishops: Most Rev. Peter Akinola of Nigeria; Most Rev. Fidel Dirokpa of DRC; Most Rev. Emmanuel Kolini from Rwanda, and Most Rev. Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya to the progressive life of CAPA and directs that letters of appreciation be written to them as well as others that have played leadership role over the years.
2. The Council congratulates the people of South Sudan upon their independence and commends the role played by the Church under the leadership of Archbishop Deng. The Council therefore resolves that CAPA provinces support them in peace building, human resources and infrastructure development.
3. The Council commends CAPA for their capacity building programme through the platforms of AABC, Archbishops / bishops training, and challenges the secretariat to liaise with existing theological institutions and develop contextual curriculum for proper formation of priests.
4. The Council recognises the importance of proper record keeping and information sharing and implores the provinces and dioceses to establish archives and network with other provinces and CAPA secretariat.
5. The Council accepts the new CAPA Strategic plan as a main framework for facilitating the implementation of AABC Resolutions and promote peer learning by provinces and dioceses.
6. The Council accepts the establishment of the Anglican Alliance as a framework for facilitating and strengthening responses to emergencies, disasters and global advocacy initiatives
7. The Council endorses the UMOJA and Primary Health Care (PHC) models, and advises provinces and dioceses to adopt them as tools for mission, food security and holistic development. In addition Provinces and Diocese should use their parishes and congregation to continue to advance the implementation of the MDG at all levels.
8. The Council supports the need to strengthen the communication department and therefore resolves that a province seconds a volunteer to CAPA secretariat with full support.
9. The Council regrets the rise in post election violence in Madagascar, Burundi, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Sudan, and others. The Council therefore calls upon its leaders to dialogue meaningfully and use existing conflicts resolution mechanisms in settling disputes and promoting peaceful co-existence.
10. The Council notes the saying that ’there is no peace between nations without peace among religions’, and therefore, abhors the persecution of Christians by Islamic fundamentalists in many parts of the Arab world, Nigeria, and Asia. The council notes the need for Christians and Muslims to live together and resolve their differences peacefully. Therefore, the Council calls on CAPA to facilitate effective learning and dialogue around Christians – Muslims relationships.
11. The Council commends the work done to review the current Constitution. The Council however observes the need to revisit some grey areas and therefore resolves that provinces re-examine the proposed amendments with a view to allowing for more inputs within 3 months.
The Most Rev Ian Ernest
8th February 2012