Here in the chief port and former capital of Tanzania, whose Arabic name, Dar es Salaam, means ‘haven of peace' we give thanks to God for news just received from Burundi.
"Greetings from Bujumbura and thank you very much for your prayers . The president is back in Bujumbura ,and from this late morning no more gunshots ,hope peace will prevail soon ."
Our prayers will indeed continue for the people of Burundi. Tomorrow before we leave for London, England we will attend the cathedral in Dar es Salaam, home to much loved and revered spiritual fathers like:
Frank Weston ( Bishop of Zanzibar from 1907 until his death 16 years later, November 2, 1924 ) and Trevor Huddelston ( second Archbishop of the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean). Men whose lives exuded the Christian faith as much, if not more so, than their words. Their legacy clearly lives on in the people here today; in their humble service, deep reverential worship and obedience to the Gospel. I will certainly remember the one quote shared by their new bishop, James at this conference ‘we can give without loving but we cannot love without giving'.
Archdeacon Dell and myself will take many memories, learnings and experiences from this conference. New friendships have been forged as the love of God has embraced us and His Holy Spirit has filled us.
Archbishop Fred Hiltz reminded us of the history of our companion links:
Quote from Living Communion ACC report Nottingham 2006
“The Anglican Communion grew out of a vision for world mission.... we are a family of churches who find their communion in mission. Within our Communion there are structures, which express ourunity, marks which identify our mission and relationships which create our fellowship.... we are a communion in mission in so far as our identifiable mission is relational and our structures serve those mission relationships.”
He referenced the Signposts document, TEAC 2007 used at Lambeth 2008. ‘Anglicans are:formed by scripture, shaped by worship,ordered for communion and directed by God's mission
And he reminded our assembly that the concept and spirit of Companion relationships go back 50 years to the 1963 Anglican Congress in Toronto, Canada which urged the Anglican Communion towardMutualResponsibility and Interdependence (MRI) in the Body of Christ. (Many of you will remember the signing of the companion link documents between our diocese and the dioceses of Lichfield and West Malaysia in 1988, and the subsequent visits to these dioceses through the years)
The 1998 Lambeth Conference called the Church to increase the number of companion relationships and challenged each diocese of the Communion to make a serious effort to identify one or more dioceses as a companion in formal or in informal ways. (The companion link with the diocese of Muyinga was signed in December 2008)
18 of 30 of our dioceses in Canada have such a relationship , about half of which represent relationships in many parts of the world and half in Africa.
I thank God for this opportunity to learn more about this great initiative of our Church and I give thanks to God for the richness we share in the Gospel with brothers and sisters in far away lands who share with us the Great commission (Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I've commanded you.”
Yours in the love of Christ