East Africa Famine Spurs Anglican Church in North America Action

“An estimated 3.7 million people in Somalia - about a third of the population - are on the brink of starvation and millions more in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda have been struck by the worst drought in the region in 60 years,” according to AFP.

The U.N. officially declared a famine in two regions of Somalia last week and has declared an emergency humanitarian crisis throughout the Horn of Africa. However, shipments from the U.N. World Food Program were initially held up by al-Shabab, an al Qaeda-affiliated militant group that controls much of the region and has denied a famine is taking place.

Voice of America reports that the U.N. refugee agency is estimating that 100,000 Somalis have made their way to camps in Mogadishu over the past couple of months, and continue to come at a rate of 1,000 every day. Food security experts are already noting that victims will need funds, seeds and livestock in order to sustain themselves as soon as they are able to leave the camps.

Though an estimated 12 million lives are hanging in the balance, security concerns and the fact that the international community was caught off guard by the severity of the drought are contributing to the hold up in international aid, according to reports

We hope you’ll join us in showing our support for those in need and our Anglican brothers and sisters in the region by committing to financial and prayer support.

The Anglican Relief and Development Fund has set up a fund to assist those who are suffering as a result of the famine. For more information or to donate online, click here. If you wish to send a check, it can be mailed to ARDF’s secure lockbox at ARDF, PO Box 3830, Pittsburgh, PA 15230-3830 with “East Africa Famine” in the memo line. 

Bible verse and prayer shared by The Venerable Dr. Jon I. Lumanog, Canon for Provincial and Global Mission:

“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.” (Psalm 33:18-19)

Almighty God, who sent Jesus to be the Bread of Life, we pray that you would keep our brothers and sisters in the region of Somalia alive in famine. For those who do not have enough of what they need to sustain life, bless them with your provision. For those of us who have more than enough, give us wisdom and discernment on how we can be a blessing to those struggling with famine. Use our Church to bring healing and wholeness to a struggling region in Africa. We ask this in the strong name of Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life. Amen.

Photo caption: Somali refugees who recently crossed from Somalia into southern Ethiopia cluster between two food tents as they wait to be called to collect rations at the Kobe refugee camp on July 19, 2011. Credit: Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images

Ordinal Approved for Use by the College of Bishops

The Anglican Church in North America is pleased to announce the Ordinal has been approved for use by the College of Bishops. The Ordinal text was approved on June 24, 2011. To view the PDF document, please click here.

“One of the major things that we sought to do was to craft an Ordinal that was written in contemporary English, but also was clearly in the Prayer Book tradition. Of particular focus was the strengthening of the vows that those who are ordained ascribe to,” said Bishop Bill Thompson, Chair of Prayer Book and Common Liturgy task force.

“We were very deliberate about the tone and content of the Ordinal and the fact that it is clearly connected to our Anglican roots. Our intention is for the other liturgies that we put forth to have that same quality,” Bishop Thompson said.

The language and doctrine of the new Ordinal is descended from the historic Anglican Ordinals of 1549, 1662, and the American 1928 and Canadian 1962. The primary source was the American book of 1928 because it has removed references to the English Monarch and Government, which makes more sense in our North American context. The other editions are used in places where there has been a variance between the various editions.

The structure of this edition, however, does look to ecumenical and more recent Anglican Ordinals, especially the American BCP of 1979, the Church of England “Common Worship: Ordination Services,” Study Edition of 2007, and the Province of Southern Africa “An Anglican Prayer Book” of 1989. Where appropriate, this edition seeks to reconcile the text of the Ordinal with the English Standard Version of the Bible.

As we celebrate the work the Lord is doing in our body through His faithful servants, please join us in saying the Veni, Creator Spiritus as a prayer for the renewal of the Church.

Veni, Creator Spiritus

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
And lighten with celestial fire.
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
Who dost Thy sevenfold gifts impart.

Thy blessed unction from above,
Is comfort, life, and fire of love.
Enable with perpetual light
The dullness of our blinded sight.

Anoint and cheer our soiled face
With the abundance of Thy grace.
Keep far our foes, give peace at home;
Where Thou art guide, no ill can come.

Teach us to know the Father, Son,
And Thee, of both, to be but One;
That, through the ages all along,
This may be our endless song:

Praise to Thy eternal merit,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Photo captions: Website homepage - Archbishop Robert Duncan lays hands on The Rev. Mike McGhee during an ordination service on June 13, 2009. Story photo - Archbishop Robert Duncan presided at the consecration of The Rt. Rev. Bill Ilgenfritz to the office of bishop on August 22, 2009. Photo credit: Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh

Prayers Needed for Border Region between North and South Sudan

UPDATE: Bishop Abraham Yel Nhial of the Episcopal Diocese of Aweil is calling for increased international attention to the situation of internally displaced persons in Abyei area on the border between north and south Sudan and concrete steps to secure lasting peace in the region.

“While international attention has shifted to the attacks in the Nuba Mountains, my people in Abyei continue to suffer. Emergency aid efforts are concluding, but people still lack the necessary food, shelter, and medication. As we celebrate the recent independence of South Sudan, we must remember that some issues remain unresolved. The steps I am calling for will lay the foundation for future peace in Abyei,” said Bishop Abraham.

To read more from Bishop Abraham about the situation and the current needs, please click here. Bishop Abraham is a former “Lost Boy” of Sudan. He is the author of Lost Boy No More: A True Story of Survival and Salvation and a graduate of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania.

We urge you to continue to be in prayer for the new Republic of South Sudan and the many people who are suffering in the north/south border region.

If you feel led to assist financially, the Anglican Relief and Development Fund has provided a unique giving opportunity through its partnership with the Diocese of Yambio, Southern Sudan. Working with the local government, the Anglican Church of Sudan is training local people in new agricultural techniques that will move them from subsistence to self-sufficient farming while teaching the biblical concept of stewardship in weekly Bible studies. For more information or to donate, click here. You may also mail a check with “Sudan” in the memo line to: ARDF, P.O. Box 3830, Pittsburgh, PA 15230-3830.

Photo caption: Bishop Abraham and others are pictured during a recent visit to visit displaced people across the Diocese. Credit: Episcopal Diocese of Aweil
Update from July 11, 2011:
South Sudan Becomes Independent Nation: Anglican Church in North America offers prayer for peace across the region

imageIn light of The South Sudan becoming an independent nation on Saturday, the Anglican Church in North America offers a prayer for peace across the afflicted region.

“We rejoice with our brothers and sisters in the new nation of South Sudan while seeing this as an opportunity to pray for those who most need our prayers and encouragement,” said The Venerable Dr. Jon I. Lumanog, Canon for Provincial and Global Mission.

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, “Peace I give to you; my own peace I leave with you.”  We pray for the whole world: especially for the new nation of South Sudan.  We pray for peace where there is war; for godly compassion and aid where there is competition; for love where there is hate. We also pray for peace, protection and wisdom for Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul and our brothers and sisters of The Sudan as they work together for justice, freedom and peace.  Grant us wisdom on how we can be your hands and feet for our faith family in The Sudan and around the world.  We pray in the strong name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Photo credit: South Sudanese celebrate ahead of the Saturday ceremony. Picture: Phoebe Okall, The East African