Report on Bishop Mouneer’s Recent Visit to Ethiopia and Algeria 8-16 September, 2018

Dusty… Faithful Feet

 

Introduction

On the 8th of September I traveled to Ethiopia to join with Archbishop Josiah Fearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion; Bishop Andrew Proud, the Bishop of Redding, Oxford; and Rev. David White, the CEO of the Anglican Communion Office. Rev. Rajan Vincent, of Christ the King Anglican Church, Tripoli, Libya joined me as well. The purpose of the visit was for Archbishop Josiah to see the extent of the ministry in Ethiopia, especially the Gambela region, where the number of churches has grown from 7 in 2000 to 141 in 2017.

 

A New Hope

We spent the first day in Addis Ababa and spent Sunday the 9th at St. Matthew’s Church, where Bishop Andrew Proud preached and I celebrated the Holy Communion service. While in Addis, we noticed that the local people were in the streets, carrying Ethiopian flags and celebrating with great joy! The reason for all this was the celebration of the Ethiopian New Year. They follow a different calendar, so it is now 2011. The other reason for the obvious joy was that the new Prime Minister has invited all of the opposition leaders to come back to Ethiopia in order to participate in building the future of the country. We were able to see the hope in the eyes of the people who have suffered from oppression in the past.

On Sunday evening we travelled to Gambela. On Monday morning, we visited two new churches for the Anuak tribe. In the afternoon, we went to visit the churches in Itang. Each group of churches has a mission center where people gather once a month for training and fellowship.  I was touched when I learned that some of the women walked for three hours to come and welcome us in the mission center. Their dusty feet speak of their faithfulness to the Church of Christ.

The great and wonderful surprise for me was that, on the large piece of land I mentioned in my last report in May, they have built a new church with mud and tree branches! They asked me to give the church a name, which I did. The church is now called “The Good Shepherd Church.”

On Tuesday, we met with around 35 clergy and lay ministers. They shared about what the Lord is doing in their midst. They also gave us all an update about the number of churches in each mission center. Archbishop Josiah asked them about their hopes for the future. They are very much looking forward to a Bishop who can live in their midst, not far away. They also would like to see development work in the areas of education and health happening in Gambela. As I write this report, a group of engineers finished their visit to Addis Ababa and Gambela to develop plans for the extensions of St. Matthew’s, as well as the new land in Gambela.

Visit to Algiers

We also visited Algiers, in order to see the ministry in North Africa. It was a great encouragement to see a vibrant service on Friday morning and another Arabic service in the afternoon. The church is definitely growing in Algiers! It became obvious to all of us that the need for several clergy is becoming urgent. We are happy that a number of potential clergy are now being trained at St. Cyprian Theological Center in Tunisia. While in Algiers, we were able to visit Annaba (Hippo), which is in the East of the country.

It was wonderful to visit the ruins of the site of St. Augustine’s Cathedral and to see the seat where he used to sit, preach, and act as a judge when people brought problems to him. It was also wonderful to see the new St. Augustine’s Catholic Basilica and to meet some Anglicans who worship there.

Come and Walk in the Steps of the Holy Family

Dear friends,

I encourage you to visit Egypt. The opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the Holy Family is unforgettable, and such a trip will change the way you understand their story. Egypt is the cradle of human civilization with a rich and complex history made up of many significant events, civilizations, and cultures. The country was chosen by God as the land of refuge for the Holy Family. By visiting Egypt, you will be able to experience the country’s hospitality and friendship firsthand.

A trip to Egypt following in the footsteps of the Holy Family can be designed to suit your needs, whether it be a shorter trip to visit only the landmarks around Cairo, or a longer trip throughout Egypt.

Now is the perfect time to visit Egypt. This is the safest that the country has been since the revolution, and tourism is starting to increase.If you are interested in visiting Egypt, please let us know at the Diocese of Egypt, and we would be happy to connect you with a high-quality travel agency to help plan your trip.

We look forward to seeing you here in our beautiful country.

 

May the Lord bless you.

+Mouneer Egypt

Bishop Mouneer and Clergy Visit Al-Azhar in Eid El-Fetr

 

 

On Wednesday, June 13, Bishop Mouneer and some clergy visited Al-Azhar to wish the Grant Imam, Ahmed El-Taieb, a Happy Eid Fetr. Delegation from the Lambeth palace and other members also joined the visit. During the visit, the Grant Imam praised the influence of the Diocese of Egypt in the interfaith dialogue to enhance the relationships between people of different backgrounds in the society. Bishop Moueer also discussed some details concerning the coming visit of Al-Azhar to Archbishop Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. The visit was encouraging to all attendees.

 

Bishop Mouneer Participates in St. Mary’s Cave Opening in Mataria

On Friday June 1st,Bishop Mouneer participated in St. Mary’s Cave Opening in Mataria, Cairo, along with Bishop Armia, Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The event collides with the international acknowledgment of Egypt as part of the route taken by the Holy Family. The event was attended by public figures including, Cairo governor, Minister of monuments, Fatma Naoot, Margret Azer, etc; as well as church figures. The celebration included by a holy mass within the cave led by the Catholic Patriarchate, Ibrahim Isaac.

The cave is of a historical importance because it hosted the holy family when they came to Egypt for shelter. In the fourth Century, the Jesuits built the church nearby the cave and it was consecrated by Bishop Gido Korbly in 1891. It was not considered as a historical venue until its opening  on Friday the 1st of June.

In his speech to the press, Bishop Mouneer emphasized the importance of the visit of the Holy family to Egypt. The visit fulfilled a prophecy in Hosea 11: 1, NIV “Out of Egypt I called my son”, and was a reason for blessings to the Egyptians that continues till today. He also approved the wise decision internationally acknowledging Egypt as part of the route taken by the Holy Family. He also encouraged the Egyptians to always be a safe refuge for foreigners and refugees, as Egypt was once to the Holy Family, so they may find joy, peace and blessings in Egypt.

To view the full speech of Bishop Mouneer, please clink below.

To read local press, please click here, Sada El-Balad and El-Fagr News.

Letter of Condolences from Bishop Bill

Dear friends;

I was saddened to hear the news of the recent death of Lady Ghislaine Morris. Hilary and I first met Ghislaine in Cairo, in the late 1970s, when Sir Willie Morris was British Ambassador to Egypt and we were living there. We have kept in touch over the years. Ghislaine maintained her interest in the church in Egypt, and in the Middle East generally, long after her experience of living there. She was for many years a trustee of both the Jerusalem and Middle East Trust, and the Anglican Church Trustees (Egypt). She was Secretary of the Egypt Diocesan Association 1983-1986, Chair of the EDA 1987-1990, and then Secretary again 1991-2003. I also remember her in more recent years as a supportive friend and colleague of Bishop Kenneth Cragg. Hilary and I loved her generous, genuine interest in others, her warm personality, her positive embrace of possibilities, her supportive organisational skills. We especially send condolences to, and pray for, Peter, David and Stephen and all the family in their loss of Ghislaine.

Rt Rev Dr Bill Musk

Letter of Condolences from Bishop Mouneer

Dear Friends,

I am so sorry to hear of the passing away of our very dear friend Ghislaine. She was a remarkable lady who poured herself to serve others. I will never forget that she took me to visit the nearby hospice in Oxford, and I learned that she was involved in transporting patients from their homes to the hospice. She showed her faith in action. I remember every time I had a discussion with her how enriched I felt by her deep thoughts. Nancy and I will miss her so much, but she will continue to live in our hearts and thoughts. I pray that the Lord may give you peace during this time.

May the Lord bless you.

Yours in Christ,
Mouneer

Bishop Mouneer’s Pastoral Visit to Ethiopia

On the 12th of May, Bishop Mouneer traveled to Addis Ababa for a pastoral visit to our people in Ethiopia. He had the joy of having Bishop Samy Fawzy join him for this trip. The trip started by very encouraging time at St. Matthew’s Church in Addis Ababa, and a meeting with Rev. Roger Kay and his wife Lynn. The next day, they traveled to the Anglican Centre in Gambella, where they met faithful people who are serving there. They also visited two churches in this area. In all these churches, they were thrilled with God’s work in the region and reminded of the true words of Jesus: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:37-8.

To read the full report, written by Bishop Mouneer H. Anis, please click here.

Bishop Mouneer opens a “Sewing Workshop” in Ezbet El-Nakhl

Last month, Bishop Mouneer opened a sewing workshop in Ezbet El-Nakhl which is a joint project between “EpiscoCare”, “Together we Develop Egypt” and “Misr El-Erada Organization”. The workshop’s idea arose after the needs assessment training for the youth participating in “Together we develop Egypt” project. These youths are led by Imam “AbdEl-Gafar” and Rev. Reda Boshra, the priest in charge of St. Paul church in Ezbet El-Nakhl. The workshop aims to support women by teaching them, especially the unemployed ones, to fix cloths and recycle the old ones.

During the opening, Mrs. Nahed, the manager of Ezbet El-Nakhl Community Center, spoke of importance of development and education. Then she represented an overview of the youths’ achievements after learning about Computers and Technology.

In his speech, Bishop Mouneer affirmed on the need of strong will and hard work to cause a difference in Egypt.

Bishop Mouneer Encourages Egyptians to Participate in Elections

On Friday, the 16th of March, as he spoke to national press, Bishop Mouneer encouraged the Egyptians to vote in elections to choose whoever they desire; continuing the path of democracy they once started in 2013, during the second revolution, and 2014, as they vote for the constitute.

When he was asked about his perspective for the last four years, Bishop Mouneer replied “Our country fought violently against terrorism, led by the army and the police, bringing back peace to the Egyptian street. Peace is essential to develop and invest our country, as well as improve tourism, economy, education and health services. It is good to acknowledge the economic breakthrough as well as the infrastructure achievements in roads, electricity sources… etc.”

About the Christians’ situation in Egypt, Bishop Mouneer commented “The constitution affirms the right of citizenship to Christians which was applied by President SiSi when he visited the Coptic Cathedral to celebrate both Christmas and Easter, and when he built a new cathedral in the New Administrative Capital.”

“We still have long way to go and lots of dreams to achieve. With God’s will and our determination, we will be able to face the challenges” Bishop Mouneer concluded.

To view the local press, please click, DotMasr, Al-Arab El-Youm and YoumEl-Sabea.

Provincial Standing Committee of “Jerusalem and the Middle East” gathers at Garden Conference Center

At the beginning of this month, the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East met for the provincial standing committee at All Saints Garden Conference Center in Cairo. The meeting was attended by representative bishops of the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, and Diocese of Jerusalem.

The Agenda of the meeting included; the development of a provincial canon law, updates on certain problems, provincial youth  work, provincial clergy conference, and review of structures- province and constitution. The committee also discussed the restructure of the current province due to the need of creation of a new Anglican Province of Egypt.

The members of the committee were able to represent reports, discuss challenges and spend time of fellowship. Let us pray for our leaders as they carry out those missions. May our Lord provide them strength and wisdom as He leads them in their paths.

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