“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” (Matthew 28: 19, NIV)
The Lord has blessed us with the formation of a new discipleship committee. The Diocese realized the need for discipleship to be fruitful witnesses for Christ after the discipleship conference which was led by Archbishop Moon Hung of South East Asia. The committee will help the local churches to apply different discipleship programs led by local discipleship committees or local ministers. The committee is composed of different members from different churches of different age group. The committee recently nominated Ms. Hanan Fawzy, active church member of the Church of Epiphany in Port Said, to be the co-ordinator of the committee.
Please pray for the committee and Ms. Hanan for the blessed work they are hoping to achieve.
A Joint Project of the Anglican Church in Egypt and the Coptic Orthodox Church
This September, the translation of the Gospel of Mark into Arabic Sign Language was completed. There currently is a community of three million deaf people in Egypt who understand Egyptian Sign Language. Egyptian Sign Language is also understood by the deaf of other Middle Eastern countries. This project, however, is the first and only one of its kind in the Arab world.
The translation project has taken place over the last four years. The process begun with first discussing and properly understanding the text of the Bible. Then, together, the speaking and the deaf created a translation of the scripture, making sure that it could be signed in a way that the deaf could understand. After that, the translated gospel was sent to other deaf abroad in order to ensure that the language transferred the proper meaning. Finally, the translation was evaluated, and modified as needed. Much of the work was performed by the deaf, keeping in line with the vision of the deaf discipling the deaf.
The translation was a joint project between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Anglican Church. Six church leaders worked together to complete the project, including Deacon Clement, the first deaf deacon in the first deaf Anglican church.
At the fourth annual meeting of the Egypt Council of Churches on September 21 2017, Pope Twardous II officially opened the new Episcopal Media Center in the Anglican Diocese of Egypt. There were 5 other church leaders present. Afterwards, the studio held its first press conference.
The new media center is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including layered, soundproof walls, and a variety of cameras and recording devices.
The vision of the Episcopal Media Center is to serve God’s kingdom in the Arab world through media.
On Thursday, September 21, 2017, the Anglican Diocese of Egypt hosted the fourth anniversary of the Egypt Council of Churches. Different churches were represented by the five church leaders present: Pope Tawadros II, the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac, representing the Catholic Church in Egypt, Andrea Zaki, the president of the Presbyterian Church in Egypt, Theodorus II, of the Greek Orthodox Church, and Bishop Mouneer Anis of the Anglican Church in Egypt.
The event began with a closed meeting in which the church leaders evaluated last year’s strategy, and discussed any modifications for the future. Afterwards, the secretary-general read last year’s report to the audience, and the church leaders in the panel each voiced their thoughts and concerns.
Achievements of the last year included the formation of a woman’s ministry committee from different churches, a choir with members from a variety of churches, and the completion of the translation of the gospel of Mark into Egyptian Sign Language.
One highlight of the celebration was the music, which included singing from a traditional choir, and a deaf choir signing in Egyptian Sign Language.
At the end of the celebration, the members of the council added a fifth building block to a symbolic church together, representing the building of relationships over the last year.
“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” Mathew 25: 21
Dear brothers and sisters
I am sad to let you know that The Rev. Samuel Henry Iskander passed away this morning following an open heart operation.
Rev Samuel ( 75 years) served for many years at Christ the King Church in Tripoli, Libya.
On his return to Egypt he served in the community development centres in Cairo.
After his retirement he continued to serve in the prison ministry as well as the churches in Cairo.
His desire was to serve the Lord all the days of his life and God has given him the desire of his heart. We thank God for his faithful service in the the Diocese.
Please pray for his wife Honey , his son John, daughter Janet, his grand children and all of us in the Diocese.
Dear Friends of the Diocese of Egypt,
With deep sadness, we would like to share with you the latest news of our diocese.
The following letter was read at the conclusion of the graduation of the Alexandria School of Theology at All Saints’ Cathedral in Cairo Egypt, July 29, 2017.
Letter of Resignation
It is with a heavy heart that today I must announce my resignation as the Bishop for the Horn of Africa within the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa. This decision has not been taken lightly but after consultation with Bishop Mouneer, with spiritual counsellors, and with our medical doctors. Wendy and I will leave Ethiopia at the end of October this year, although our work for the diocese will continue for a time.
The reason for our needing to leave is that Wendy’s health has made it impossible for her to continue to live in Africa. As many of you know, a few months ago Wendy experienced terrible pain in her back leading her to seek medical testing and advice. The tests revealed five broken vertebrae and a broken rib. The fragility of the bones have been attributed to osteoporosis and the fractures were due to coughing. Originally we believed that the coughing was due simply to asthma, but after further testing it now seems that Wendy has also had lung infections, perhaps several. Wendy’s doctors have been clear that returning to live in Africa would put Wendy’s lungs (and ultimately her heart) at grave risk. She will stay in Pittsburgh for the next two months while I continue to work in Ethiopia. She will come to say farewell during the month of October.
Our hearts are heavy because we love the people in our churches in the Horn of Africa, and we have known God’s presence in our work there, especially in the Gambella region. At the same time I have been clear with the clergy in my charge that married people should live together in order to support and uphold one another. And so although it has been suggested by some that one option for our future would be for me to remain as bishop in the Horn of Africa and travel back to visit Wendy from time to time, such an option seems to us to be untenable.
With the permission of the Diocesan Bishop of Egypt, I hope to remain as a bishop in the Diocese of Egypt and continue to visit and contribute in some ways to be determined.
Please continue to keep Wendy and me in your prayers as we seek God’s guidance during this time of transition.
The Horn of Africa
Let us pray with Bishop Grant and Doctor Wendy:
- for their senders who have partnered with them in loving and caring for the people of Gambella, Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa
- for the ongoing empowerment and equipping of the priests and laity of our churches in Gambella, Addis, and elsewhere in Ethiopia
- as they walk through this next season of discernment and handing over
- for the ministry in Djibouti, Somaliland and Eritrea
- for His protection and care for Gambella
On Saturday, the 29th of July, Alexandria School of Theology (AST) and Nuba Mountain Institute celebrated the graduation of the ninth commencement and the second commencement respectively. We joyfully celebrated 3 students graduating with a Diploma in Theology, 14 students with a Bachelor of Theology and 2 students with a Master in Early African Christianity.
With words of welcome and encouragement, Bishop Mouneer inaugurated the celebration thanking all the audience for their presence in the special ceremony. “We are the servants of Christ and our servant-hood shall never end” Bishop Samy- the Dean of AST- reminded the graduates, meditating from 2 Corinthians 10: 5. As for the graduates, they expressed their gratitude and appreciation by a tender acknowledgment to faculty and family honoring the memory of their lost friends; Reham and Malak.
Revd Canon Dr Ashley Null, an internationally respected scholar on the grace and gratitude theology of the English Reformation, holding a MDiv and STM from Yale and a PhD and BD form the University of Cambridge, an author of many books including “Thomas Cranmer’s Doctrine of Repentance: Renewing the Power to Love” and a winner of numerous academic awards for his work; spoke about how to fill the lost piece of our souls through Christ alone. He encouraged the students to tell the brokenhearted about the good news of the gospel of Jesus, their only hope. He finally addressed them with several questions for them to answer before starting their journey: “Class of 2017: what will you say to the human heart? What message will you bring? How has AST helped you prepare to minister to a hurting humanity? How will God use you as an agent of hope? Today we not only celebrate your academic achievements but also prayer for fruitfulness as you serve lost and broken humanity”.
With sad tears and a broken heart, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Grant LeMarquand, the Vice-Chairman of the Board, announced the resignation as an Area Bishop of the Horn of Africa due to the health conditions of Dr. Wendy, his wife.
The celebration was infiltrated with songs and prayers as well as blessings and greetings from the honorable guests. Anba Bishoy, the Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Domiat, affirmed the unity of the 2 Churches and expressed his pleasure of fulfilling God’s commandments by rejoicing together in this special occasions. Anba Antonious Aziz, the Coptic Catholic Bishop of Giza and Fayoum, blessed the graduates reminding them to be always in Christ who is the only foundation for our salvation. Revd. Kuan Kim Sung, Bishop of Singapore, passed the greetings from our partnering diocese from Singapore and encouraged the students to continue the good work of the Lord that He has given them.
Last but not the least, Bishop Mouneer revealed his deep delight for the presence of Father Amonios, the Secretary of Pop Tawadros II, the Ambassador of the United Stated of America and all the servants of the Lord. “Remember that studying theology is the first step but you have yet a lot to learn from our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, who is the only model worthy to be followed for He went around doing good.”
Alexandria School of Theology is honored to invite you to the Ninth Commencement of Exercise and also the Second Commencement of Exercise of the Nubian Institute on Saturday the 29th of July, 2017 at 6 pm.