Archbishop Mouneer Anis and the new Area Bishop Samy Fawzy in a Pastoral visit to North Africa

Bishop Anis and Bishop Fawzy are currently visiting North Africa, Tunisia and Algeria, for a pastoral visit. The aim of the visit is to introduce the new Area Bishop for North Africa to our churches in  North Africa as well as ecumenical partners. One of the responsibilities of the area bishop is to be able to engage with the authorities; this visit allowed formal introduction between the two parties for fruitful future communications.

It was great Revd. Vincent Jacob Rajan from Libya was able to travel to meet the bishops in Tunisia. The three enjoyed time of fellowship and were able to discuss ministry in Tripoli.

“The ministry is flourishing. Praise God!” said Bishop Mouneer, referring to the ministry in North Africa.

The trip didn’t involve the leaders only, but also the regular congregations. Bishop Fawzy received warm welcome through the wonderful celebrations organized by the parishes of North Africa.

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Speech of Archbishop Mouneer Anis At the “Consecration of Bishop Samy Fawzy” 27th February, 2017

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Today we are gathered to consecrate the Very Rev Dr Samy Fawzy as a new bishop for North Africa within the Anglican/Episcopal Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa. He succeeds Bishop Bill Musk, who retired last year.I am grateful to have this opportunity to give my thanks and appreciation to Bishop Bill for all of his hard work and sacrifice through his years of service in North Africa.

The word consecration means to devote a person for service of the Lord. Today we consecrate Samy to be a bishop and shepherd for the ministers of the Church of North Africa, and at the same time, a bishop in the universal Church of God. Today, Bishop-elect Samy will pray these words, “I am not for myself but for You, O Lord” because he will be consecrated for the Lord’s service.

Some people might ask, “Why did I choose Dean Samy to be a Bishop?”

In response, I’d like to make clear that for many years, it has been put on my heart to prepare leaders and shepherds from the new generation of believers to carry the responsibility of leadership in the Church.

Truly the Church needs trustworthy shepherds who love the Lord with all their hearts and who will exert every effort to guide the people of God through spiritual teaching and encouragement to live out the message of Christ… the message of love. I have seen this in Dean Samy. Heloves the Lord and is humble. His desire to serve the Lord was evident when he put aside his career as an engineer after graduating from the School of Engineering, Cairo University in 1985. He was led to study at the School of Theology at the University of Wales and Birmingham in the United Kingdom, continuing until he completed his Doctorate Degree in Theology. He returned to Egypt to serve in the church of Alexandria. He is distinguished in his pastoral care for his congregation, including for the wounded, the oppressed and marginalized. He grew the church in Alexandria. This has encouraged me to choose him as Dean ofSt. Mark’sCathedral in Alexandria and Dean of the Anglican/Episcopal School of Theology. Samy has used all of his gifts and talents in the service of Christ and His Church. He has done so with joy and without hesitation. He became my real partner in vision and service. Jesus Christ taught us that those who invest their gifts and talents for the Kingdom of God will be given even greater responsibility. For this reason, we have chosen Dean Samy to be Bishop for North Africa, making him the first Egyptian Bishop in North Africa.

Few days ago, I have prayed that God would give me a message for Bishop Samy today, as well as for myself and for all ministers of the Church. The Spirit has guided me to focus my meditation todayon Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, because the main ministry of the bishop is shepherding.

If we desire to be trustworthy shepherds of God’s people, we must fix our eyes upon the Good Shepherd, who has been our model in His life and His care, in order to fulfill our responsibility towards the Church, of Christ.

Jesus Christ has given us a clear description of the Good Shepherd, which we read in the Gospel of John:

Firstly, the Good Shepherd knows His sheep and His sheep know His voice.Jesus said, “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” (John 10:3, NIV). This is made possible only after the Shepherd has spent a long time with those in his care, guiding them to green pastures and to sources of water, giving them medicine when they fall sick, and carrying them on his shoulders when they grow tired. It is true that we can’t shepherd well the Flock of God unless we spend good time in their midst.

There’s no doubt that we, as Bishops, receive many invitations from around the world to visit other churches and dioceses. These attractive offers to travel abroad and visit new churches and new places can be tempting. It can be hard to turn these offers down, but travel separates us from those in our care and prevents us from being able to provide for their needs. Thiscan weaken the church and lead to deeper problems. When the Shepherd is not present, those in his care scatter, as is written “I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.”(Matthew 26:31, NIV). This happened in a neighboring country, wherethe church was facingtribal conflict. The Diocesan Bishop happened to be traveling during this situation, and his absence during the conflict resulted in thescattering of his congregations and the loss of his diocesan office.

It is our first responsibility as servants of the Lord is to be among the flock.

Secondly, the Good Shepherd leads his flock.Jesus said when describing the good shepherd, “When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”(John 10:4, NIV)Bywalking in front of His sheep, the shepherd does three things:

  • One,he determines the vision and the goals that work for the flock. He knows the way to proceed ahead of those in His care.The Shepherd mustask for the vision and wisdom from God as promised in Psalm 32:8 (NIV), “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
  • Two;by walking in front of the flock, the shepherd sets an example for all who follow him. St. Paul said to his disciple Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12, NIV). We need to be a role model and example, hence we are in need of the rich grace of God to help us because of our weakness as humans and supports us when we fail to live up to this model.
  • Three;by going in front of the flock, the shepherd protects the sheep from danger. He faces the difficulties before his flock.

Thirdly, the Good Shepherd sacrifices himself for the sheep.

Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.” (John 10:11-12, NIV). The Shepherd must always remember what Jesus has done to save us from death which is the wage of our sin. He sacrificed himself upon the cross to be our ransom, and this puts on us the responsibility as Shepherds to give it our best effort to save sinners from eternal death. Jesus said “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15: 13, NIV)

The Good Shepherd protects his sheep from false teaching and promotes correct teaching, as was given to us by our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ the Lord, for example, when he rejected the teaching of the Pharisees and the false Jewish teachers.“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” (Matthew 23:27, NIV).One of the examples which we know well here in Egypt is St. Athanasius;who stood firm against the Arian heresy which was supported by the emperor at that time. However, Athanasius stood against the heresy, to the point that he was called contra mundum.

In this day and age, we find that many leaders find it difficult to oppose false teaching, for truth has become relative, and it’s no longer appropriate to speak against false teaching, as it contradicts with the trends of inclusiveness, which welcomes any and all views, even those which go against the Bible.

That’s why we need to remember that the Bishop makes vows in front of God to guard the faith so he needs to fulfil this responsibility without any compromise or hesitation.

Fourthly, the Good Shepherd leads His flock towards an abundant life.

Jesus Christ said (John 10:10, NIV) “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.No doubt that the true shepherd is the one who leads his people towards the abundant life. We can find this life when we meet Jesus Christ and accept Him in our lives. He said: ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’ (John 14: 6, NIV). This means that the shepherd should lead his people to Christ and help them to become spiritually mature disciples and faithful in their life and ministry.

Fifthly, the Good Shepherd searches for His sheep.

Jesus said in the parable of the lost sheep “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” (Luke 15:4, NIV). The good shepherd should look for his lost sheep. Those who went astray in the worries of this world, when he found them, he should share the good news of Jesus Christ with them and give them the hope they had lost. We sometimes forget as we become busy in administration that we as shepherds have the responsibility to give a message of hope to the broken world around us. Hope helps us to persevere through all the difficulties we face and to look for the good.

St Clement of Alexandria wrote: “If you don’t have hope, you would not find what is beyond your hopes”. He also said “Christ transformed all our sunsets in our lives into dawns.” Our Middle Eastern people are in desperate need for, hope. This is why we should bring hope to them all the time.

My beloved Samy, I believe that today that you would receive special grace from the Lord. This grace will accompany you on your journey as a bishop. With this grace, you can shepherd the flock of Christ that is entrusted to you.

Finally, I would like to share with you one of the dear gifts that was given to me at the time of my consecration. I put this in front of my eyes every day. It is a quote from St Augustine of Hippo which was written for me by one of the nuns and the quote is: “For you I am a bishop but with you I am a Christian. The first is an office accepted, the second is a gift received. One is danger, the other is safety. If I am happier to be redeemed with you than to be placed over you, then I shall, as the Lord commanded, be more fully your servant.”

St Augustine sees here a potential danger linked to the office of a bishop if the people around us glorify the bishop to a degree that he becomes proud. We all need to keep the words of St Augustine in front of our eyes so that we do not forget that we, by the end of the day, are servants for the flock of Christ. I pray from my heart that;“The Lord bless youand keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”(Numbers 6:24-26, NIV)

 

The Ordination of Dr. Donald Collett as an Anglican Priest

IMG_5610On Tuesday, the 21st of February, we celebrated the ordination of a new priest, Reverend Doctor Donald Collett, in All Saint’s Cathedral, Zamalek.  .

Dr. Don Collett is a visiting professor in the Alexandria School of Theology and professor of the Old Testament in Trinity School of Ministry, an evangelical seminary in the Anglican tradition. He is specially equipped to lecture on the relation of the Old Testament to the New Testament.

Dr. Collett graduated from Montana State University in 1992 with a bachelor degree. He got his MDiv degree from Westminster Seminary (CA) in 1997. At 2007, he obtained his PhD degree in UK, at the University of St. Andrews.

Fifteen of the clergy from the dioceses were present; in addition to Bishop Mouneer, Bishop Grand LeMarquand and Canon Huw Thomas, for the ordination.

We look forward to having Reverend Dr. Collett to serve with us here in the diocese of Egypt.

 

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Chris Wright and the Bible of Reformation

Visiting Egypt for the 500th anniversary of the European Reformation, Chris Wright aptly taught on Biblical preaching. And in his public lecture to nearly 300 people on January 26, he focused on the centrality of the Bible for all reformation.

Ecclesia semper reformanda,” Wright said. “The church must be continually under reformation, renewed by the Bible.”

Bishop Mouneer Hanna Anis of Egypt invited Wright to All Saint’s Cathedral in Cairo to train Anglican clergy how to minister the Word of God in their churches. In a series of four presentations he emphasized godly preaching must be both Biblically faithful and culturally relevant.

Wright is the international ministries director of the Langham Partnership, dedicated to educating pastors toward theological maturity. The ministry began under John Stott, rector of All Souls Church at Langham Place. Wright has a PhD in Old Testament ethics from Cambridge University, and encouraged the clergy not to neglect this great treasure.

“The Old Testament was the Bible of Jesus,” he said. “And if we neglect it we deprive our congregations of a great deal of depth about who Jesus is.”

Wright is the author of more than 15 books, and his Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament is one of ten that have been translated into Arabic.

And in his translated public lecture, he expounded on how Ezra and Nehemiah set a reformation pattern later followed by Luther, Calvin, and other Protestant pioneers.

Expounding on Nehemiah 8-10, Wright outlined four essential movements. The first focuses on the ears, as the Word of God is read and listened to. As Ezra and Nehemiah brought together the whole people, so did Luther make the Bible accessible for the masses. And not just the masses, but political and spiritual leaders also come under its authority.

The second movement focuses on the mind, as the Word of God is translated and taught. As Ezra and Nehemiah helped now-Aramaic speaking Jews understand the original Hebrew, so also Luther translated the New Testament from Greek into the German vernacular. Both also ensured that those they instructed were equipped to teach others.

The third movement focuses on the heart, as the Word of God produces weeping and rejoicing. Ezra and Nehemiah led the people into an understanding first of their sinfulness before God, but also in realization he is their gracious redeemer. Similarly did Luther guide Germans in knowledge of judgment and grace, and provided also a wealth of hymns and liturgy for communal response in praise.

The fourth movement focuses on the hands, as the Word of God prompts finding and doing. Ezra, Nehemiah, and Luther were purposeful students of the scripture, engaging it far beyond the duty of ritual. And as Luther would rediscover that though salvation is through faith alone, he and the Old Testament reformers insisted it is a faith that never stays alone. True faith produces the fruit of transformation as God’s commands are put into practice.

These movements are an essential part of Biblical preaching, as Wright made clear in his seminar lectures as well. In addition to the Anglican Alexandria School of Theology, Bishop Mouneer Anis invited also the Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical seminaries to participate. Though expecting around 60 people, 135 attended, including the Archbishop of Sudan and three additional Sudanese bishops.

To all he gave the same message, as relevant in Europe 500 years ago as it is today.

“As heirs of the Reformation,” said Wright, “we must search the scriptures together and respond with all sincerity and joy.”

Three Priests and Five Deacons Ordained in Ethiopia

On November 24th & 25th, 2016, 3 priests and 5 deacons were ordained at St Frumentius’ Anglican Theological College Chapel in Gambella. The ordinations took place as part of the church’s Area Assembly, a yearly synod-like gathering of the Episcopal Area.

The new priests and deacons will serve in the Diocese’s churches across western Ethiopia. These congregations are made up of people from numerous ethnic and national backgrounds; many are refugees, and some congregations are in the refugee camps themselves.

The new priests and deacons are:

Please pray for them, and for the church in Ethiopia.

Adapted from Bishop Grant and Doctor Wendy’s newsletter for December, 2016, which can be viewed online here. To sign up to receive updates from Bishop Grant and Wendy, click here

All Saints Garden Conference Center

Welcome to All Saints Garden Conference Center, your destination for fellowship, learning and growth. As Part of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt, the All Saints Garden Conference Center aims to offer the ideal venue for conferences, retreats, meetings and events in the heart of Cairo, the largest city in the Middle East.

We are located on the 4th floor of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt administration building and include 16 guest rooms, accommodating up to 44 guests. Additionally we have the rooms in available in the Diocesan Guest House available.

Our conference center facility has room to host any conference, meeting, retreat or event. We have room for up to 120 attendees.

In addition we offer food and beverage services in our All Saints Marhaba Restaurant (located next to the church) and our coffee shop. A nice menu is available to choose from.

Please contact us today or visit our website for more information.

All Saints Garden Conference Center
5 Michele Lutfallah Street
Zamalek, Cairo

Telephone: +20 2737 4974/81 or +20 120 5902137
Email: sales@allsaintsgardencenter.com
Website: www.allsaintsgardencenter.com

Appointment of a New Area Bishop at North Africa

Dear Friends,

I am happy to let you know that I have appointed The Very Reverend Dr Samy Fawzy Shehata, the Dean of St Mark Pro-Cathedral Alexandria, as the new Area Bishop of North Africa. We have received the approval of the majority of the Provincial Synod of Jerusalem and The Middle East for this appointment. Dean Samy will be the second Area Bishop of North Africa, after Bishop Bill Musk.

Dean Samy will be based in Alexandria and will travel to the churches in North Africa when needed. Dean Samy is a very experienced priest who is well acquainted with the Diocese, its churches and institutions, the Province, and the whole Anglican Communion. He has represented the Diocese in many international conferences and he currently represents our Province in the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox dialogue. He serves as a member in various boards in the Diocese of Egypt: the Executive, financial, and literature Boards. He is also a member of Beet El-Ela Dialogue with Al- Azhar and co-Secretary to the Egypt Council of Churches.

He was ordained in 1990 and assisted the Bishop Ghais Abd El Malek from 1994 to 1998, and has led a team of ministers since 2002 in Alexandria. He taught at Alexandria school of Theology since 2005. He was appointed Dean of St. Mark’s Pro-Cathedral in 2009 and Principal of Alexandria School of Theology 2013.

Education

Doctorate in Theology, (ThD) University of Birmingham 2002.
Master of Theology, (MA) University of Birmingham 1998.
Diploma in Theology, University in Wales 1991
B. Sc. Electrical Engineering, Cairo University 1985

Dean Samy is married to Madeleine and has two sons studying at university, Rafik and Rami. He will be consecrated on Monday the 27th of February 2017 at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo.
Please pencil in this date to pray for Dean Samy as he takes on this new responsibility and you are able to attend, that would be brilliant.

+ Mouneer Egypt
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Archbishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt
with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
Primate of the Episcopal / Anglican
Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East

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