Dear Friends, please find the link below with the news from the Deaf community in Egypt, including updates from the Church for the Deaf in Old Cairo, the Vocational Training Centre for the Disabled in 6 of October City, and the Deaf Unit in Old Cairo. May the Lord bless the work of their hands!
Yesterday, on 29 November 2013, the Arabic speaking congregation at Christ the King Church in Tripoli, Libya celebrated thirteen years of faithful ministry. Several members of the congregation as well as the community brought congratulations in different languages, and the praise team of the church led the congregation in singing praises to God for His faithfulness. Bishop Bill sent his congratulations, saying, “Many congratulations on your anniversary! We praise God with you!” and Bishop Mouneer said, “May the Lord bless you and protect you! (الرب يبارككم و يحميكم).” May God give Christ the King 100’s of more years!
Special thanks need to be given to The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, Bishop of the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, whose vision it was to rebuild this congregation; to The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bill A. Musk, Area Bishop for North Africa, who has repeatedly visited and encouraged the congregation since becoming a bishop in October 2008; to the faithful members of the different congregations at Christ the King; and to the team of international ministers at Christ the King: Rev. Vasihar from India, Rev. Gus from Canada, Rev. Ayo from Nigeria and Rev. Samuel from Egypt.
On the 1st and 2nd of November, we celebrated the 75th Anniversary of All Saints Cathedral. When we reflected on the history of the Cathedral we were able to see the hand of God in every step. We celebrated this great heritage of God’s faithfulness, the devotion of believers who committed themselves to serving God and the generosity of Muslim leaders who provided the land. It was a real joy to welcome my friend Archbishop John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, to preach the Gospel during the thanksgiving service.
This last month was one of the most difficult times for us here in Egypt. The terrorist attacks in the north of Sinai became more frequent. There was an attack during a wedding service at a Coptic Orthodox church in Warraq, Giza, where a dozen people died from the same family. Two state security police officers responsible for monitoring the activities of extremists Muslims and terrorists were assassinated. When of these terrorists was arrested, he had in his possession a list of organizations, churches, politicians and media people to be targeted. This is enough to make people fearful and uncertain.
However, I see that the Egyptian people are more hopeful than before. We believe that as it took two years for these extremists to emerge, it will take another year or two for the security situation to improve. Security personnel are now more visible on the streets to maintain order.
Pray for us as we look forward to the future, trusting in God’s faithfulness and grace.
May the Lord bless you!
Click HERE to make a donation to the Advent Appeal for the Churches in Gambella
With recent changes to our website, we have decided to change how we send out our regular Diocesan Newsletter. In the past, we created a document (usually a PDF file) and then sent it out to a newsletter mailing list. Since the launch of the new diocese website, we have decided to distribute the Diocesan Newsletter as well as news items from other ministries around the diocese electronically.
The Diocesan Newsletter will continue to be published both on the website and to our email distribution list, but it will be in a web-based format not as a PDF. We hope that the new format will help you to share the newsletter with family, friends and colleagues more easily.
If you are not on the distribution list but would like to recieve our e-newsletters, please click the button below and sign-up.
Making a PDF from the newsletter
(or any other news post or page in the website)
We know that many of our supporters like to print and share our newsletters. You can create PDFs to share with friends, family, colleagues and churches by….
First, go to the newsletter on the diocese website
Look down towards the bottom of the page and you will see a small button that has a little printer icon and a PDF icon on it
Click on this print/PDF button and you will be offered either to print the article/newsletter/post/page straight to your printer, or to create a PDF file and save it to your computer.
Rev Hamdy Daoud, the priest-in-charge of Holy Trinity Church in Algiers, recently hosted Rev Stephen Sizer, and said “We enjoyed Rev Stephen preaching in our Church on Friday; he spoke about the future in the Christian theology and he gave us 7 irrefutable biblical points by which we stand firm against Christian Zionism claims. The church was very well attended, 110 people from 10 different nationalities.
During his visit, Rev Stephen was interviewed three times by Algerian Television and Radio programs, gave lectures for an Islamic institute in Algiers, and addressed Muslim leaders and scholars in the University of Oran. The lectures were on the topics of: the historical roots of Christian Zionism, the political agenda of Christian Zionism, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict from Christian Perspective.
All of the lectures were received very well. Rev Stephen could powerfully shake the theological foundation of Christian Zionism movement and helped Algerians Muslims (leaders and students) understand Christian Zionism. One of the Islamic Leaders thanked Rev Stephen for removing wrong illusions about Christians. All appreciated the call of Rev Stephen that justice has got to be achieved for Palestinians. All appreciated the Biblical call for peace, doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with God.”
We do thank God for supporting us by Rev Stephen to work with us last week. We do thank God for supporting us by Algerian officials; we do appreciate their support and we also do thank the interior ministry who escorted us in Oran!! Events like this in Algeria show that Christian community is important for the continuation of Muslim Christian dialogue and for the development of their society!
Definitely NOT boring! Just a couple of years ago, life was fairly predictable. Most days I could be found in my office, in front of my computer screen doing professorial preparation or in the classroom teaching. But now, a kaleidoscope of travel has kept life, well, let’s say ‘interesting’!
South Sudan: Speaking at the retreat for students graduating from Bishop Gwynne College and then at the graduation itself combined joy (finally a chance to go to the college where Wendy and I were to have gone almost 30 years ago but were prevented by war), and frustration (preaching at Emmanuel Jieng Church, the wonderful worship interrupted by an hour long campaign speech by the country’s Vice President as he ‘greeted’ the people).
Addis: learning Amharic; jumping through residency permit hoops; filling in at our English congregation while the rector was away; leading and preaching at the Remembrance Day service organized by the British Embassy with 40 ambassadors and their ‘Military Attaches’; introducing a famous Baptist preacher at the Sunday evening service at St Matthew’s.
During one of our trips to Addis, a couple of terrorists blew themselves up while trying to assemble a bomb that they had intended to detonate at a large football match between Ethiopia and Nigeria. The devastation would have been horrific. The country is now on heightened alert. Nothing boring about life here.
Gambella: Life has been no less varied. Reports, repairs, preparation, Area Assembly (like a church ‘Convention’ or ‘Synod’ for the Episcopal Area of the Horn of Africa), and of course, interruptions – the stuff of ministry here. Wonderful visitors from the Mothers’ Union (one from London, one from Juba, one from Addis) to train local literacy facilitators in how to teach the women in our Gambella churches how to read their own language; great visit from St Matthew’s Church representatives to the Area Assembly. Much less helpful visit from a (now) former priest (deposed for neglect of duty, deception, violence and threatening behaviour among other things). Not much that is ‘routine’ here either.
I have often told people that nothing is mediocre in Africa – it is either spectacularly wonderful or truly awful. I recently read the Old Testament story of the spies going to check out Canaan. Most of them (10 out of 12) came back with the report, “The people were like giants; we seemed like grasshoppers next to them.” A couple of days after reading the passage, I realized that I had caught a case of that exotic disease, ‘grasshopper syndrome’. I was having a tough time trusting that God would give the resources (material and spiritual) that are needed for this work. The ‘cares and occupations’ were taking a toll. I began to long for that 9-5 routine at the desk and in the classroom. A bit of boredom sounded kind of nice. A series of people and events have helped. Bishop Mouneer in Egypt has provided great wisdom; countless encouraging emails seem to arrive just when I need them; and (of course!) Wendy is always there to pray and support. God is good – I may be a grasshopper, but our God sure isn’t.
200 clergy, lay leaders, Mothers Union representatives, congregations from the 70 churches in Gambella gathered at the Gambella Anglican Centre for two days of business, worship and teaching.
As our churches in Gambella are so remote and living conditions are hard, it is difficult for clergy and lay people to come together. The annual Area Assembly is important because it brings leaders together, to pray together, learn together, and grow to understand each other better. Please see below Bishop Grant LeMarquand’s report for the meeting.
As part of the Assembly, churches presented dramas of Biblical stories. The audience hushed as ‘Jesus’ walked in, resplendent in wig and re-purposed Mothers’ Union uniform. In quiet solemnity, the crowd followed Jesus, holding wounded heads bound in cloth, walking with shortened and twisted limbs, and otherwise looking generally woe-begone. With quiet majesty, Jesus healed all. As all sat down, one of the disciples approached the Lord, clearly explaining in Opo that the crowd needed to eat. A regal gesture from Jesus sent him back to the crowd, where 5 small loaves and 2 real fish were produced in hushed reverence. As Jesus lifted the basket high in mute thanksgiving, the plastic bag under the loaves and fish was ripped away, revealing the hidden bounty of bread rolls underneath. Electrifyingly, the crowd leapt to their feet, their cries of joy erupting from the absolute silence like a foretaste of resurrection! As one man, they dove in a free for all scrum, loaves of bread flying everywhere, mouths full of laughter and food – real joy… and really funny!
From 11-14 November 2013, the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa held a clergy retreat for the clergy and lay ministers present in Egypt. The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, Bishop of the Diocese, led the retreat and facilitated the Bible studies from the Book of Jeremiah. The retreat was a wonderful time which included morning prayer, a daily service of Holy Communion, evening prayer, times of fellowship, times of silent meditation, prayer walks, and shared meals.
If not already present in our churches, the clergy were encouraged to have Bible studies in each of their churches, to run the Alpha programs in their churches (youth alpha, alpha for adults, and the alpha marriage course), and to have scriptural reasoning gatherings in their churches (to encourage interfaith dialogue).
The retreat was held in the Pope’s Residence at St. Bishoy Monastery, a 4th Century monastery in the Wadi Natroun. All accommodation and meals were graciously provided by His Holiness, Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Gifts of Coptic crosses drawn on papyrus and pens remembering Pope Shenouda III, of blessed memory, were given to all present at the retreat.
Conscious of the fact that the clergy in Egypt only represent one country within the eight-country diocese, prayers were made for the clergy serving in North Africa under The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bill Musk and in the Horn of Africa under The Rt. Rev. Dr. Grant LeMarquand. Words of encouragement were also received from The Rt. Rev. Dr. Ghais Abdel Malik, the former diocesan bishop, and intercessions were made for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Justin Welby.
Read EpiscoCare’s latest news in the following link: EpiscoCare Newsletter (July to September 2013)
Saints from many “nations, tribes, people and languages” gathered at All Saints Cathedral, Cairo, on 2 November 2013 for the celebration of its 75th Anniversary. The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, Bishop of the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, Primate of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, welcomed the people and prayed these words: “Almighty God, to whose glory we celebrate the consecration of this house of prayer 75 years ago: we praise you for the many blessings you have given to this worshipping and witnessing community: and we pray that all who seek you in this place may find you, and being filled with the Holy Spirit may become a living temple acceptable to you through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
It was an honour to have the Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Dr. John Sentamu preaching at the 75th Anniversary celebrations, as his predecessor, The Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Dr. William Temple, participated in the consecration of the first All Saints Cathedral in 1938. In his sermon Archbishop Sentamu addressed the question, “who are the saints” and encouraged the congregation to be a people whose light is lit by the Holy Spirit. He used an example of a glove which is useless without that which fills the glove, saying that our lives need the Holy Spirit in order to be fully functional.
It was also quite moving to have The Rt. Rev. Dr. Ghais Abdel Malik, who consecrated the second All Saints Cathedral in 1988, give the apostolic blessing at the close of the service.
The service of thanksgiving and celebration showed the diversity of a Diocese which covers eight countries, and included many different styles of music, prayers, and thanksgiving. In recognition of his faithful service to the Dialogue between the Anglican Communion and Al Azhar Al Sherif, Bishop Mouneer Anis installed the Rev. Dr. Toby Howarth, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for Inter-Religious Affairs, as an Honorary Canon of All Saints Cathedral (in the Chair of St. Augustine). Bishop Mouneer Anis also licensed the Rev. Yessua Bekheet, formerly of St. John the Baptist Church in Maadi, to be a priest at All Saints Cathedral.
The service was attended by other religious and civic leaders, such as Anba Musa (the Coptic Orthodox Bishop for Youth), Anba Daniel (the Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Maadi) and Anba Armeia (the Coptic Orthodox Bishop for the Coptic-Orthodox Cultural Council) all representing His Holiness, Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church, H.E. Archbishop Jean-Paul Gobat (the Papal Nuncio representing His Holiness, Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church), Monseigneur Krikor Coussa (representing the Armenian Catholic Church), Anba Antonius (the Bishop of Giza, representing His Beatitude, Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac of the Coptic Catholic Church), Abuna Rafiq Greiche (representing the Melkite Greek Catholic Church), Rev. Dr. Gerald Lauche (representing the German Evangelical Church), Dr. Ramzy George (the Minister of Scientific Research, representing the Prime Minister of Egypt), General Mohsen Abd-el Naby (representing the Commander-in-Chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of the Armed Forces), Dr. Mohammed Hamdy Zaqzouq (the previous Minister of Religious Affairs), Ambassador Ashraf Mouneer (representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Dr. Mahmoud Azab (representing the Grand Imam, Dr. Ahmed el Tayyib), Dr. Waheed Abd-Gowad (representing the Grand Mufti of Egypt), Dr. Ali Samman (President of the Committee for Interfaith Dialogue and Islamic Relations at Egypt’s Supreme Islamic Council and former Advisor to President Anwar Sadat), General Mohame Aymen (representing the Governor of Cairo), H.E. Ambassador James Watt (representing Her Britannic Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II), H.E. Ambassador Richard Laus Angualia (representing the People of the Republic of Uganda), H.E. Ambassador Anthony Louis Kon (representing the People of the Republic of South Sudan), The Rev. Toby Howarth (representing His Grace, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury), The Rev. Canon Michael Parker (International Director of MECO), The Rev. Richard Belser (representing our companion Diocese of South Carolina, USA), The Rev. Canon Anthony Ball (representing the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, and the Bishop of Europe, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Rowell), among others.
His Grace, Bishop Mouneer Anis reminded those present that “as we look back and celebrate 75 years of All Saints Cathedral, let us be reminded of the faithfulness of God to those in the past, to those in the present, and to those who are to come; let us look to God to guide the future ministry of All Saints Cathedral.”
All Saints Cathedral is the mother church of the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, and is a place of prayer for all nations and a place of peace for all people. It is a spiritual home for locals and expatriates, and each day, hundreds of people come to the Cathedral to serve and to be served through its ministries: Refuge Egypt, the Alexandria School of Theology, the Boulaq Community Development Centre, Prison Ministry, Alpha, the Wady Shop, All Saint’s Nursery, All Saints Library, Interfaith Dialogue, Ecumenical Relations, Youth Ministry, as well as the Arabic, Sudanese, and English-speaking congregations.