Over two hundred clergy and lay leaders from every diocese in the Anglican Church of Rwanda (PEAR) and representatives of churches in North America gathered to celebrate their common journey, to encourage one another, and to begin to dream about the way forward. Meeting in the capital city of Kigali, the two-day event featured bible study, worship, presentations and discussion panels that featured both Rwandans and ‘westerners’. Led by the Most Rev. Laurent Mbanda, Archbishop of PEAR, the special gathering was attended by lay leaders, pastors, bishops and the two former archbishops of PEAR, Emmanuel Kolini and Onesphore Rwaje.
The special relationships between Rwanda and the US began in 2000 with the establishing of the Anglican Mission in America, a mission movement aimed at renewing an Anglican Church in North America in the midst of a crisis of faith and leadership. That work laid the foundation for the Anglican Church in North America eight years later.
Redeemer was represented by the Rev. Canon Jay Greener, Rev. Daniel Hanlon, and Rev. Ethan Carlson, who helped to organize the event through Rwanda Ministry Partners, where he serves as Executive Director. “Our relationships have gone through a number of structural iterations over the last almost 20 years,” observed Canon Jay. “But they have endured, and remain a source of inspiration and mission on both sides of the relationship. We aim to continue standing together and even growing in the way we walk together as a global church.”
It was announced that the gathering will be an annual event, scheduled next for late March, 2020.