Saturday, January 26, 2008

Confirmations - Receptions In Texas

Last Sunday, almost two dozen people were confirmed or received as members of Christ's one, holy, catholic and apostolic church by Bishop Frederick Fick during the morning liturgy at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Hurst, Texas. The Holy Spirit was present to bless and renew in a very real way.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Songs From The Treasury- Old and New

Our faith is ancient, our succession apostolic, and our tradition of Prayer Book worship is centuries old, and yet, we must hear and proclaim the Good News in our own generation. In every generation, God gives musicians inspiration for new songs to expresses the faith once given. The songs from the hearts of contemporary Christians blend with the great hymns of Wesley, Watts, and with the song of all the company of heaven in their unending praise of God.

We are Christians standing firmly on the unwavering foundations of the past, empowered by the Holy Spirit today and embracing the future with hope and joy.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Kenya - A Nation In Upheaval - by Francis Wardega

For many years, the worldwide impression of Kenya was one of animals on the Serengeti Plain and tall, slender Masaai tribesmen dressed in red robes. That has changed as reports, pictures and video of ongoing riots and destruction have emerged in the last ten days. What happened?

The national boundaries of Kenya were established by England in the first half of the twentieth century. Little concern was given to who actually lived there. Kenya included a wide variety of tribes (peoples) who had a checkered history of relationships with each other.

Kenya became independent in 1963. The people of the Kikuyu tribe, the largest individual tribe in Kenya, led the movement to independence. Most other tribes were a part of the movement towards independence. The first president of Kenya was Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, a Kikuyu.

Estimates of tribal populations vary as does estimates of total population in Kenya. The Kikuyu in the center of the country form the largest group. The next two largest groups are the Luhya and the Luo who dwell principally in the west of the country. Together, these three groups comprise around forty percent of the population.

Since independence, there have been ongoing complaints of Kikuyu domination and political marginalization of other tribes. Government positions, key roles in business, the judiciary, and military leadership, all seemed to be dominated by Kikuyu.

The history of Kenya since independence gives some indication that whenever a national leader emerges from the Luo, things happen. Jomo Kenyatta’s prime assistant was Tom Mboya, a Luo. Tom Mboya was assassinated in 1969.

Oginga Odinga, another Luo leader, became vice-president under Jomo Kenyatta and later formed an opposition political party. He was twice imprisoned for opposing the Kikuyu led government. Oginga Odinga died in 1994.

Robert Ouko was another Luo leader who became Kenya’s foreign minister. He was widely respected in Kenya and in the world. Expected to challenge for the presidency, he was assassinated in 1990. Raila Odinga is the son of Oginga Odinga. Even Raila was imprisoned for a time as he led opposition to the Kikuyu dominated government.

Raila Odinga is the presidential candidate of the Orange Democratic Movement. The ODM is a political party initially formed to oppose acceptance of the Kikuyu authored new constitution of 2005. This new constitution would have institutionalized Kikuyu dominance of Kenya. In the election of 2005, fifty-eight per cent of the voting Kenyans declined to accept the new constitution. Those who supported the new constitution, led by President Mwai Kibaki, were called the “bananas”; their color was yellow. Their opponents who prevailed in the election, were called the “’oranges”; their color was orange. This was the first national election defeat for the Kikuyu.

Now, Kenya is in upheaval. The 2007 presidential election between the incumbent Kikuyu, Mwai Kibaki, and the Luo candidate, Raila Odinga, has been hotly contested. It is uncertain of who actually won. Charges of illegal acts come from both sides. The people riot. Looters take advantage of the situation. The country has teetered on the brink of rebellion.

This is not surprising. History has brought the land to this point. I have been to Kenya five times, generally spending at least a month in country each time. I worked with the Luo. Every man, woman and child who is Luo is aware of what has happened every time a Luo challenges for national leadership. The Luo expected problems in this presidential election.

Kenya is bleeding. People are dying. This can become a breeding ground for more blood and more death. Places I have been to, are now destroyed. People I love, hide in fear for their lives.

I ask for your prayers.

Pray first for a cessation of violence. In recent days, some peace has come to Kenya and we are relieved. God is hearing our prayers and an uneasy calm is being restored.

Pray also for the discovery of a national process in Kenya to achieve peace, truth and justice.

Fr. Francis Wardega MSJ

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year - New Opportunities

A New Year. One has to carefully date documents and checks with the new date: 2008. It may take just a little while to embrace writing a new date.

2008 promises to be an interesting year, but then, aren't they all? But for Anglicans seeking a unifying witness, this should be a particularly important year. The Global South primates have already announced that plans are forming for a gathering in Jerusalem. In many places around the world, new primates of provinces will be elected to serve the church and these global events all fuel the anticipation of what might be, while here in North America the Common Cause Partners have promised a constituting convention for a new ecclesiastic structure.

Yet, the Missionary Society of St John will be fulfilling its calling and sharing in the work of the Kingdom. We have had many new contacts from people seeking a closer relationship, new calls from clergy seeking affiliation, new people in countries in Africa seeking our assistance, and these new challenges can only be met through prayerful preparation. We have the Gospel to share and work to do, lives to live as disciples of Christ Jesus.

We must keep our eyes upon the work to which God has called us and we must keep our hands on the plow. We must pray while we work and work as we pray.

May the blessings of the Lord who is already in our future, be with us all.

Contact Information

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Roscommon, MI 48653

Telephone: 586-264-6044
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