Resolutions of Courtesy from Diocesan Convention

By Canon Anne Kitch

May it be resolved, that we who are gathered in this place do most graciously give voice to our joy in thy worshipful servant Bishop Paul, and that we offer unto him deep gratitude for that he hath led us on to ponder "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;” and for that he doth continually translate God’s Word for us.

Resolved, we salute Bishop Jack for being an all around holy man and for proving that it is possible to take our faith seriously while maintaining a light heart.

Resolved, we admire Canon Jane Teter for knitting the Diocese together through the warmth of her spirit and the multitude of her ministries.

Resolved, we humbly honor Stephen Tomor, the New Hope Campaign Coordinator in Kajo-Keji, and offer heartfelt gratitude for his faithful oversight of the construction of the schools in South Sudan.

Resolved, we applaud and support the deep Christian compassion manifested by the spontaneous outpouring of aid from parishes and individuals in our Diocese in response to those grievously afflicted by the recent flooding.

Resolved, we celebrate The Congregational Renewal Committee, for establishing the Diocesan Renewal Assemblies, summoning us to lives of prayer, showing us how to celebrate our blessings and inviting us to connect the dots.

Resolved, we marvel at Tom Lloyd, who has given 50 years of service on the Peace Commission of this Diocese and been a stalwart champion for matters of justice and peace.

Resolved, we glorify the Holy Spirit who has inspired us to bear a common witness in a hurting world with our sisters and brothers of other denominations and other faiths thereby finding strength in unity.

Resolved, we express copious gratitude to the people of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity for lavishly hosting us and for inspiring us by their gallant example of how we might cope gracefully with all impediments—scaling new heights and crossing hazardous terrain with confidence.

Resolved, we praise our merciful God for gifting us with new ministry, new schools, and new hope in our Diocese and for the favor poured out upon this Convention evident in the first four consecutive days in four months without rain. May God bless us and give us the courage to climb the mountain and the inner silence to hear God’s word.

Respectfully presented by the Committee on Resolutions of Courtesy

The Rev. Canon Anne E. Kitch, chair
The Rev. Earl Trygar
Ms. Melody Lewis


Diocesan Life for September 2011



Download the September issue of Diocesan Life as a .pdf
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South Sudan

Forwarded from Charlie Barebo

From: sudan-john-ashworth@googlegroups.com on behalf of John Ashworth
Sent: Mon 7/11/2011 5:33 AM
To: Group
Subject: [sudan-john-ashworth] Fwd: Independence Day 4

1. The birth of South Sudan brings with it hope and freedom

The Mercury (South Africa) July 11, 2011
By Fr Chris Townsend

We have never been a country before

On the eve of independence in South Sudan, I was sitting under trees
with a small community of neighbours in an area called 'High
Jerusalem' The afternoon leading to the evening had an atmosphere I
can only describe as high point south african - the sort of feeling we
had during our own transition in 1994 and the feeling of the World Cup
2010. I had even heard vuvuzelas. Flags everywhere.

Sitting near the Nile, in the insect dark, we were celebrating a meal.
The South Sudanese had decided on this night of liberation that there
would be a type of passover seder.Stories of pain, oppression and
slavery were followed by stories of hope. Bread was shared, songs and
the new national anthem was sung, candles were lit and there was
dancing - the quiet, eager dignity of a people set free.

Continue reading "South Sudan" »


Sudan/Kajo Keji (February 9)...latest news on top of each section

In Our Diocese or our Partner Diocese of Kajo Keji

Christians in northern Sudan flock south ... [Andrew Gerns, Episcopal Cafe] Reuters reports that many Christians who live in northern Sudan are flocking south in anticipation of independence there, but are also driven by fears that the north could become an Islamic state governed by Shariah law. More here.

Election results for Kajo Keji from Bishop Anthony Poggo: The provisional Referendum results for Kajo-Keji County were announced today.  The summary showed that 198 people voted for Unity while 45,892 voters voted for Secession. This represented 98.7 % of all the votes that were casted. There were 102 invalid votes and 85 unmarked votes. Out of 46,454 registered voters, 46,277 voters participated in the plebiscite. This represented 99.6% voter turn-out.

The Archbishop of Sudan casts his vote
... [fron Bishop Anthony] Sunday 9th January marked the first of seven days in the historic self‐determination referendum for the people of Southern Sudan. The Most Rev. Dr.Daniel Deng Bul Yak, Episcopal Archbishop of the Sudan, together with Archbishop Paulino Lukudu of the Roman Catholic Church advanced to Hai Jalaba Junior School polling station to cast their referendum ballots at four o’clock that afternoon. Unsurprisingly, there was heavy media attention ready to capture the two archbishops exercising their democratic right at the polling station. Download the pdf file forwarded by Bishop Anthony for the complete story and pics. Download 01. ABD and ABP vote in Referendum

First Day's voting passes peacefully in Kajo Keji by Stephen Tomor...[ACNS] Read it here.

Sudan's referendum and why the West should care
[WHYY Radio Times Broadcast] with Dr. Randall Fegley. Check it out here.

New Hope's Faith Journey
... A photo story in the Oct-Dec newsletter of Kajo Keji. Download it here.

12 Days of Christmas for Kajo Keji ... [World Mission Committee] The first batch of gifts to Kajo Keji from the Diocese of Bethlehem for Christmas 2010 is being transferred. More here.

"Bethlehem People, God has Chosen You to Come" to Kajo Keji by Charlie Barebo. Find it here.

In the World

Southern Sudanese celebrate the birth of a new nation...[ENS] Read it here.

Southern Sudan votes to split from the north...
[CNN]

Northern Sudan's protests trigged by long-term economic, political frustrations..
.[Christian Science Monitor] Read more here.

Complete preliminary results show 99% vote to split in Southern Sudan...
[CNN] More here.

Church of Sudan Builds Peace, Serves Returning Refugees During Country’s Transition..
.[Episcopal Relief and Development blog] Read more here.

Analysis: South Sudan secession a risky precedent...[The Florida Times Union] More here.

Some south Sudanese believe independence in Bible...[Associated Press] Read it here.

Voices of Sudan...[Odyssey Network] Find it here.

As South Sudan prepares for independence, old hurts linger...
[Christian Science Monitor] More here.

Exiled Sudanese clergy hope for peaceful return...[Ecumenical News International, Nairobi] Read it here.

In Sudan, provisional referendum results indicate landslide independence vote..
.[ENS]  More here.

Overwhelming vote for Southern Sudan secession ... Southern Sudanese election officials posted early results on Sunday indicating that perhaps more than 95 percent of voters in this regional capital of Juba voted to secede from Sudan. More at the NYTimes.

Notes from Sudan...[Trinity Wall Street] Read it here.

Voices of Sudan Part 4: Lost Boy Abraham Achiek..
.[Odyssey Networks] More here.

Voices of Sudan Part 3 Lost Boy Gabriel Tor...[Odyssey Networks]  More here.

Sudanese Episcopalians rejoice as historic referendum draws to a close... [ENS] More here.

US allies keep close watch on Sudan independence vote...[Christian Century].  Read it here.

Prayer Vigil..
.[Odyssey Network] More here.

Thousands vote in Southern Sudan as violence flares in disputed region
...[CNN] Find it here.

Sudan referendum success in Juba.
..[ENS]. Read it here.

Millions take to the polls in Sudan's historic referendum; clashes in Abyei claim lives...[ENS] More here.

Southern Sudanese, in a Jubilant Mood, Begin to Vote on Secession
...[New York Times] Find it here.

Chicago Episcopalians pray for peace in Sudan.
..[Chicago Tribune] More here.

First day of voting goes off well
...[CNN] Read it here.

In Southern Sudan, the clock ticks toward 'liberation'.
..[CNN] Find it here.

In Sudan, an Election and a Beginning
(by President Barack Obama)...[New York Times] More here.

Praying for Peace in Sudan...
[Trinity Wall Street] Read it here.

Sudan Prayer Vigil.
.. Find it on YouTube

Metro-area South Sudanese refugees take part in historic vote for independence...[Atlanta Journal Constituion] More here.

Roanoke Sudanese make voices heard...[Roanoke Times]. Read it here.

For local Episcopalians, vote in Sudan gets personal...[St. Louis Post Dispatch]. More here.

Sudan: The trek home to vote...[CNN]. Read it here.

Episcopalians, Sudanese partners unite in prayer for a peaceful referendum
...[ENS]. More here.

Sudanese Bishop Joseph Garang speaks about the referendum and international partnerships...[ENS].  Read it here.

Christians Issue Prayer Call for Peace Ahead of Sudan Vote...[Christian Post] More here.

The Anglican Communion rallies in prayer behind Sudan...[ACNS] Read the story here.

Chicago Episcopalians capture spirit of Sudan through video, images, music...[ENS] Read it here.

Voices of Sudan Part 2... [Odyssey Network] More here.

Southern Sudan returnees put a strain on limited resources... [CNN] An influx of people returning home to vote in Southern Sudan is straining communities suffering from lack of food and water in the remote region, aid groups said Wednesday. Read it here.

Sudan's President Opens to South's Succession...[Wall Street Journal, by Sarah Childress] Find it here.

Can Sudan split without falling apart? ... [Time Magazine] Read it here.

Peaceful vote on Sudan appears more likely ... [NYTimes, Jan. 2, Jeffrey Gettleman] Read it here.

George Clooney 'antigenocide Papparazzi': Watching Sudan ... [Time Magazine] Read it here.

Prayer vigil for the people of Sudan [Trib-local, Libertyville] More here.

Voices of Sudan [Odyssey Network] More here.

Pace: Southern Sudan secession? [Richmond Times Dispatch] More here.

Peace hovers in Sudan, but most soldiers stay armed ... [NYTimes, Josh Kron] With little more than a week to go before a vote on independence for southern Sudan, virtually none of the soldiers have put down their weapons and fully rejoined civilian life. More here.

Trinty, Wall Street's Praying for Peace resource page. Find it here.

Episcopal Relief and Development's Power of Partnerships. More here.

Ballots delivered for Sudan independence vote [CNN]...Each ballot carries two pictures: One hand signifies independence; two hands, a unified Sudan. More here.

Sudan's president warns of tighter Islamic law [CNN]...Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has warned that he will tighten the application of Islamic law, or sharia, in northern Sudan if southern Sudan votes for independence next month, the Sudan News Agency reported. More here.

Praying with and for the people of Sudan [ACNS]...From the Secretary General, Canon Kenneth Kearon. More here.

New CD features Sudanese voices from the Diocese of Renk...[From Rebecca Wilson, Diocese of Chicago] A newly-released musical composition that captures the spirit of the people on the fault line in Sudan’s bloody civil conflict has its roots in the relationship between the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and the Sudanese Diocese of Renk.

In Voices of Faith, Chicago composer Chris Beckstrom, has woven song, percussion and handclapping recorded in Sudan by members of the Chicago diocese’s Renk Media Team into an original 12-track audio CD available for $20 through Amazon.com. All proceeds benefit the Diocese of Renk.

Sudanese summit strengthens partners in ministry...[ENS] Here.

Dreams of life in Southern Sudan clash with reality ... [NPR] Here.

Act now to prevent war in Sudan ... [CNN, George Clooney and John Prendergast] Here.

African poverty is falling ... much faster than you think. More here. [VoxEU, H/T John B. Chilton at Episcopal Café]

Attention-Grabber for Sudan's cause ... [NYTimes] John Prendergast has focused the attention of movie stars and President Obama. But will that be enough to head off another bloodbath? More here.

Bishop Katharine discusses discusses Sudan's January referendum in new video ... “I ask for your action on behalf of the people of Sudan,” Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori notes in a new video posted on the Episcopal Church’s Sudan Resource page. where you will also find prayer resources and more on Sudan. A Sudanese-wide referendum is slated for January 9, 2011 which, if successful, will establish a separate Southern Sudan with full rights to self-determination.

Sudan is church's focus as vote on partition draws near ... [Episcopal Cafe, Nick Knisely] As part of the 2005 Peace agreement signed by Sudanese in the northern and southern parts of country, a binding vote on partition will be taken in early January that could split the country into two parts, its Muslim dominated north and its Christian dominated south. More here.

George Clooney and John Prendergast on Sudan's Peace Process ...  [The Atlantic Wire] Clooney and Prendergast then put forward a series of proposals to help lay the foundation for peace. Read Not too late to stop another war in Sudan.


‘Bethlehem People, God Has Chosen You to Come’ to Kajo Keji

By Charlie Barebo

Road to Sodogo On the road to Sodogo

Our November mission trip evidenced a greatly changed Kajo Keji that awaits the January 9 referendum with eager anticipation. On approach, as the MAF flight passes over the dirt airstrip to insure it is clear of the ubiquitous goats and sheep, we see the addition of several new western-style buildings and two new cell towers.

It has been an arduous day on the twin engine Cessna; eight hours with seven take offs and landings, a regular milk run. Stephen Tomor and Bishop Anthony complete with his posse greet us at the airport. The ride to Romogi is fast and smooth, a pleasure after 22 hours in the air.

Evidence of the economic recovery brought on by five years of peace is all around us: five times the livestock we have seen on previous trips, no protruding ribs on people or animals, no rags passing for clothes, flip flops or shoes now the norm. We pass five automobiles on the first ride to Romogi, more than we saw on the entire trip in January 2007. On Monday as we drive to the school opening in Sodogo, we pass a car with a large sign on the roof: “Kajo Keji Driving School.” Who ever would have thought…

Secondary level needs are now being fulfilled and we see sunglasses, radios and iPods; soccer balls and bikes are more in evidence. This place is no longer bleak house; the feel is upbeat. There is a political overtone in the air. Here there is no unending bickering between out of step political parties but people talking about voting for their freedom and self determination, a first since the colonial period started, 150 years ago. Voter registration starts while we are here. We watch Bishop Anthony register. There are proud smiles on the faces of those registering. A legitimate census has been done and indicates that there are 193,000 inhabitants of the county. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement states that for the New Sudan to gain its independence, 60% of registered voters must vote and for independence to pass it must have only a simple majority, 51%.

Like Palm Sunday Like Palm Sunday

We inspect the New Hope Schools at Romogi and Gaderu and officially open the Kitchen-Dining Hall at the college as well the New Hope Primary Schools in Liwolo and Sodogo. The Romogi School wins the Bishop Marshall Prize for the best kept gardens and grounds. We meet with the college management team and the students, more on this in a later issue.

I want to share the story of the opening of the Trinity Easton New Hope School in Sodogo. This school will always hold a special place in my heart as Trinity Easton stepped forward and tithed their own capital campaign to New Hope. Before our very eyes, two dioceses witnessed God’s people in Christ’s church doing precisely what Christ asked us to do in the Great Commandment. These school openings are always a joyous occasion, a day of fulfillment, both functionally and spiritually.

Sodogo is a long drive and you must take the small all-wheel drive vehicles through a small river. Boys are playing in the river; a mother is doing the family laundry. There are no crocodiles in this shallow section. We are met two miles outside of the village and led by a joyful throng, singing before us and holding high banners of the cross. Could this be what Christ and the Apostles felt like on Palm Sunday? I say a prayer of dedication and Archdeacon Stringfellow cuts the ribbon. Adrenalin pushes the jet lag out of my mind. We move over to the parade ground where we will sit for the two-hour program. Have you heard that the Kukus like to make long speeches? The PTA President announces he has a few brief comments. Archdeacon Stringfellow spies six pages of single-spaced typed notes.

Wilson Rembe, Landlord Wilson Rembe, Landlord

The landlord who donated the land for the school to the Diocese of Kajo Keji stands up to make a speech. “I am Wilson Rembe,” he says. “I am 84 years old. My ancestors gave me this land. All these days, I have been waiting for this school like a bride waits for a groom. The fox used to run on this road. When I was a boy my father and I built a bridge over the stream. I think he knew there would be a school built here one day. People used to make fun of us and say, ‘Did you build this bridge for fox or for people?’ Now the little children are my foxes who will use this bridge to go to school. Who are these people from across the sea who give their money so our children can go to school? I tell you they are God’s people. Thank God for the people of Bethlehem. I am Wilson Rembe, landlord.”

Jumping for Joy Jumping for joy

Now there is feasting, singing, and dancing. A choir from the school sings a response song for us. There is so much going on it is hard to focus. The Holy Spirit cuts through me like a knife and I hear the words, “Thank You, Bethlehem people, God has chosen you to come.”

Late at night when I have doubts about why God would let his people suffer so much or when my daughter or children who attend New Hope presentations at various parishes ask how a loving God would let His children suffer so much, I find my answers in that chorus. God’s people in Kajo Keji and the southern Sudan have suffered. But God always knew he would choose us. He chose us to help heal his wounded children. God chose us to give sight to the blind, to lift the yoke of oppression, to raise up the foundations of many generations. We have been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We have been truly blessed.

Old & new Sodogo School

 

Old and new Sodogo school

 

[Charlie Barebo is chair of the New Hope Campaign and Development Officer for the Diocese of Bethlehem. More about Charlie here.]

   Barebo, Inc., is chair of the

Seven-Day Prayer Vigil for Sudan in Montrose

Two parishioners at St. Paul's Montrose are organizing a prayer vigil to pray for our sisters and brothers in Sudan during the seven days preceding the Jan. 8 referendum concerning their future form of government, one nation or two.

Download below the schedule and an article by parishioner Ed Stark.

Download Vigil Schedule.doc

Download Vigil Article


Trinity Easton to dedicate building addition and renovations, Sept. 14

[Re-posted to clarify potential ambiguity in paragraph 5]

Contact: The Rev. Canon Andrew T. Gerns
Trinity Episcopal Church
234 Spring Garden Street
Easton, PA 18045
610-253-0792
Cell: 610-392-4112
parish@trinityeaston.org

On Tuesday, September 14 at 5 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Church, 234 Spring Garden Street, Easton, Pennsylvania, will open their church and their new addition to the community for an Open House and then Bishop Paul V. Marshall of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem will bless and dedicate the space starting at 7 p.m.

At the ceremony, the parish will also formally announce the naming of the Trinity Primary School, which is being built in Sodogo, Sudan in the Diocese of Kajo-Keji, Episcopal Church of Southern Sudan, in part with funds raised by members of Trinity Church. Trinity tithed the proceeds of the campaign toward the building of the school, according to the Rev. Canon Andrew T. Gerns, rector. [Trinity's contribution covers about one-third of the cost of the school; the remaining two-thirds comes from other members of the Diocese of Bethlehem.]

Trinity Church serves the community not only as a house of worship and community of faith, but also as a place of help and refuge for those in need. The parish’s Ark Soup Kitchen serves 65-80 people every Saturday a nutritious, tasty meal. The parish has housed twelve-step groups, community organizations, programs from youth and the aged, and many others, and has a long history of outreach to the community. The parish, which was founded in 1819, calls itself “A Church for all people” who “discover, share and live God’s love.”

The new space contains a new commercial-grade kitchen, new restrooms and a new classroom, and makes the facility barrier-free. A stained glass window over the high altar of the church was threatened if the wall collapsed was also restored. In addition, improvements to the organ were made. The church repaved the parking lot, and made other modifications to make the space handicapped accessible.

The generosity of the congregation’s members made this building and the school in Southern Sudan possible. They raised nearly $450,000 during a capital campaign in 2009. The parish tithed their gift so that $45,000 is going across the globe, in Kajo-Keji County, Southern Sudan, a new primary school is being built in a little Sudanese village called Sodogo. The Diocese of Bethlehem, which includes Trinity, Easton, has a partner relationship with the Diocese of Kajo-Keji, which contains the village of Sodogo. The new school will be named for Trinity Church, Easton.

The new kitchen was equipped through a $25,000 grant from the Episcopal Church's United Thank Offering. The grant was one of three, the largest, awarded for projects in Pennsylvania. The UTO awarded 69 grants for 2010 for a total of $2,163,740.93 for the mission and ministry of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. The grants were awarded to projects in 43 Episcopal Church dioceses, 11 companion diocese relationships and 15 international provinces.

The Open House will start at 5 p.m. on September 14, with presentations by community and civic leaders at 6:30 p.m. Bishop Marshall will then lead the congregation and community members through the building as the new and renovated spaces are blessed, followed by a Holy Eucharist in the Church. A reception follows in Conine Hall.

The building was financed through Merchants Bank of Bangor, PA.  The general contractor was the Alfero Company of Easton, PA. The architect was Jeff Martinson, AIA also of Easton.

For more information please contact The Rev. Canon Andrew T. Gerns, Rector at 610-253-0792 ext. 202 or via e-mail at rector@trinityeaston.org. You may also contact Sr. Patricia-Michael at the Church office (610-253-0752 ext. 201 and parish@trinityeaston.org)


Sudan Bishop's visit to the Diocese of Bethlehem

Visit to the Diocese of Bethlehem by Bishop Anthony Poggo of the Diocese of Kajo Keji

[From Bishop Paul Marshall, posted last Monday afternoon, March 8, on Bakery] I hope you saw the press coverage of the bishop's Reading and Wilkes-Barre visits. (Background story here.) He was able to visit New Bethany and the Trinity soup kitchen, as well as two clergy Bible studies. The week also gave him opportunity to hear directly from our General Convention deputation and attend the regular meeting of the diocesan staff. Wednesday night was a special evening with the World Mission Committee. Friday night offered time with young people, and on Saturday morning Sophie and Lucy Kitch-Peck gave him the insider's tour of Bethlehem on foot. He also had personal contact with a number of our clergy and lay people as the week progressed. [Here's a story with photos of his visit to Trinity Easton.]

All in all, he has a much deeper picture of our life than his very brief previous visit to our convention afforded. After a very pleasant trip to Sayre and back over the weekend, we concluded last night with dinner at the Barebo's. Today was packing, lunch, and a drive to Newark. Bishop Anthony and I have come to know each other very much better after our week in the car together (Andrew, I miss you). The last few days gave us opportunity to discuss core issues of mission and the tasks of episcopate. Ever a busy man, Bishop Anthony will return not to Kajo-Keji, but to Juba, the capitol of the south, where he will preach at a bishops' retreat and then on to a mission meeting on his way to Nairobi. It was a great pleasure to have him with us, and I am grateful for all who cooperated in making the trip a success.

The April edition of Diocesan Life will provide rich photo coverage. Download a pdf file of pages 4-5 of that issue below.

Download 100404-5.pdf


Bishop Anthony of Kajo Keji to visit Diocese of Bethlehem

Southern Sudanese bishop to visit Diocese of Bethlehem
[Bishop Anthony Poggo and Bethlehem Bishop Paul V. Marshall will be available for a conversation with the media on Saturday, March 6, at 11:00 a.m. at Diocesan House, 333 Wyandotte Street, Bethlehem. Please email Canon Bill Lewellis, blewellis@diobeth.org, by March 3 if you intend to be there.]
Bishop Anthony Poggo of the Diocese of Kajo Keji in Southern Sudan, on the Ugandan border, will be the guest of Bishop Paul Marshall and the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem from March 1 to 8.

Bishop Poggo's public events:
Tuesday, March 2: 6:30-8:00 p.m. –– St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre
Thursday, March 4: 6:30-8:00 p.m. –– Christ Episcopal Church, Reading
Friday, March 5: 7:00-9:00 p.m. –– Meeting especially (but not entirely) with youth 6th to 12th grades, Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem
Sunday, March 7: 10:30 a.m. –– Preaching at Church of the Redeemer, Sayre, followed by reception and conversation at noon
During these public events, Bishop Poggo will show updated pictures of the progress in building in Kajo Keji, resulting from the New Hope Campaign (see below) and invite conversation. Additionally, Bishop Poggo will meet privately with clergy groups, the World Mission Committee of the diocese and diocesan staff.

The two dioceses have developed a close partnership relationship which began in 2001, a deliberate policy of reciprocal enrichment. Nearly 20 lay persons and clergy of the Diocese of Bethlehem, as well as Bishop and Mrs. Diana Marshall, two to four at a times, have travelled to Southern Sudan on some 15 mission trips. A few have gone several times. All have been deeply affected by their visits. The former Bishop of Kajo Keji visited the Diocese of Bethlehem in 2002. This will be the current bishop's second trip to the 14-county northeastern Pennsylvania diocese. Bishop Marshall visited in Africa in 2000 and 2005.

Bishop Marshall joined members of the World Mission Committee and other interested people from the diocese on an advocacy trip to Washington, DC, to meet with key senators and representatives and members of the State Department to make the case for alleviating the suffering of the Sudanese people.

"Since 2000, I and others from our diocese have gone to Africa several times to seek a vision for Bethlehem among the suffering and those who care for them, in a place where the Holy Spirit can work," said Marshall.

In July 2004, some 157,000 expatriate Sudanese had come back across the southern border of Sudan after a series of terrorist incidents, including rapes and refugee camp lootings, by the Lord’s Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel group backed by the government of Sudan. The people had fled to Uganda in the first place after being displaced by the ongoing Sudanese civil war, which had been raging in Africa’s largest nation since independence was granted in 1955. Because of a local drought and other inhospitable conditions, as well as the overwhelming volume of need, the Diocese of Kajo Keji had no food, shelter, clothing, medicines, or agricultural tools to give them.

“We must act now to prevent people in Kajo Keji from starving to death,” Bishop Paul wrote late in July on the diocesan internet list. By mid September, more than $70,000 was received. Funds were wired to the Diocese of Kajo Keji by way of an account in Kampala, Uganda, the closest large city. Because of conditions in Sudan, the diocese decided to buy food and rent the trucks to haul it from Kampala to the refugee enclaves in Kajo Keji. Within days, trucks loaded with staples were on their way over rutted roads into the Kajo Keji area.

“Even if you don’t see it on the national news, “ Bishop Paul said then, “it really happened. This summer we learned again that when followers of Jesus work together, great good comes of it. We best know who we are when we care for others ... The first shipments of food reached Kajo Keji in time to prevent mass starvation, and the funds we provided will continue to feed the refugees for the immediate future.” A correspondent in Sudan wrote: “What the Diocese of Bethlehem has done will enter the history books of Kajo Keji… Their actions have given our people hope that they are not alone...”

“In the last five years,” Bishop Paul said in his address to the 2006 Convention of the Diocese of Bethlehem, “our relatively tiny diocese has given over $800,000 to relief for Africa (to fund scholarships, buy agricultural tools and oxen, adopt schools and stave off starvation in Kajo Keji), for tsunami victims, and for hurricane relief. And that is just the money we know about because it flowed through us to Episcopal Relief and Development. Certainly there has been more. No one can doubt that the love of God lives among us, and I thank you on behalf of the many who have no other way to address you.”

"It is one of the paradoxes of the modern world," onetime ABC News Nightline correspondent Dave Marash has said, "that we can and are made aware of far more serious problems than we can solve. Measuring up to this challenge, finding room in our hearts and our wallets for simultaneous catastrophes … is the challenge of the 21st century."

In 2007, the Diocese of Bethlehem launched the New Hope Campaign, to raise $3.6 million ($2.7 to provide "holistic support for our Sudanese brothers and sisters in areas where they have specifically asked for our support" and $900,000 for programs to support the needy in northeastern Pennsylvania). Contributions and pledges surpassed the goal within a year. To date, the total approaches $4.1 million.

Upon returning from his 2005 mission trip to southern Sudan, Bishop Marshall told a story about the impetus for the New Hope Campaign. “At the end of a week in that bomb-torn country, Diana and I baked in a bus for 14 hours in the Ugandan sun. Finally you give up wiping your face. As we became increasingly caked with red dirt and the overcrowded bus grew hotter and hotter, I found myself baking in a creative and holy sense: I knew God wanted my attention. Genesis says humans began our existence as kind of mud pies, and the red dust of the earth baking into my pores helped me have a new beginning of insight: Here were sisters and brothers with almost nothing to their names trying to build a life and a country — how could I go on as usual? In addition to altering how I live personally, I had to abandon some of my bricks-and-mortar dreams for our own diocese, particularly regarding a conference center, in order to see what God would have us do for others. The question that intrigued me was, Could we dare to have a capital fund drive where we didn’t get the money?”

In 2002, Bishop Marshall had asked Charlie Barebo to help spearhead a capital campaign to develop a camp and conference center for the diocese. "A funny thing happened on the way," said Barebo. "I woke up one morning in the Sudan." It was a "life-changing event that has deepened my faith and forever altered my outlook on this world and the next," said Barebo, a global traveler as CEO of Otterbine Barebo, a lake and pond water quality management firm in Upper MilfordTownship.

Barebo has served as chair of the New Hope Campaign and is volunteer missioner for development on Bishop Marshall's staff.

Born 1964 in Kajo Keji, Bishop Anthony Dangasuk Poggo became Bishop of Kajo Keji in 2007. Ordained a priest in 1996, he has worked with ACROSS, a Christian aid and relief organization in Sudan, Kenya and Uganda, in several capacities, including coordinator, communication and publishing director, and executive director. He has ministered also as attached clergy to St. Luke’s in Kenyatta (part of All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, Kenya). He has a bachelor’s degree in public administration and management, a master’s degree in biblical studies, and an MBA. He is fluent in spoken and written English and Bari, fair in spoken Arabic and Kishwahili, and has a working knowledge of biblical Hebrew and Greek. He is married to Jane Basa Namurye. They have three children: Grace, Faith and Joy.

Bishop Paul Marshall has been bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem since 1996. He had been a professor at Yale University Divinity School and director of the Yale Instiute of Sacred Music. His ministry as bishop has been broad and deep: teacher, pastor, preacher, administrator, author, advocate and participant in ministry with people in the developing world, children and youth, the poor and the marginalized, advocate and reconciler with those within the church who consider themselves progressive as well as those who consider themselves traditionalists, interpreter of family systems theory, communicator within and beyond the diocesan community, a leader who consults with colleagues, and a person whose ministry as bishop proceeds from prayer and a contemplative vision of God's kingdom.

Many people beyond the Episcopal Church know him through a monthly column he wrote for the secular press for 13 years. Born 1947 in New York City and raised in Lancaster County (PA) he has also written some ten books and more than 60 articles and reviews for periodicals.

He and Diana, a registered nurse and attorney, have two grown children.

Posted by Bill Lewellis


Sudan –– U. S. Policy and New Hope

14 December 2009
By Howard Stringfellow
Archdeacon, Diocese of Bethlehem
 

Charlie Barebo and I flew to Kajo-Keji October 20 none the wiser. We landed on the grass and gravel airstrip the following day still not knowing anything had happened. When Bishop Anthony arrived from Juba having attended an election of ten new bishops for ten new dioceses in the Episcopal Church of Sudan, he told us.

“President Obama has changed U. S. policy regarding Sudan. It just happened.” I looked at him blankly for two reasons: I knew nothing about the old policy, and as surely I knew nothing about the new one. But right away my neglected homework stood right in front of me. No way around it. An agenda had been set. “Archdeacon, I will send you some documents that I just received.”

It was one of those moments that seemed then and now as though time slowed, and something was being revealed from somewhere beyond the surface. I find that the priestly vocation is like this. Another layer of possibility and reality is revealed when you least expect it. There’s no danger of missing the revelation, but there’s every danger that the revelation won’t be heeded or won’t be honored. We come in to the picture heeding and honoring the revelation; we come into the picture by accepting the love of God the revelation represents.

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