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General Synod Meeting Begins

Posted by St Philips Theological College on November 24, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Today the General Synod meeting began under the chairmanship of the Most Revd Dr Valentino Mokiwa Primate of the Anglican Church of Tanzania. Members who arrived since yesterday met together with an opening act of worship led by the Archbishop Dr Mokiwa who was assisted by the Bishop of Morogoro The Rt. Revd Godfrey Sehaba. Following a short breakfast break, a Bible Study followed, which was led by retired Bishop of Mpwapwa The Rt. Revd Dr Simon Chiwanga. This was then followed by the Archbishop’s opening speech . In his address, the Archbishop welcomed the members and also welcomed the new bishops who had for the first time attended the synod as bishops.. He then outlined the strategic plan for the Anglican province before outlining the challenges which the Province is facing. These include, the world economic downturn, political conflicts, the economic boom in some parts of the world such as Asia, bad democracy, abuse of media, church conflicts and communication breakdown. These he said were the main causes for weakening church leadership and practise. He further said that the church needs to help change people’s habits and behaviour and that this synod ought to discuss such matters. He also thanked Canon Kearon for his appreciation on the role of the Anglican Church of Tanzania on world matters, highlighting the church involvement through the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the All African Conference of Churches (AACC). Quoting Proverbs 29:18, the Archbishop called for a new vision which brings determination in achieving its goals. The vision also gives hope, blessings, trust, creativity, humility and joy and gives meaning to life. ‘In this 41st year since the start of the province we are aiming at marking 50 years with doing something special’ the Archbishop said. He need to see the future as (a) Cooperation in leadership (b) Advocacy in bringing forward Anglicanism, with Jesus as our foundation ( c) Having a decade of evangelism to push forward the gospel Further Dr Mokiwa said that this synod should also discuss conflict , offer advice and give a statement, and even ask the government for the involvement of the Anglican church on the country’s constitutional review and work towards improving structures. Following the archbishop’s address, The Revd Canon Kenneth Kearon General Secretary of the Anglican Consultative Council addressed the meeting. In his address, he congratulated the Anglican Church of Tanzania in its contributing role in the Anglican Communion. He also looked at the challenge of globalisation within the church today pointing out how inextricably connected we are, and the need for a renewed vision. Emphasising on leadership he led the participants in recognising the importance of the fourfold ministry of laity, deacon, priests and bishops in serving communities in love, being hands, feet and eyes of Jesus. This involves serving the young people ( diakonia ), the sick and needy and those who suffer in different ways and each person called to be a leader in service, serving one another as Jesus did. This is done through worship, reading the Bible, and communion, pointing the people to God. The day continued with reports from various provincial institution. The meeting continues tomorrow.

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