Central Africa to hold Synod after “tumultuous time”

"The six turbulent years that we have gone through since the last Synod require us all to move on in solidarity and in a very prayerful manner." - Abp Chama Photo Credit: Bellah Zulu/ACNS

“The six turbulent years that we have gone through since the last Synod require us all to move on in solidarity and in a very prayerful manner.” – Abp Chama
Photo Credit: Bellah Zulu/ACNS

By Bellah Zulu, ACNS – The Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) is preparing to hold its Provincial Synod next week, six years after the last one held in the Malawian city of Mangochi, in 2007.

The Synod, whose theme is Going Forward Together in Unity and Prayer will be held from November 27 to December 10 in Lusaka, Zambia, and will address among others, the issue of women’s ordination and the possibility of creating provinces based on national boundaries.

“The difference is that while previous synods were held against a backdrop of relative calmness, this one is being held after a tumultuous time for the Province,” said CPCA Primate, Albert Chama.

Archbishop Chama added, “We are thankful that the Provincial Synod is being held at a time when all our dioceses have bishops in place. This is really gratifying on the part of the Province of Central Africa as a family of God.”

At the time of the last Synod in 2007, six sees including Lake Malawi, Upper Shire, Northern Malawi, Harare, Manicaland and Matabeleland had fallen vacant and the former Archbishop Bernard Malango had just resigned.

Archbishop Chama said, “The last synod in Mangochi in 2007 ended in a very sad way as it marked the beginning of the excommunicated Bishops Kunonga and Jakazi saga, when the duo unilaterally decided to break away from the CPCA and took all church property including schools, hospitals, church buildings and orphanages.”

The issue of women’s ordination has been a major bone of contention for the Province with only a handful of dioceses approving it. Therefore, the motion on women’s ordination will seek the support of Synod to “give leave to dioceses within the Province that are ready for ordination of women to go ahead.”

“Each diocese in the Province will be represented by a bishop and not less than one each of clergy and lay persons,” explained the Acting Provincial Secretary, Bishop William Mchombo. “We have also invited representatives from the Anglican Communion Office, the Episcopal Church, Mary Sumner House, Us (formerly USPG) and Trinity Church Wall Street among others.”

The Archbishop added, “We are happy that some of our partners will come and listen to our deliberations, as well as to fellowship with us since we are now back to what we can call normal life of the Church.””

The Archbishop also encouraged all the delegates to the Synod to contribute to the well-being of the Province through the deliberations in Synod so that together “we may discern the will of God for his Church in our Province.”

He concluded: “The six turbulent years that we have gone through since the last Synod require us all to move on in solidarity and in a very prayerful manner. God has seen us this far and he will lead us through!”

Categories: Church & Ministries

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