Advent Greetings

Advent is a period of “waiting” – looking for the coming of Christ as Child and King. We are very aware, in the Egypt Diocesan Association, of waiting …

  • in Egypt, with Bishop Mouneer in his leadership and striving for clarification of the Diocese’s relationship with the Protestant Council that is currently claiming oversight before the Egyptian government of Anglican ministry.
  • in the Horn of Africa, with the recent departures of both Dr Johann & Lousie Vanderbijl and Bishop Grant & Dr Wendy LeMarquand for serious health reasons and the consequent need for an episcopal leader for the Area and a director for the St Frumentius campus of the Alexandria School of Theology.
  • in North Africa, with Bishop Samy getting to know and give episcopal oversight in delicate and changing church scenes, especially with the development of indigenous congregations and the building of the St Cyprian centre.
  • in the diocese as a whole, with those caught up in warfare, targeted acts of terrorism, insecurity, flight as refugees, the search for economic betterment and associated risks of trafficking, persecution as new believers, fragmented families, poverty, health needs.

In the Advent waiting, may we respond to the whispers of the Holy Spirit concerning God’s presence through his Son in our human midst, discern him in one another and will to follow our Lord in his service to a needy world. In Scripture, “Good News” is announced just as much in the waiting as in the fulfilling. Think, for example, of the angel’s words to Mary: ‘You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High’ (Luke 1:31-32).

Advent greetings to all.

+Bill

2017 EDA Annual Gathering

Once a year friends, supporters and partners of the Egypt Diocesan Association meet and share in worship, enjoy fellowship where new and old friends meet over lunch, and attend to the association’s formal business when subscribers have a say in decision making and electing committee members.  We then hear news of the diocese and get an update of how things are in the diocese’s three regions.

This year was no exception – around 60 of us met on Wednesday 7th June at St Michael’s in Chester Square in London’s Belgravia, where Bishop Mouneer led the Eucharist, Rev Adel Shokralla read the lesson from Acts chapter 2; then together with Canon Huw Thomas administered the wine.

For the buffet lunch this year, we had a new venture and included “Koshari” the famous Egyptian dish which is widely popular among workers and labourers (and no, it was not home made cooking, but from a new Koshari restaurant in London).

The Annual General Meeting (the formal and statutory part), was completed and in addition to the approval of reports and accounts, Rev Adel Shokralla (vicar of the parish of Old Windsor and previously at St Michael in Heliopolis-Cairo) was elected to the committee.   The Minute Secretary Margaret Ford retired as she now finds it difficult to travel down from Lincoln to London to participate in the committee meetings.

Then came the big announcement of electing Bishop Dr Bill Musk become the new Chairman of EDA (more of which to follow).    Canon Huw Thomas has decided to step down after 7 years of the chairmanship.  Huw will remain on the committee as The Bishop’s Commissary

Other announcements made:

Plans to return to closer and direct links between the Diocese and the Church of England through possible clergy exchange, but will start with an offer from Ridley Hall College of a placement as a sabbatical for an Egyptian clergy graduate from Alexandria School of Theology.

A Study Tour of Egypt as a joint project with CMS (Church Mission Society) led by EDA committee members Dr Peter LeFeuvre and Dr Sarah Montgomery. The trip is from 10th to 18th April 2018 and is organised by the travel agents McCabe Pilgrims.  You can download the brochure and booking form here.   The good news is that by the time we ended the day, we had 12 names signed in.

THE HIGHPOINT OF THE DAY was the next item –  Bishop Mouneer shared with us a new video produced by the diocese which summarises the diocese and its ministry in 10 minutes “Have a Look”.  He asked us to focus on a very short clip of a student from the deaf school praying in sign language for the killers of 30 Christians travelling in a bus and the wounding of 25 others, with reference to St Paul’s experiences.

Bishop Mouneer also talked about the situation in the three regions and the difficulties facing the church and Christians in Egypt, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.

He thanked members, friends and partners for their faithful support to the diocese, also citing the financial difficulties they face in trying to meet the ever growing needs.

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