Saturday, October 06, 2007

African bishops focus on poverty at historic meeting

African Methodist bishops have better things to do than fret about social developments in America. Perhaps they have inadvertently shamed their Anglican counterparts.

UMC News:
United Methodist bishops in Africa ended their first continental meeting with a renewed resolve to work together strategically to fight poverty in Africa.
As we go through our struggles, God is sharpening our tools so that we can be instruments of change," said East Africa Bishop Daniel Wandabula. "Sharing and listening to my fellow bishops, I believe that the kingdom can come. We cannot separate the spiritual and the physical … to be the church; we should not shy away from the problems we face."
The bishops explored how issues of health, food security, governance and education intersect with poverty to negatively impact the quality of life of people in their congregations and communities. They agreed that a poor quality of life leads many Africans to migrate to Europe, North America and elsewhere, which hurts development efforts in Africa.

"(People) aren't able to live in their own communities and localities and so they move away to other countries in an effort to find a better place and life," said Nigeria's Bishop Kefas Kane Mavula. "We have to convince people that moving away is not the solution. … We have to make sacrifices, remain in our situations and try as much as possible to do what we can to improve those situations."
"Let us not wait for heroes; let us be the heroes. Let us not wait for disciples; let us be the disciples and let us transform our reality," said West Angolan Bishop Gaspar Domingos.

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