With the difficulties within the Anglican Mission in America, Inc. (AMiA) with the resignations of eight Bishops from the Rwanda Episcopal Bench, Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje communicates with the rest of AMiA, that is, those churches remaining under two Bishops who did not resign (Bps Barnum and Glenn).
A Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje
Kigali, 23rd December 2011
Dear Bishop Thad Barnum and Terrell Glenn,
Dear Clergy and Laity,
Friends and Colleagues in Ministry,
Christmas greetings from all of us here in Rwanda. May the peace and joy of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose birth we now celebrate, be yours in abundance today and forever.
The House of Bishops in Rwanda continues to enjoy a season of extraordinary unity and team work. We are pleased to announce the election of two new bishops to replace those who will be retiring next year. The Rev. Nathan Amooti Rusengo will follow Bishop Geoffrey Rwubusisi in Cyangugu (consecration and installation on January 19th), and the Rev. Emmanuel Ntazinda will follow Bishop Sendegeya of Kibungo (consecration and installation on January 12th). Please join us in prayer for these brothers and the congregations they serve during this time of transition.
On the behalf of the House of Bishops, I want you to know that we grieve with you over the resignations of our friends, brothers in Christ, and fellow bishops in the AMiA. I am thankful for the support shown to the Province of Rwanda by my friend and colleague, Archbishop Robert Duncan. I share the same confidence that with God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). We are heartbroken over the shame that this division has brought to our Lord and to his bride. The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is the power to heal all our wounds, and we trust he will repair and restore what has been so badly broken. Forgiveness and reconciliation are Gospel imperatives for all Christians, and especially for us here in Rwanda. As you continue to move forward in mission in 2012, please do with mutual respect for one another, fostering open communion, trusting relationships, and accountability to those whom the Lord has called us to serve and lead.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the Moving Forward Together sacred assembly at Raleigh, N.C. on January 16-18. Together with my collegues from the House of Bishops of Rwanda, as well as Bishop Barnum and Glenn, we are eager to seek the Lord together in worship, confession, prayer, and the study of God’s word. I hope you make every effort to attending this gathering.
We want to encourage you as ambassadors of Christ. All of us are called to share the good news of Jesus Christ and disciple those who receive Him. Let us therefore prech the Gospel with integrity in all that we do.
Grace and peace in the Lord Jesus Christ,
The Most. Rev. Dr. Onesphore Rwaje,
Archbishop of the Province of Rwanda