The Lenten Season and the Celebration of Easter Strengthens our Faith in Jesus, our Lord and Saviour . St Paul in his letter to the Philippians inform us of who Christ is for us (Phil 2:6-11)
This faith in Jesus, the word incarnate is to be translated on our lives as individuals and as communities. God has given to us men and women his creation as in inheritance and we are called to respect it, transform it and build up the future .. my hope is that this Paschal Season will instill in us an urge to seek transformation and thus empower us to work towards the making up of a society based on gospel values.
CAPA the coordinating body for Anglican Provinces in Africa is no exception for as part of the Body of Christ, it has to seek perfection and sustenance in the way it serves the Mission of God in the continent of Africa. It is imperative that this coordinating body facilitates the edification of a church with living stones that will engage itself with determination and efficiency to uphold the continent of Africa as it faces its daily challenges.
This Easter celebration enables us to draw a sketch of CAPA as a body that enables growth, development, expressions of solidarity and faithfulness to the Word of God.
The passion, death and resurrection of our Lord makes us realize of the sanctifying presence of God in the midst of our lives as individuals, families and nations. His presence brings hope, strength and life. This is what CAPA is for the Anglican Church in Africa. Its presence as a coordinating body is to assure to all of us of its capacity to support us in the mission God has entrusted to us.
CAPA as designed to be is not a body that should impose itself on others. As the presence of Jesus is, CAPA should enable the church in Africa to engage itself with human realities with compassion, respect and the potential of transformation. With the present tensions and uncertainties that afflict the World Wide Communion, we are called to be a light that can bring about a true spirit of faithfulness to the Lord and love for our brothers and sisters. We are called to seek unity and CAPA can be a leveler.
We pray that the Risen Christ inspires us. Our faithfulness to the word should bring us together and my prayer is that the Anglican Communion in Africa continues to identify itself with the compassionate love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our gift to the world is to express our love for Jesus by engaging with others with respect and dignity. The struggle continues for it is the Presence of Christ that conquers darkness and death.
By his precious death and glorious resurrection, Jesus has reconciled the world to his Father. It is therefore imperative for CAPA to emerge as a reconciling body in Christ. In the past years, conflicts at international, national and ecclesial level have undermined the process of growth and development. It is important to strengthen the role of CAPA as an instance that can facilitate conversations and dialogue in the midst of conflicts. With the appointment of a General Secretary soon, it is crucial that reconciliation as a process for the restoration of justice and peace be a priority for CAPA. This will enable CAPA to become a body that will instill trust and confidence. In the recent conflicts that have hit some countries like Kenya, we have seen the need for bodies or individuals that can build bridges and stir up conversations for the welfare of all.
The presence of Jesus brings life in abundance to those who put their trust in him. It is therefore necessary for CAPA to promote sustainability and to initiate intelligent projects that will transform the lives of many. The former Chairman of CAPA, the Most Rev Peter Akinola has laid much emphasis on the need for us to be self-reliant. I will certainly like him, encourage you to promote South to South economic ventures and to look for partnership when it comes to training and empowerment programmes. The risen Lord brings new life and I am convinced that CAPA as a coordinating body if faithful in its calling can overcome the barriers that prevent us to enjoy the fullness of life.
The three criteria mentioned above are to be developed further in our reflection as Leaders of the Church in Africa today. There is need for cooperation and mutuality. This is the only way that the Justice of God may break into our hearts and make us a people with hearts of flesh and not of stones.
CAPA through all of you can be a tool for the edification of Gods people. Let it be a gift for the world.
Alleluia. Praise to the Risen Lord.
The Most Rev Ian Ernest (G.O.S.K)