June 15, 2015
Dear Friends and Family of the Diocese of Eau Claire,
I write today from Harare, Zimbabwe where Fr. Michael Greene, May Ruth, and I have been treated wonderfully by the Anglican Diocese of Harare. On Saturday we went to St. Philip’s High School in Guruve which is in the northern part of Zimbabwe. Travel in the north country is breathtaking. There in the midst of 400 students and faculty I helped Bishop Chad Gandiya, confirm 60 students. Yesterday May Ruth and I were at the late service in St. Paul’s Church Highfield. This community is in the southern part of the City of Harare. There I preached to over 1000 people. I focused on the Sunday Epistle, 2 Corinthians 5:17—In Christ we are a new creation. May Ruth and I certainly have been made new. How could we not when surrounded by beautiful music and an overwhelming showering of love?
Bishop Chad, wife, Faith, the clergy and their spouses have been wonderful to us. Our visits to parishes and our time spent with the laity have been a joy. African hospitality is very special. We have been honored to be with such caring people. Christianity in Zimbabwe is not only alive and thriving, it has much to teach the rest of the world. In acknowledging that I have much more to learn, I am aware more than ever of the power of community. Here the Church looks after the needs of children and the elderly. Those who are sick, handicapped, or oppressed are not alone. The Church stands ready and meets needs.
It is clear to me that Harare’s relationship with Eau Claire is unfolding into something special. Together we are brainstorming to exchange ideas that will bear fruit. I cannot believe Harare has only 68 priests to serve 1 million people. Beginning this fall Nashotah House seminary will be training four Harare priests for two years. They will become the faculty of a revitalized seminary in Harare to increase the number of priests. As we continue our relationship, God will have much more in store for us. While my time in Harare continues to unfold, I feel myself walking in the way of the Holy Spirit. Where it leads me I am uncertain, but to say it is interesting and adventurous is an understatement! With my love and best wishes, I am,
Your brother in Christ,