Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ecuador
















An Anglican Province of America missions team consisting of Bishop Chandler Holder Jones, Suffragan of the Eastern United States, Dean Ralph Waterhouse of Saint Alban’s Cathedral, Oviedo, Florida, and Canon David Haines, Vicar General for Global Partnerships, visited Ecuador in August 2017. The team departed the United States on August 23 and returned on August 31. The APA team was joined by a mission team from Worthy Endeavors, a Christian missionary organization, consisting of Richard and Karen Todd, Matthew and Ivy McBurney and their son Oliver, and Peter Brundage. Both Matthew and Ivy served as translators during the visit. The teams met at the airport hotel in Quito and then traveled to Riobamba in the province of Chimborazo, the heart of mountainous, central Ecuador. En route to Riobamba and before leaving Quito, the teams visited a community of migrant Kechwa people who have moved to the city in search of employment. They have formed a local congregation and meet in rented space on the outskirts of the city.

Taking a mission trip to Ecuador to express love and support for the indigenous Kechwa people, devout Christians who for five-hundred years have suffered oppression from the Roman Church and the secular state alike, is guaranteed to be a life-changing experience. It was for the APA team. The cruel hacienda agricultural system, first implemented by the Roman Church and then reinforced by the secular government, effectively enslaved these native Christian people for generations. The Anglican Church has brought them a new sense of hope and promise for the future. These faithful Kechwa people have been organized into a Church called the Indigenous Pastoral of La Provincia Anglicana de America en Ecuador. They all stand in need of greater economic development and greater personal and political freedom.

During the second day, a clergy conference and teaching session took place to discuss various aspects of the ministry and to outline the itinerary for the remainder of the mission visit. During this session, Bishop Chad gave a very thorough outline of Traditional Anglicanism with particular emphasis on the features that make it distinctive from Roman Catholicism. This presentation was most helpful for the ten indigenous Ecuadorian clergy and for the Worthy Endeavors team members present.

In the remaining days, the teams were able to visit six additional communities as well as the property in the city of Gaumote which is used to administer the Indigenous Pastoral of the Anglican Province of America in Ecuador, and where it is hoped that a community center and seminary will soon be built. In the course of these visits, Bishop Chad confirmed twelve young people, six of whom he baptized prior to confirmation, and ordained three men to the Sacred Priesthood, Carlos Enrique Ayol Paca, Pedro Lema Marcatoma, and Luis Alberto Guaman Lojano.

Five of the six communities have received grants through Samaritans Purse, the well-known evangelical Christian missionary effort, to upgrade their church buildings, and Richard Todd, serving as its proxy, was able to inspect four of the churches where the work was completed or in progress. One community had just received the funding the week before our arrival and so no construction had yet begun.

On the day before our departure, a meeting was held at the administrative property in Guamote to review a budget for next year and to outline the planned development of churches and other facilities. The importance of developing self-help and community projects for the women of the communities, as well as their role in the church in preparation of the altar, and teaching children, was raised by Karen Todd.  Various aspects concerning clergy training and the adoption of the Anglican liturgy were also discussed, and the Indigenous Pastoral has agreed to use the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer in Spanish (Libro de Oracion Comun) as its official Prayer Book.

During the mission trip, Bishop Chad was privileged to ordain the first three indigenous Anglican priests in the history of Ecuador; the team also visited three communities which had never before in history received the visit of a bishop. The enthusiasm which greeted the team in these places was understandably overwhelming.

The Kechwa people speak both the Spanish and Kechwa languages in personal conversation, and the Liturgy employs both languages at every service. Spanish is used for the liturgical prayers, such as the Collects, scripture readings, and the Canon of the Mass, etc., and the hymns are sung in Kechwa. The Kechwa choirs sing enthusiastically in their native dialect and perform choreographed movements while they sing. 

The long-standing desire of the Kechwa people is to have a self-determining, self-governing, autonomous orthodox Church completely free of political interference and free from both state and Roman Catholic control. The Kechwa Indigenous Pastoral was created in 2006 after it was decided democratically that the native people could no longer tolerate the neglect and abuse suffered at the hands of the Roman Catholic authorities. All indigenous had been Roman Catholics since conversions during the Spanish colonisation period in the sixteenth century. In the late twentieth century the Roman Church began to exact fees and payments from the Kechwa people for sacraments and services celebrated. Exorbitant fees, beyond that which the native people could afford, were required for all Masses, baptisms, and weddings.

Through the ministry of Richard and Karen Todd of Worthy Endeavours, the existence of this Church was brought to the attention of Bishop Grundorf, who in turn asked Canon David Haines to investigate. After a two year investigation process and the licensing by the government of the APA allowing it to minister in Ecuador, the end result was the reception of the Indigenous Pastoral into the Anglican Province of America in 2016. 

The Indigenous Pastoral of La Provincia Anglicana de America en Ecuador is a canonical Missionary District of the APA. It is, in effect, a missionary diocese within our Province. It has a governing council much like a Diocesan standing committee and can hold its own Synod. It is eligible to elect a bishop and will probably do so within the next five years. Its canonical territory is the entire country of Ecuador, but its constituency is entirely comprised of indigenous native Kechwa people. It finally fulfills the perennial dream of the Kechwa people to have their own native Church. 

On the day of our departure the team spent part of the day visiting sites in Quito before our various flights left late in the evening of August 30.



There are currently thirty-three APA communities in Chimborazo with a total of twenty thousand people. There are currently five priests, five deacons, and one postulant in this group.  Please pray earnestly for Ecuador, the Kechwa people, and our Indigenous Pastoral, and please support this mission. These people now belong to our Anglican family.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

2017 Anglican Joint Synods Videos



The following links are the videos from the 2017 Anglican Joint Synods in Atlanta, October 2-6, 2017. Feel free to share them with any interested parties. 

PNCC-G4 Dialogue

The Anglican Joint Synods (G4) - Polish National Catholic Church Dialogue Meeting was held from 28th-30th January 2020 at Saint Barnabas Du...