The Southern Africa Link Committee was formed in early 2004 to coordinate the Episcopal Diocese of Washington (EDOW)’s partnership with the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) Anglican Church of Southern Africa. When the partnership began, then-Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane said, “We cannot choose our human family and we cannot choose our Christian family either. Our job is to recognize that we belong to God and we belong together.”
ARCHBISHOP TUTU'S LEGACY TO THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF WASHINGTON
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together
that overwhelm the world.” – Desmond Tutu
We in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington remember Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s many contributions to Washington and join the world in reflecting on his distinguished life and gifted ministry.
Desmond’s message of faith and reconciliation found a home in Washington. During the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, the former Bishop of Washington, the Rt. Rev. John T. Walker, and Desmond formed a lifelong friendship. Thereafter, Desmond was welcomed in Washington throughout his life. On many occasions, the Washington National Cathedral offered Desmond its pulpit to share his soft but Godly voice against social injustice at home and around the world.
We in Washington listened to Desmond and saw his faithfulness. We watched Desmond fearlessly wade into a hostile crowd in South Africa to save a poor victim from “necklacing.” We witnessed his inspired leadership of the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission seeking to transform a nation beset by racial strife to a nation that embraces diversity – to a rainbow nation. We prayed with Desmond as he underwent medical treatment in NYC.
The earliest collaboration between Archbishop Tutu and Bishop Walker forged a lasting bond between the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and the Diocese of Washington. They united first in a common resolve against racism. This shared ministry later grew to develop a model for the compassionate response to those suffering from HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa and the United States. Today, this same shared ministry has evolved to combat climate change and its devastating impacts on communities in need throughout the world.
Washington also has been blessed by Desmond’s deep conviction to safeguard children and ensure their education. Desmond served on the first Advisory Board for the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys, established in memory of Bishop Walker. The tuition-free elementary school serves young boys living in underserved communities of Washington and seeks to nurture their intellectual, spiritual and moral foundations as exemplified by both Desmond and Bishop John Walker.
For these many blessings, we give thanks for Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. His immeasurable gifts have lifted up Washington to make us better people of God.
God Bless Africa and her native son Desmond and give comfort to his wife Leah and their four children during this difficult time.
Southern Africa Link Committee
Episcopal Diocese of Washington
December 26, 2021
IN LOVING MEMORY OF THE RT. REV. ELLINAH WAMUKOYA, DIOCESE OF SWAZILAND
Our Southern Africa Link Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington feels blessed by the loving ministry of the Rt. Rev. Ellinah Wamukoya, who died on January 19, 2021, in eSwatini, formerly Swaziland.
Bishop Ellinah nourished us with her quiet charm, gentleness, and firm commitment to the needs of others and for caring for God’s creation. She warmly welcomed visitors to eSwatini from the Diocese of Washington. She also delighted us in 2018 by visiting Washington to share her devotion to protecting the environment for the benefit of everyone around the world.
We particularly remember Bishop Ellinah’s leadership in response to the Covid pandemic. In a letter to the Diocese of Washington, she recently lamented the severe hardship unfolding in her Diocese and recommitted herself to caring for her faith community during these most difficult of times. She wrote that, while the Covid restrictions are painful, “we have not allowed the restrictions to interfere with our faith. We remain united emotionally and spiritually by providing opportunities to care for each other.”
May God bless her and care for her family and all whom she loved in her Diocese of Swaziland.
FAITH AND HOPE IN FACE OF DESPAIR ACROSS THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF SOUTHERN AFRICA IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) are overwhelmed by the same COVID-19 and follow-on economic crisis as we face in the Diocese of Washington.
Four leading ACSA bishops and other ACSA church leaders have offered us a glimpse into their particular struggles as reflected in the messages below. They describe the crushing need to remain connected with their church communities during this time of social distancing, to respond to economic despair and inadequate medical care, to console those who are grieving losses, to urge good public health practices, to guard against increased gender-based violence, and, as noted by ACSA Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, to offer “hope in facing the challenges with eyes of love.”
We ask for your prayers for our Brothers and Sisters in the ACSA during this most difficult time. As reflected in the Prayer for Africa:
God, bless Africa
guard her Children
guide her leaders
and give her peace;
for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen
We invite you to read reflections from these leaders:
The Rt. Rev. Charles May, Bishop of the Diocese of the Highveld, South Africa
The Rt. Rev. Ellinah Wamukoya, the Bishop of Swaziland
The Rt. Rev. Andre Soares, the Bishop of Angola
The Rt. Rev. Vicente Msosa, Bishop of the Diocese of Niassa, Mozambique
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