GM Co-Executives Travel to Southern Africa to Visit Partners

Julia Brown Karimu and Jim Moos, GM Co-Executives, and Cherilyn Williams, Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), will be traveling to Mozambique and South Africa with Sandra Gourdet, GM Africa Area Executive, May 1-15,2012. One of their main activities will be a Partnership Consultation in Johannesburg with many of our Global Partners in Southern Africa.

The following is a summary of their schedule given by Sandra Gourdet:

SOUTH AFRICA

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2012

We will arrive in Johannesburg early evening.  

THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2012

We will visit some of our partners and our Global Mission Intern on this day.  Christine Tisinger works with the Theological Education by Extension College.  The Director of the College, Megan Baxter, makes frequent partner visits to the USA.  She also attended our last General Synod and Assembly. Christine adjusted very quickly to life in South Africa.  She consistently receives very good reports from Megan and others at the College.  She is very easy-going and very dependable when given an assignment.  She is in her second year as a GMI and has extended for the 3rd year.

We will not have an opportunity to travel to Durban to meet with Scott Couper and Susan Valiquette.  We will talk with them by phone.  Scott was recently hospitalized (March 30, 2012) for a couple of days to clean wounds from dog bites while trying to calm a situation at Inanda Seminary that involved an attempted police arrest of a security guard.  He is quite okay and back at work.

The United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) is the main host of the Partners’ Consultation.  We will visit the office and meet with some of the staff.  Prince Dibeela, the General Secretary, attended the last General Synod and General Assembly participated in workshops at both events.  Cheryl Dibeela, serves with the Council for World Mission as the Africa Mission Enabler.  She is also very active in women’s work with the UCCSA.  Majaha Nhliziyo, the former Global Ministries board member is now the Director of the UCCSA Leadership Academy. 

We will visit the South African Council of Churches.  The organization recently changed its leadership and is currently facing a lot of difficulty, particularly with the government.  The Council led in the fight against apartheid and stood firmly with the ANC.  Many feel that the Council is no longer focused on any social issue and has lost much of its appeal.  The ANC government under President Jacob Zuma, has reached out to the RHEMA movement that is sweeping the country.

 MOZAMBIQUE

FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2012

We arrive in Maputo around 11 am.  We will check into the hotel and have lunch.  In the afternoon, we will visit the Mozambique Synod of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, where Dawn and Jon Barnes have been assigned. We will also visit the Christian Council of Mozambique.  Our visits will be short given that this is a Friday and the offices will be closed on Saturday. In the evening, we will spend time with the missionaries.  

SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2012

This will be a very full day.  We will visit some of the projects that we are supporting in the country: One in particular is CARAN Center for girls.  This center was established by the Council of Churches with assistance from the World Council of Churches during the Decade to Overcome Violence Against Women and Children with a focus on the girl child. It is a center that does wonderful work with girls.  Dawn has taken an initiative to work there a couple of days a week. 

Hopefully, we will be able to visit the TAE (Transformation of Arms into Tools) program of the Council.  At the end of the civil war, the church and government joined hands to remove some of the weapons from the country.  The idea was to exchange weapons found in homes and communities for building material, tools and other implements that can improve the lives of people and minimize the suffering in a war torn country.   Meanwhile, the arms themselves were transformed into art work.  Some of the work was on display at Synod and Assembly.

If time permits, we visit Ricatla Seminary, where Jon Barnes has been asked to teach part time.    If not, you will get an overview (and I will get an update) of the work there by Jon.  There is a new Rector at the Seminary and I have not had a chance to meet him.  The previous Rector has been called to serve as Bishop in his home church.  

In the evening we travel to Beira, where the headquarters of the United Church of Christ in Mozambique is located.  The former President of the church, Rev. Semente Serenguana, and his wife, Christina were present at Synod and Assembly.  The new President of the church, the Rev. Lucas Amosse, served as a General Secretary of the Christian Council of Mozambique several years ago and was instrumental in creating the Transformation of Arms into Tools program. .

SUNDAY, MAY 6, 2012

We will attend church service as designated by the hosts. Although Beira is a city in its own right, you will see the church at work in this small town. Hopefully you will experience the essence of critical presence.

MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012

We will spend the morning in Beira with the partners. We travel back to Maputo in the afternoon and arrive at 6:05 pm.  

MOZAMBIQUE, SOUTH AFRICA, ZAMBIA

TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2012

We leave the hotel around 4:30 am  for our flight that leaves at 7:00 am  for Johannesburg.  We connect to a flight leaving Johannesburg at 10:30 for Livingstone, Zambia. We are scheduled to arrive in Zambia at 12:30 noon.  Because this will be a very, very brief visit, we will go to Victoria Falls immediately following lunch.  We will spend the afternoon there.  Victoria Falls is one of the 7 wonders of the modern world.   There is no way to describe the beauty of this magnificent site.

SOUTH AFRICA

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9 - 14, 2012

Regional Consultation with Africa Partner Churches and Organizations and Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 

WEDNESDDAY 9th         

Arrivals, welcome, getting to know each other

THURSDAY 10TH         

08h30: Worship
09h00: Background Information; why the gathering; current expressions of the partnership                         
09h30: Extended introductions in small groups (may be table talks) Who are we, what is the organization we represent, how did we become part of this Partnership
11h00: Input on a theological view of partnership (by International Guest) and response
Lunch
14h00: Group discussion, focusing on areas of partnerships- what are the areas/issues that could be at the core of our partnership?
15h30: Refreshments
16h00: Plenary
19h.00: Braai (To welcome guests)

FRIDAY 11TH

08h30: Worship
09h00: Models of partnership
10h30: Refreshment
11h00: Table Talks on partnership models: what are the ways we can corporate amongst ourselves? How can CGM facilitate these partnerships?
12h00: Plenary
Lunch
14h30: Preliminary report from the listening team
15h30: Refreshments
16h00: Way forward                              

SATURDAY 12TH    

08h30: Worship
09h00: Travel to apartheid Museum and Soweto
Lunch in Soweto
Visit Bridgman Centre
Dinner          

SUNDAY 13TH 

Morning Worship at different churches

·         Kagiso in Krugersdorp

·         Westbury

·         Salvation Army

·         Trinity in Yeoville

16h00: Reconvene in session to wrap-up

MONDAY 14TH    

Departures, shopping, visit UCCSA and TEEC etc.