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Friday, July 17, 2009

Advocating for Sudan

If you happen to read my blog too, you will already know that the main actual work I've done during GC is to talk with people who have more Sudan knowledge and experience than I do and to try to learn as much as possible about others' companion relationships. I also volunteered at the booth of the American Friends of the Episcopal Church oF Sudan (AFRECS) on Wednesday, which was Lui Day. The booth featured a photo-and-quote poster of various Lui trips from our diocese and a set of story cards with single photos and longer stories about them.

Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul and his wife, Deborah Atem Mading, visited GC from Thursday to Monday. Deborah spent about an hour with the spouses of bishops talking about the problems in Sudan, and Archbishop Daniel made the rounds of several committees and legislative sessions to observe how our church works, focusing on the destabilization that's happening in Sudan when asked to speak. Both he and Deborah say that the most important thing we can do to help Sudan is advocate with our government, one of the guarantors of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, to help shore up the faltering CPA and keep it in force -- quickly, before Sudan's increasing intertribal violence and rearming of both southern and northern forces escalate into civil war again.

With all that in mind, the House of Deputies has passed a resolution on Sudan (A033: Peace and Reconciliation in Southern Sudan) that is on the House of Bishops' concurrence calendar. I hope they will get to it today. In addition, AFRECS members drafted a letter to President Obama on Wednesday, which Bishop David Jones of Virginia brought to the House of Bishops yesterday. Wayne signed it and says that many other bishops did too. It outlines the situation and Archbishop Daniel's concerns and requests, and it encloses a copy of the archbishop's recent open letter to the guarantor countries (the US, UK, Netherlands, Norway, and maybe one or two others -- I'm not sure). I am personally very grateful to the deputies and bishops, and to the members of the World Missions and International and National Concerns committees and AFRECS, for making all that happen.

Meanwhile, back in Lui, Stephen tells me that they have had so little rain that he is worried about the food supply this year and asks our diocese for prayers for the Moru people and their crops. Please pray for our Moru friends and their crops, and always for peace in Sudan.

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