‘Our parishioners are dying in silence and I am convinced that RinJ is the cure”

In November 2015 we were finally able to honour the invitation from Bishop Brighton Malasa to send a team to introduce Rooted in Jesus to the Diocese of Upper Shire, Malawi. A joint UK-Zambian team led by Revd John Lee led a single four day conference for 80 clergy and lay leaders at the Chilema Conference Centre just outside Zomba. The two Zambian team members, Fr Kapomba Sekeleti and Canon Susan Mumba, came from the neighbouring diocese of Eastern Zambia, where RinJ has been in use since 2008. The three UK team members were all from the Diocese of York.

Group in practice under Chilema tree

A group in a practice session under the Chilema tree. This is apparently a unique plant unknown anywhere else with multiple trunks and branches growing into each other. Probably, therefore, the most appropriate place on the planet to learn Rooted in Jesus together!

Team Leader John Lee reports:

“The Diocese has an Anglo-Catholic tradition with mass at the heart of worship and a strong emphasis on clerical leadership. It is deeply engaged with the needs of the community it serves and a major resource in training and education. Bishop Brighton Malasa was very helpful in facilitating the conference. His senior staff were on hand and participated in the conference itself. The Vicar General, Canon Francis Chipala, was given the role of the link between the team and  the diocese and he provided all that was needed.

There were 80 delegates for the conference: 31 Clergy and 49 Laity (drawn from Mothers Union, Daughters of the King, St Monica, Youth, Boys and Girls Brigade). The delegates were open and receptive to the teaching of the conference, and the Q&A session on the last day demonstrated an appetite for using Rooted in Jesus as widely as possible in the life of the diocese, and the Bishop was encouraging this. The Holy Spirit teaching had also made an impact on a number of the delegates.

Bishop Brighton appointed a team to coordinate Rooted in Jesus in the Diocese: this team will be led by Fr Edward Kawinga. We’re very encouraged by this choice. Fr Edward was an able and obviously engaged translator who, we felt, was enthused by the conference. He will be joined by Emmanuel Douglas (Youth), Fr Elliot Litereko and Mrs Nancy Mkata (Daughters of the King).

John’s full report can be found here.

Ten days after the conference we received the following moving email from Fr Edward Kawinga, the newly appointed coordinator:

“Just had my first meeting with members of the first RinJ group formed last Sunday soon after church service today. Guess what! RinJ is a real eye opener! There is a lot l didn’t know about my parishioners. Group introductions alone reveal that our parishioners are dying in silence and I am very convinced that RinJ is the real Cure.”

“The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10.10

Posted 16th December 2015 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan