African archbishop travels to Bay area

The Contra Costa Times has a news story today about a visit by the Archbishop of South Africa planned for this fall:

“The archbishop of South Africa will teach, pray and talk with parishioners in Walnut Creek — and, it is hoped, return home with a renewed appreciation of diverse views.

He will visit St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Oct. 15 for a meditative Taiz√© service, a meal, a teaching, ‘and I hope, some dialogue,’ said the Rev. Sylvia Vasquez, spiritual leader of St. Paul’s.

The archbishop, the Most Rev. Njongonkulu Ndungane, will be in the Bay Area to participate in the Oct. 14 to 20 annual convention of the California diocese. Bishop Marc Andrus, head of the diocese, invited Ndungane while in Africa as part of a peace mission last March.

The invitation is in character for Andrus, who has matched California churches with sister churches in Africa in an effort to strengthen the relationship between worshippers torn over such issues as women’s ordination and same-sex unions.

‘The African archbishops usually don’t respond well to our presence anywhere,’ Vasquez said. ‘The only way we’ll be able to move forward is through dialogue.’

Disagreements over the ordination of women and gays have strained relations between some dioceses, primarily in Uganda, and the west.

The solution is dialogue, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said in a February address. The divide has been worsened ‘by one group forging ahead with change in discipline and practice, and the other insistently treating the question as the sole definitive marker of orthodoxy,’ he said at that time.”

Read the full story here.

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