North Carolina and Botswana

The Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina has entered into a companionship relationship with the Diocese of Botswana.

The News Observer, a local North Carolina newspaper has a long article that discusses the significance of the relationship between the dioceses:

[In] the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, one of the most liberal in the nation, a new experiment is taking shape. Last week, Bishop Michael Curry and the Anglican bishop of Botswana signed a historic companion partnership agreement.

It will enable members of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, stretching across 39 Piedmont counties, to work with their Anglican counterparts in Botswana on youth programs, medical missions, day-care centers, schools and university chaplaincy programs.

The article continues with a brief history of the controversy that is found at present in the Anglican Communion, and then concludes by stating that the Diocese of North Carolina’s stance on the issues is not seen as something that should block its ability to work alongside Anglicans in Botswana:

“The crisis is far from over, and it’s not clear what may happen at the once-in-a-decade Lambeth Conference, when leaders of the Anglican Communion gather in England this summer. One thing is clear: The diocese of North Carolina is not backing down. At last week’s convention in Greensboro, delegates approved a resolution asking the national church to support the full inclusion of gays and lesbians and to encourage the development of liturgies to bless same-sex unions.

That didn’t seem to bother Bishop Mwamba of Botswana. During a convention speech, he received enthusiastic applause when he said, ‘Let us beware of excommunicating each other here on Earth, for we shall find in heaven we are still bound together at the table of Christ’s love — Archbishop Akinola sitting next to Gene Robinson.'”

Read the rest here.

The ENS reporting on the same story can be found here.

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