Clergy from three continents at ‘virtual’ conference

May 4, 2020

The Diocese of Brechin will take part in an intercontinental virtual conference this week, along with its long-standing partners in Iowa (Episcopal Church in the USA) and Swaziland (Anglican Church of Southern Africa).

The dioceses have an established three-way companionship relationship. Clergy and church members have exchanged between the countries, and projects have been supported for many years, especially in Swaziland/Eswatini.

The Diocese of Iowa hosts this week’s clergy conference on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 May, at which Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya from Swaziland is the keynote speaker.  She was due to fly to the US to lead this work, until international travel was suspended because of the Coronavirus pandemic.  There are different restrictions on movement and gathering in each of the three dioceses, but the three Bishops (Alan Scarfe, Iowa; Andrew Swift, Brechin and Bishop Ellinah) have invited their clergy to gather for this conference using Zoom videoconferencing software.

The planned webinar and discussion times will engage the pressing issues at hand for creation and our responsible care for it as a Church and as global citizens. Serving clergy from Scotland, Eswatini and Iowa have all been invited to register and join in with a range or keynote sessions and breakout discussions. The time differences between the US Midwest, Scotland and south-eastern Africa have been factored in to allow participation at reasonable times of the day, local time.

Bishop Andrew Swift, pictured above, said: “This is an exciting development in the link between our three dioceses.  We are all in a time of anxiety and loss as our various countries deal with Covid-19, but it is a major boost to our life as Scottish Episcopal clergy to be able to connect and pray and study with our brothers and sisters from other Anglican provinces and other continents.

“Our thanks goes to Bishop Alan Scarfe and his team for enabling this shared opportunity for us all.”