Epiphany is privileged to welcome two international guests to Epiphany in the next few weeks.
First, the Rev. Cn. Dr. Alfred Olwa, dean of Bishop Tucker seminary (Part of Uganda Christian University), will be preaching at Epiphany on Sunday, Nov. 15 at both the 8 am and 10 am services. An administrator and scholar at one of Uganda’s major Anglican seminaries, Dean Olwa is also known as a gifted preacher. Uganda Christian University is one of Epiphany’s mission partners.
On Dec. 2, Epiphany has the privilege of welcoming the Rev. Canon Andrew White at 7pm. Canon White is known as “the Vicar of Baghdad” in acknowledgement of his more than a decade of work as the priest in charge of the only Anglican Church in Iraq. While he returned to the United Kingdom at the end of last year, he continues to work to help Christians and others facing loss, danger and death at the hands of the Islamic State in that country through the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (www.frrme.org). The Foundation’s current focus is helping those who have fled ISIS in Northern Iraq, as well as the thousands of refugees who have fled to Jordan to escape the violence. In addition to spiritual support, the Foundation provides food, medicine and shelter. It has also set up a school in Jordan so that refugee children from Iraq can continue their education.
In the face of significant threats, Canon White pastored one of the largest churches in Iraq, St George’s Baghdad. St George’s ministers to over 550 local Iraqi Christian families and operates outside the International Green Zone. Most of the congregation are women and children – widows and orphans – since many of the men have been killed in the decades of violence in Iraq. White says ‘Members of my church have been kidnapped or killed. I have lost many friends. It is very difficult.’
Based in the church compound, the St George’s Clinic employs medical staff from across sectarian divides to work side by side to deliver humanitarian relief to their neighbors, regardless of patients’ religious or ethnic background, providing free medical and dental care.
“I’m excited by the opportunity we have to welcome Canon White to Epiphany. His work and experience alongside Christians and others in this very difficult part of the world gives us a window into what it means to follow Jesus in places different than our own. Please plan to attend,” said the Rev. Peter Frank, Epiphany’s rector.