Bishop Mwita Akiri Speaks at CLMC

“July 19-22 2011, Bishop Mwita Akiri will participate in the Common Life Mission Conference in Waikanae New Zealand. The theme of the conference is "Shaping the Church for Mission". Let us gather as one church to worship, study, learn, share, renew, envision and enable our passion for Mission together.

There will be a variety of workshops reflecting our 5 aspects of mission.
1) Proclaiming the good news of the kingdom
2) Teaching, baptising and nurturing new believers
3) Responding to human need by loving service
4) Seeking to transform unjust structures of society
5) Striving to sustain the integrity of creation
With presentations from our mission partners including NZCMS, SOMA, the Anglican Church of PNG, the Diocese of Polynesia, the Diocese of Jerusalem, the Anglican Church of Melanesia and CWS.

Bishop Akiri will be leading a workshop "The Unfolding Drama of Mission in a New Diocese in Tanzania, East Africa"
Workshop Info:Mission is dramatic in the new Diocese of Tarime, east of Lake Victoria in the far western part of the Serengeti National Park. It is mission through committed leadership of women, soccer (football) evangelism targeting young people outside the Church. It is mission through worship in makeshift places of worship and walls without roofs, and community development projects. Poor Christians with little resources are committed to sacrificial giving to support mission. Yet this unfolding drama is not without the challenges. Tarime is a diocese in an area that is a cultural and political hotspot, nationally and internationally. The outdated practice of female genital mutilation is rampant. It is a stronghold of a major opposition party in Tanzania. Unwillingly, it is hosting one the world's gold mining giants. Where else could one be serving the Lord?

Seminar for Church Elders

A cross-section of church elders on 14 May 2011
Bishop Mwita with church elders after the seminar
Church Elders seminar in progress on 14 May 2011
Bishop Mwita emphasizing a point during the church elders seminar
A cross-section of church elders on 14 May 2011
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On May 14, 2011, 139 church elders (members of the parish vestries) gathered from all over the Diocese for a day seminar led by the Bishop of Tarime. Also present were the senior Diocesan leaders, namely the Vicar General, the Diocesan Secretary and the Area Deans.

The main seminar topic was ‘the Life and Role of a Church Elder’. The key text was 1 Corinthians 4:1-2. “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they may be found trustworthy.” (New English Version).

In Kiswahili, these two verses read as follows: “Mtu na atuhesabu hivi, kuwa tu watumishi wa Kristo, na mawakili wa siri za Mungu. Hapo tena inayohitajiwa katika mawakili, ndiyo mtu aonekane kuwa ni mwaminifu” (1 Wakorintho 4:1-2).

Apart from Bible teaching, the participants explored the relevant canons of the Synod and the constitution of the Diocese especially as they apply to role of church elders and the parish councils.

Canadian Mission Team Visits

Canadian Mission Team after arrival in Tarime on 4 July 2011
Mothers Union Leaders receiving treadle sewing machines
Joyful Mothers Union leaders after receiving sewing machines
Team donating bicycles
Bishop Mwita on a test ride of donated bicycle
Construction tools donated
Bishop Mwita on a test ride of  donated motorcyle
Team donating 3 laptops
Team donating solar kits
Team donating soccer balls
Team in Tanzanian costumes with Bishop Mwita in a T-shirt given by the team
Canadian Mission Team after arrival in Tarime on 4 July 2011
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A mission team of 9 committed Christians from Canada visited the Diocese of Tarime  from July 4-15 to help with construction work in selected parish buildings and short computing and accounting courses for the diocesan staff.

The team was able to work with the local Christians in three parishes and managed to accomplish three specific projects. At Manga parish, the team put a concrete floor in the church building. At Kenyamanyori Parish, the team plastered the walls of the church and put in a concrete floor as well. The team made benches for the Kerende parish church.

At the Diocesan level, two of the team, Prof Janne Chung and Ms Cassie Williams offered accounting and computing courses to our staff. This was greatly appreciated. Also we were humbled to receive equipment and material for God’s work in our Diocese. The team donated 1 motorcycle, 10 sewing machines, 6 bicycles, 3 reconditioned laptops, 8 solar kit units, 7 soccer balls as well as the construction and carpentry tools that were brought from Canada and used during the construction projects. These tools will be used by our Diocesan builder and his
local team.

The presence of the team in Tarime made a huge difference, bearing in mind that we live in a developing country with a poor economy such that Sunday collection in many churches in Tarime ranges between $2-4. However, and even more important, was that the visit strengthened the partnership in international mission between the Diocese and the participating Canadian churches. This visit brought to light, yet again, the fact that the people of God in Tarime and their brothers and sisters in Canada are members of the One Body of Christ and the worldwide Anglican family. "

The mission was been organized by the Rev. Canon Kim Beard, Rector of St Paul's-on-the Hill Church which is located outside the city of Toronto. Bishop Mwita first met Kim when he visited Canada in 2007 to teach at Wycliffe College, University of Tortonto. On January 2009, Kim visited Tarime, then part of the Diocese of Mara, from which Tarime was carved in July 2010. This visit inspired him to organize a mission team to Tanzania similar to the team that has been visiting Kenya for a number of years. Members of the Tanzania team were Jim Charbonneau (team leader), Kristopher Charbonneau, Hugh Sandiford, Janne Chung, Cassie Williams, Joseph Sue-Ho, Jennifer Sue-Ho, Peter Kirwin and Juddy Kirwin-Price.

Bishop Visits Mangucha Parish

Building material collected by the congregation for building a church at Mangucha Parish
Rev. Elias Philimon, Pastor
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Building material collected by the congregation for building a church at Mangucha Parish
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On March 27, 2011, the Bishop of Tarime, the Right Rev Dr Mwita Akiri visited the Mangucha Parish at the Kenya/Tanzania border.  Mangucha is one of the smallest congregations with about 15 or so regular worshippers.  What impressed Bishop Akiri was the effort made by this congregation to collect stones and carry them on their head or on the back of push bikes to bring them to the church site. This has been made possible by their new pastor Elias Philimon who was transferred to Mangucha in January 2010. Since then he has mobilized the congregation so that they can start building a church with burnt bricks and roof it with corrugated sheets. The diocese has a partnership policy that it will assist with roofing material if the congregation can manage to erect the wall. A church building that can seat up to 150 people may cost a minimum of Tsh15 million, (which translates to roughly $12,000) of which nearly a half may be spent on roofing material (corrugated sheets, timber, nails) and the carpenter's roofing fee.

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