We are honored to have Bishop Joseph Garang Atem joining us at worship on Sunday, October 28, at the 11:15 a.m. service. He also will be with us following that service to share news of the situation of his diocese and the humanitarian disaster that is continuing to decimate his people.

Christ Church has a 16-year relationship of mission with the Diocese of Renk, part of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan. Renk is located in the independent country of South Sudan, but continues to suffer from the aftereffects of war, continued violence and lawlessness, poverty, disease, and famine.

Parishioner Russ Randle who has long been part of our mission ministry with the Diocese of Renk writes: Bishop Atem is coming from very difficult circumstances. There are 60,000 refugees located in six camps in the Diocese of Renk: two in the southeast part of the Diocese, near Jamam and Maban, who are fleeing the fighting in Blue Nile, with about 40,000 people; four around Renk, with about 20,000 people, who are fleeing the fighting in the Nuba Mountains, as well as the Blue Nile fighting. There are also thousands of returnees from the north of Sudan who are getting away from racial and religious persecution in areas that are not currently engulfed in fighting. Khartoum has imposed an economic blockade on his part of south Sudan, making resupply and visits extremely difficult.  Bishop Joseph has been clear that it is not safe for us to visit his diocese this year, so this is our chance to see him. Things have not been this bad in his diocese since before the armistice in 2005. 

Please join us in the Meade Room at 12:30 p.m. on October 28 to have your heart opened to the faith of our Sudanese brothers and sisters, even in the midst of precarious times – and to their needs. Please hold all the people of South Sudan and the Sudan in your prayers. To learn more about the Diocese of Renk, the Episcopal Church of Sudan, and the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, click here.