Diocese of Renk, Sudan


Diocese of Renk, South Sudan Mission

Go, you swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth, to a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide. -Isaiah 18:2

This verse is read by the Episcopal Church of Sudan as applying to the Sudanese people who will bring gifts to the Lord and are doing so now.

Weekly Prayer for the Diocese of Renk in South Sudan

We pray for those seeking to mediate a lasting cease fire and peace agreement in South Sudan, including peacekeepers who have been killed this month in the line of duty. Amen. 

Click here to read the current issue of Sudan Connections from the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan (AFRECS)  

Update, August 15, 2014

Statement by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice on Humanitarian Aid to South Sudan August 12, 2014

Today, the United States will provide approximately $180 million to help feed the people of South Sudan, who now face the worst food security situation in the world. This food aid includes a release from the Department of Agriculture’s Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust as well as funds for the U.S. Agency for International Development to provide aid to those in need. Since the start of this crisis, the United States has provided the South Sudanese with more than $456 million in humanitarian aid. But the scale of the suffering and humanitarian need there is shocking, and the threat of famine is real—so much so that we are using this emergency funding authority for the first time since 2008.  

The people of South Sudan are suffering because of the inability of South Sudan’s leaders to put their people’s interests above their own. President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar must immediately assume their responsibilities to the South Sudanese to prevent further needless suffering. It is more critical than ever that both sides end the violence and ensure the safety of humanitarian aid workers so that they can reach those most in need across South Sudan. The United States will continue to work for the peaceful resolution of the conflict. 

Click here to reference the original statement.

Covenant Renewed

On Sunday, September 22, Christ Church renewed our long-standing commitment with the Diocese of Renk in the Republic of South Sudan by signing a covenant with Bishop Joseph Garang Atem Zorial in front of the congregation at the 11:15 a.m. service.As part of the three-year covenant we will pray publicly for each other; send a medical mission team to the Diocese of Renk in 2014; host Bishop Joseph Zorial at Christ Church to converse and pray about our continuing relationship; and continue to advocate for peace and reconciliation in coordination with Bishop Joseph and other ECS leaders.

  Click here to read the full covenant.

Pray for Sudan

Recently, the Episcopal Church of Sudan House of Bishops published a statement that details the way forward for the ECS in this important transition period and beyond. Keep the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, particularly Christians in the north in your prayers.

Christ Church has maintained a covenant relationship with Bishop Daniel Deng Bul and persecuted Christians in the Diocese of Renk in South Sudan. We have lived faithfully into our covenant through:

  • reciprocal visits, including three mission trips to Renk
  • public prayers
  • financial support for vital projects, including construction of St. Matthew’s Cathedral, translation of several books of the Bible into the Dinka tribal language, and the operation of a medical clinic

Many of our projects have been done in partnership with other churches and individuals in the Dioceses of Virginia and Chicago. But Christ Church has been the primary supporter of the medical clinic, in which Doctor Paul and a small number of nurses combat malaria, improve maternal health care, and reduce infant mortality.

Christ Church has been active in organizing prayers for peace surrounding the January 2011 referendum for independence and in providing financial support to enable Bishop Joseph and Doctor Paul to feed and address medical needs of thousands of refugees passing through the Diocese of Renk on their way home further south. Additionally, Christ Church parishioners continue to fill critical leadership roles in the wider church. For example, Russ Randle serves as a board member of the the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan (AFRECS), an organization of U.S. churches, NGOs, and individuals who care deeply about the struggles of the Sudanese people. AFRECS was founded by another Christ Church parishioner, the Reverend Richard Jones.

In November 2012, Bishop Joseph Garang Atem was interviewed by Jim Naughton at Chicago’s diocesan convention. Bishop Joseph shared the needs and challenges of South Sudan. The resulting interview; Feeding South Sudan-An Interview with Bishop Joseph Garang can be read by clicking here.