The Anglican Church of Kenya has rejected a total of $75,000 US ($100,000 Cdn) in grants from the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA) in keeping with a vow made last April by African bishops to refuse money from dioceses that allow gay men and lesbians to function as clergy.
Bishop Jeremiah Taama of the diocese of Kajiado told Anglican Journal in an e-mail that his diocese had already turned down a $35,000 US offer from ECUSA.
JoAnne Chapman, United Thank Offering (UTO) co-ordinator at the Episcopal Church Center in New York confirmed the information, adding that the Church of Kenya has also rejected a $40,000 US grant for a province-wide sustainability project.
She said that the grant, which was awarded last April to the diocese of Kajiado, would have been used to “build and equip a health clinic in a remote diocese of Kenya where 80 per cent of the population is of the Masai tribe, and where no health care is available.”
Ms. Chapman said her department also received a letter from the diocese of Kajiado saying, “It is with a lot of pain that we turn down this offer in solidarity with the entire Anglican Church of Kenya to cut ties with those that recognize ordination and consecration of the same-sex people.”
Ms. Chapman said UTO asked Bishop Boru to reconsider his church’s position but he declined.
Bishop Taama said that ECUSA “should not be at a loss” as to whether African provinces were rejecting money or not. He was reacting to a story published in the Journal (African mission funds remain in question , June/July) which said that ECUSA was perplexed about how to regard the statement made on behalf of African bishops by Archbishop Peter Akinola, primate of Nigeria, rejecting ECUSA grants since all disbursements for the year had been made. UTO grants had not yet been disbursed when the African bishops declared their position on ECUSA money.