International partners are invited to every General Synod where they are expected to offer fresh perspective and a critical viewpoint.
“We hope our partners will provide us with outside eyes and ears on what we are doing. And we give them opportunities to reflect back to us on what they are seeing and hearing,” said Dr. Eleanor Johnson, Director of Partnerships.
As the new chair for the Interim Committee of the African Anglican/Lutheran Consultation and an advocate for the dispossessed native population in Zimbabwe on native land issues, Bishop Sebastian Bakare of the diocese of Manicaland has experience that is expected to match issues and events at next July’s General Synod, Dr. Johnson noted.
The bishop, who worked as ecumenical chaplain at the University of Harare, and who chairs the Inter-Anglican commission on Mission Evangelism, is also a member of the Pan -African Anglican/Lutheran commission.
Bishop Bakare commented that he would witness the historic celebration of the new relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada with great interest.
In an interview from Zimbabwe, he said, “I am particularly interested to learn about the theological steps which have led to inter-communion ? and how people at the parish level have been involved in the process.”
Bishop Bakare sees a connection with Canada’s native land claims issues because of the history of colonialism in Zimbabwe.
In Zimbabwe too, he said, landless peasants have been driven into parts of the country not unlike native reserves.