Annual Project 2011 : Update

Posted by Sarah Caughey on Mon, 17 Oct 2011 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

To date, over £19,000/€21,500 has been raised by Sunday Schools, Parishes and schools across Ireland for the CMS Ireland 2011 Annual Project Living Stones: Building Church in Burundi. Thank you to all who took part – this is a fantastic amount!

In August, CMS Ireland staff member Andy McCormick visited Burundi on a Mission Experience Team Abroad. As well as spending time with our Global Partners, during their stay the team also had the opportunity to visit the sites which were the focus of this year’s Annual Project, Livings Stones: Building Church in Burundi.

Here, Andy provides an update on the impact of the 2011 Annual Project.

Burundi was an amazing experience with wonderfully hospitable people. The trip was focused around spending time with the Pastors and people in Matana and Gitega Dioceses, hearing their stories and sharing ours. Two of the highlights were seeing the projects that will benefit from the money raised from 2011 CMS Ireland Annual Project. Living Stones: Building Church in Burundi.

After experiencing a confirmation Sunday service for 426 people with a congregation of 2000 people, we met with clergy from around the Diocese of Matana to share our own church experiences. The 2011 Annual Project includes a focus on theological training at the Matana Theological Institute and so it was good to be able to spend time with local clergy.

“It was a blessed time and it was great to see the potential of the Matana Theological College and its current students.”

Gary Galway, Rector of Drumcree Parish, used a simple illustration to show the vision of the church. He asked six volunteers to stand up and to hold hands in a circle. He used this to show how the church can be inwardly focused and unfriendly from the outside. However, when the volunteers turned to face outwards, although this looked awkward at times, this was a picture of how the church should be focused. Those at the meeting were inspired by this simple example and shared more levels of depth to the analogy – in battle the outward facing circle would be stronger as everyone is protecting one another’s back. It was a blessed time and great to see the potential of the Matana Theological College and the current students.

Living Stones: Building Church in Burundi also hopes to support the construction of a new church building in Gitega Diocese. We were blessed to be able to coincide our visit with the ceremony for laying of the foundation stone.

This important ceremony was led by Bishop John. It was a joyous time of worship and dancing, in which we (attempted) to join in. The Bishop shared a few words and provided the background story to the planning of this particular church. We headed outside where we shared some liturgy and bible readings. Then the Bishop laid the Foundation Stone and anointed it with oil.

Find out more about CMS Ireland’s Annual Project here.

The whole trip was full of being part of events like this and sharing in the life of the church, which by no means is limited to Sunday mornings! The church in Burundi is central to issues such as welfare, education, agriculture, environmental projects, family support, health and nutrition.

It was an inspiring trip in so many ways. The people we met, the projects we heard about, and the places we visited will all stay with us for many years.

Thank you to all those that took part in and supported the 2011 Annual Project, Living Stones: Building Church in Burundi!

To date, over £19,000/€21,500 has been raised by Sunday Schools, parishes and schools across Ireland. A fantastic amount!

PRAYER

Please continue to remember Burundi in your prayers, particularly:

- Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi
- All the clergy serving in Gitega and Matana Dioceses
- Students of Matana Theological College
- The building of the new church in Gitega Diocese, all those involved in the construction and the local communities that will be attending it once the church is completed.

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JOIN IN

Details of the 2012 CMS Ireland Annual Project will be announced soon.

If you would like to register your interest in the next Annual Project, please contact us.

To find out more about our Annual Project resource, please click here.

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