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Appreciation

Glynne Gordon-Carter

Your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Cor. 15:58)

Dear Fellow Participants,

Your wholehearted participation in the Third International Conference on Afro-Anglicanism (July 20-27, 2005) at the University of Toronto led to a memorable and significant event. The initial conference in 1985 at Codrington College, Barbados, and the 1995 Afro-Anglicanism Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, were both milestone events. The Toronto Accord, which was the final statement of the Toronto Conference, addressed our common heritage as Afro-Anglicans, our Afro-Anglican spirituality, our social engagement, and our mission for the future.

There was great richness in the addresses, plenaries, panel discussions, young adult programs, workshops, the festival Eucharist at St. James Cathedral, the daily acts of worship, Encountering the Word sessions, and the Sunday worship in local parishes. Over the course of this weeklong event, participants were very positively involved, happy, generous in spirit, and accommodating. There was a wonderful energy. The conference was indeed an uplifting and inspiring event, and you as participants expressed your appreciation in your comments:

It was a pleasure to have served and been a part of such a historic occasion.

Thanks for providing an opportunity to build on our strengths and spirituality.

So much to take back to my parish.

We can disagree and still be happy.

We worked on the planning of this event over a two-year period. For commitment of the International and Executive Committees, led by the Rt. Rev. Orris Walker Jr., Bishop of Long Island; Canon Diane Porter and the staff of Bishop Walker’s office; the Local Planning and Hospitality Committee led by the Rev. Canon Stephen Fields; and Mrs. Joan Pierre, Event Planner in Toronto, to these persons we owe an immense debt of gratitude.

All our speakers, panelists, bible study leaders, worship leaders, workshop facilitators, local parish priests, parishioners, and volunteers understood what we wanted to achieve and gave of their time and talents. The conference could not have happened without your contributions. We are sincerely appreciative. May God continue to bless you in your ministries.

We pass on the beacon to the next generation, and hope that through the Afro-Anglican primates, bishops, clergy, laity, and the young adult Afro-Anglicans, the light of Afro-Anglicanism will continue to shine brightly through the twenty-first century.

I am also grateful for the life and ministry of the Rev. Canon Frederick B. Williams. I met Canon Fred when we both served on the Planning Committee for the 1995 conference in South Africa. As one of the founding fathers of Afro-Anglicanism, Fred was a fount of knowledge from whom I learned much. He supported me as staff officer for the Committee for Minority Anglican Concerns of the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. And he consistently supported my co-ordination of the 2005 conference, passing on information and advice that contributed to the planning’s success. Many of us will remember his sermon at the closing worship at St. James Cathedral. Canon Fred Williams has left us with a blessed legacy that we should cherish deeply. May he rest in peace.

 
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