AGR announces new leadership for Africa and Asiamerica offices

September 22, 2005

The Episcopal Church's Office of Anglican & Global Relations (AGR) recently announced the addition of the Rev. Emmanuel K. Sserwadda of the Diocese of New York, and the Rev. Canon Charles Amuzie, Ph.D. of the Diocese of Georgia, to the Africa Partnership Office, and Peter Ng, former Executive Council member and president emeritus of the Episcopal Asiamerica Ministry Council, to the newly created Partnership Office for Asia and the Pacific.

Sserwadda, a priest with 25 years' experience in both the USA and Uganda, will serve on the Presiding Bishop's staff as interim Partnership Officer for Africa until after the General Convention next year. He will focus on the Episcopal Church's relationships with the 12 African provinces of the Anglican Communion, ecumenical bodies in the region, and councils and agencies in the USA whose work supports the church in Africa.

An integral part of the Anglican and Global Relations cluster, he also will work closely with colleagues at the Episcopal Church Center who serve on the Africa Staff Team.

Amuzie will lead the African Anglican Chaplaincy, which was instituted several years ago to assist U.S. bishops, clergy and lay leaders in welcoming expatriate Africans into our congregations and diocesan life.

He will work collaboratively not only with Sserwadda, but also with the Rev. Angela Ifill, missioner for Black Ministries across the Episcopal Church, and other national church staff.

"I am so pleased that these two committed priests of our church have agreed to take on additional national responsibilities at this critical time," Larom said. "The importance of the African churches, and the faithful members of those churches who are living among us in the USA, is well recognized. At least half of the world's Christians who call themselves Anglican are living in Africa, and twelve of the Communion's 38 provinces are there."

Ng will have primary responsibility for relationships with the 14 Anglican Communion provinces in the region (including the four united churches of South Asia). He will also help the Episcopal Church connect with area ecumenical councils, and support the efforts of organizations in the USA working on behalf of the churches in Asia and the Pacific.

Immediate responsibilities include staffing the Joint Committee on the Philippine Covenant, and helping to plan the Presiding Bishop's visit to Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan during October.

"The Anglican and Global Relations cluster has not had a staff person dedicated to this region since the major restructuring and downsizing of 1994," Larom said. "We are honored that Peter has accepted this position and already are feeling the benefits of his tremendous experience and expertise in the region. He is absolutely devoted to the Episcopal Church, a tireless worker, a true servant who understands our mission and brings marvelous skill to complex situations."

In his new national staff position, Ng will work closely with the Rev. Winfred Vergara, Asiamerica missioner, and will have collegial relationships with Peace and Justice Ministries, Episcopal Relief and Development, and other offices whose work connects with the region.

A new inter-departmental staff team for Asia and the Pacific is envisioned, similar to existing teams focusing on Africa as well as Latin America and the Caribbean.

Ng was instrumental in creating the Episcopal Church's first Jubilee Center in an Asian congregation, the Church of Our Savior in lower Manhattan, and served as its director from 1992 onward. Much of the center's work is financed through the publishing ministry, called Mission Graphics, and a computer support service operated by recent immigrants trained at Our Savior's education center.

"Mr. Ng is indefatigable when it comes to the ministry of hospitality, and delegations from the China Christian Council and other important Asian church leaders know that he will pick them up at the airport, get them to their meetings, arrange banquets with local church leaders, and stay in touch after they've gone," said Larom. "The courtesy and respect he demonstrates spring from a deep well of faith and love, and earn a response in kind. We are lucky to have him."

"The Episcopal Church is committed to strengthening mission partnership throughout the Anglican Communion," said the Rev. Dr. James B. Lemler, director of Mission for the Episcopal Church. "The naming of these excellent leaders for focus in Africa and Asia enhances our work in these areas. This strategy connects to the work of mission generation and interpretation with many collaborators in the Episcopal Church and throughout the Communion."