The following Daily Account, issued by the Episcopal Church's Office of Public Affairs, offers an overview of the third day of conversations and activities of the House of Bishops, which is meeting Sept. 15-20 in Quito, Ecuador.
On Saturday, Sept. 17, the members of the House of Bishops and the HoB spouses/partners group, which is meeting concurrently, visited various sites of mission and ministry in and beyond Quito.
One group traveled to the Episcopal mission in Tulcán, located more than four hours outside of Quito, on the border between Ecuador and Colombia. While there, they conducted a prayer service at the bridge where people seeking refuge cross. And they met Colombian refugees -- a woman and her young daughter -- who have fled the violence and troubles in that country.
Another group traveled to Iglesia San Felipe, an Episcopal Church in Ibarra, a city of about 182,000 people, located about three hours from Quito. The group met with its vicar, the Rev Carlos Zapata, and retired priest, the Rev. Marco Mejia and his wife, Dolly, and parishioners and learned about the ministries sponsored by the church for the people in that area. Since Zapata took over the ministry five years ago, average Sunday attendance has increased from five people to 50.
The church members talked about their ties with the Dioceses of Atlanta, which helped them purchase the building; Connecticut, which as strong ties to the church; New Jersey, which helped build a sports center; and Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis, which purchased the pews.
The third group visited a neighborhood in Quito, including an Episcopal church that hosts Colombian refugee events, a day-care center, and a school.
The evening will provide an opportunity for bishops to gather with others in their Provinces for discussion and sharing.
Media Briefer for Saturday, September 17
Bishop Andrew Waldo, Diocese of Upper South Carolina