NORTH CAROLINA: Convention formalizes companion relationship with Botswana

January 24, 2008

The 192nd Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, meeting January 18-19 in Greensboro, formalized a companion relationship with the Diocese of Botswana.


"We are one church with one Lord...we need each other to do God's work," said North Carolina Bishop Michael Curry.

Bishop Trevor Mwamba of the Diocese of Botswana, part of the Anglican Province of Central Africa, addressed more than 700 clergy and laypersons, stressing the importance of Anglican unity.

"We must all live together," Mwamba told the convention. "Through unity of purpose, we can come together to accomplish great things."

The companion link, Mwamba said, "is so sacred. We need to experience God afresh and have our hearts transformed. In encounters such as this one, we'll discover that those who we fear are just like us and even though we differ, we can respect one another and even be friends. God's will is working right now as we are discovering this oneness between the dioceses of North Carolina and Botswana."

Mwamba said that, despite perceptions that Anglicans and Episcopalians are divided over issues such as homosexuality, Anglicans in Africa are more focused on issues that affect their daily lives such as HIV/AIDS, poverty, drought, malaria, and governance. He encouraged Episcopalians of the Diocese of North Carolina to use the new companion relationship as a means to experience the world through other eyes and celebrate a oneness that will enrich both dioceses.

In other Convention highlights, Curry installed former Eastern Oregon Bishop William O. Gregg as assistant bishop of the diocese, and Beth Crow as youth missioner.

Delegates also approved a $4.4 million budget for mission and ministry and passed several resolutions, including those which addressed amendments to the Constitution and Canons, Immigration Reform, and the inclusion of all people regardless of sexual orientation.