PAFO - Programm
All Saints Church
Rwanda Sister Parish Partnership
St. Paul's Cathedral - Butare
Mandated and inspired by Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini and in line with our origin and allegiance to Rwanda, the vision for the Sister Parish Partnership team at ASC is to shepherd an organic connection between All Saints Church and St. Paul’s Cathedral (SPC) in Butare, Rwanda. The partnership seeks to be mutual, centered on relationship (as opposed to projects), and based upon our common desire to seek God’s truth, kingdom, and beauty manifested in differing social and cultural settings. The partnership initiative at ASC seeks not to be a new stand-alone ministry, but an integrated one, engaging, adding to, informing, and enriching existing aspects of church life at ASC and at SPC. We undertake this partnership believing that God will use this to take both congregations to a place that neither can go alone.
Background: Following an initial trip to Rwanda in 2007, once ASC was officially assigned to SPC, we undertook a short-term trip to Butare in June 2008 to take the first step to connect our congregations and to explore how such a partnership may be formed. Eight members of ASC took part: Rev. Steve Breedlove, Ralph and Jennifer Ennis, Niel and Ellen Ransom, MaryMac and Nathan Thielman, and Ehsan Samei. We were most graciously welcomed by our hosts at SPC, members of the congregation, the leadership of the Butare diocese, and Rev. Lambert, the pastor of SPC. The highlights of the trip were the many gatherings at the homes of members of the congregation. This trip set in motion the start of a relational partnership between the people of the two congregations.
2008: In summer 2008, we undertook fundraising initiatives including a benefit concert. The proceeds of about $9000 were earmarked for Rwanda, to be disbursed in early 2009.
In fall 2008, we were also fortunate to host the Bishop-elect of the Butare diocese, Rev. Nathan Gasatura, at ASC. He preached at our church and spent many hours speaking with people over meals and at multiple gatherings. We sensed a great deal of excitement about this partnership at ASC and believe we are at the start of a rewarding and transforming manifestation of God’s kingdom through the bonds that are being formed in ministry together.
Until October 2008 and the restructuring of the International Mission team, the Rwandan partnership was under the umbrella of International Mission. In January 2009 we will be completing the roster of the newly-formed Sister Parish Partnership team, currently consisting of Michael and Naomi Skena, Tim and Skyler McGee, Ralph and Jennifer Ennis, Peter Uhlenberg, Allan Fryer, Niel and Ellen Ransom,and Ehsan Samei. Rev. Nathan Gasatura, just consecrated as the new bishop of the Butare diocese, will be visiting us for a second time in February, this time accompanied by his wife. We welcome this second visit, which we hope will enable us to better understand his vision for Butare and for SPC. Starting with these two formative developments, we pray that God will enable us in 2009 to take the partnership from its infancy to a structuring stage.
The primary goals for us in 2009 are (1) establishing a monthly sharing of prayer requests between the two congregations, (2) increasing the awareness about partnership and about Rwanda among ASC congregants, (3) planning a trip to Rwanda in mid-2009 or early 2010, (4) planning a visit of a group from SPC to NC in 2010, and (5) continuing to explore and pray about God’s will and vision for the partnership.
Please Pray! For our team being able to follow God’s lead in the early formative steps of the partnership, such that it will be mutual, long-lasting, enriching, and definitive in the spiritual life and growth of the two congregations.
All Saints Church is a community of followers of Jesus Christ who seek to honor and glorify God and to participate with Him in building His kingdom in Chapel Hill, Durham and beyond.
Our mission is to know and love Jesus Christ and to make Him known by our words and deeds of love, truth and service to those who do not already have an authentic connection with Christ or His church.
In order to fulfill this mission, we support and encourage the people of our congregation to actively participate in God’s process of spiritual transformation by focusing on three essential ministries that underlie our growth as followers of Christ – discipleship, worship and living in authentic Christian community.
Our Vision for Discipleship
We encourage and call one another to become intentional whole-hearted followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ calls us to follow Him, declaring that the first commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. In response to His call, we seek to become disciples and to build disciples in every age and station of life, applying our faith to the full depth and breadth of human activities and relationships.
We build our faith and practice on the word of God. The Bible is essential for our faith and understanding of God and His will, for the growth of our intimacy with God and for the transformation of our minds, hearts, and wills.
We pray as individuals and as a church. We pray in order to grow in our intimacy with God, to participate in the work of God around the world, to serve and minister to one another, to see individual lives changed and to see our culture transformed.
We encourage and support one another in fulfilling God’s call to be stewards of the abilities, opportunities and resources He has given us. God has blessed us with time, talent, spiritual gifts, relationships, creative desires and material possessions, and He has placed us in a beautiful world that He created. Our greatest fulfillment, and God’s greatest glory, comes when we embrace the calling to be stewards of these gifts and resources.
We encourage the practice of the classical spiritual disciplines. Following the example of the church fathers, the reformers and Christians throughout the ages, we encourage the practice of spiritual disciplines (such as fasting, meditation, solitude, sacrifice, etc.).
We encourage personal discipleship and mentoring. In all our ministry activities, we seek to build a culture of intentional discipleship and mentoring in which people help one another along the journey of faith and transformation.
Our Vision for Worship
We seek a living and transforming worship of God, rooted in Word, Sacrament and Spirit.
- Word: We proclaim God’s word and earnestly seek to apply it to the issues and questions that we face in our own lives and in our community and culture.
- Sacrament: We believe in a sacramental understanding of life and ministry and the consistent practice of Holy Communion and Holy Baptism, not merely as memorials or symbols but as living encounters with God that nurture our faith in ways that transcend human understanding.
- Spirit: We prayerfully seek the presence, ministry and partnership of the Holy Spirit in our corporate worship.
We are worshippers, not spectators, reverently and joyously responding with our minds, hearts, souls and bodies to the One who deserves all our love and worship. Worship is the work of the people, not the work of the few.
We worship in the Anglican tradition. We are committed to vibrant, creative liturgical worship guided by the Anglican Book of Common Prayer and nourished by many traditions within the Christian church. In addition, we follow the Christian calendar and greatly value the high and holy times that enable us to understand and know God better.
Our musical worship is a balanced blend of traditional and contemporary hymns and songs that teach and declare the truth about God and life. We are committed to worship that connects ancient Christian tradition and unchanging truth with current culture.
Rooted in the reality that Christ took on flesh, we understand the importance of the physical world in our worship. We see the importance of visual symbols and physical actions as a means of understanding and expressing our faith.
Our Vision for Christian Community
We encourage our members to be involved in significant Christian friendships and small groups. We encourage authentic friendship and spiritual accountability with one another as members and attenders of All Saints Church. Small groups are central to our spiritual growth, pastoral care, evangelism and service.
We encourage and call all our members to be involved in ministry. God has given spiritual gifts to all His children so that we might serve one another and our community. “All Saints Church” is not just a name; it reflects our commitment to the ministry of all members and regular attenders.
We grow our church ministries through the development of Ministry Teams. Our ministry activities are raised up through the vision, passion, gifts and abilities that God gives to the people of our church. A particular ministry develops when God gathers and builds a Ministry Team to lead and develop that ministry.
We actively develop and train spiritual shepherds and mentors for the church, family and greater community. Those who are gifted and called to leadership within the body are called to submit to the authority of Christ, to serve the people of the church, to equip others for ministry, to shepherd the flock of God and to multiply their efforts through mentoring.
We promote and teach the importance of family. We seek to minister well to all people in all stages of life and we rejoice in being a multigenerational family – children and youth, single adults, married couples, families and older adults. Nevertheless we uphold the importance of the family and its strategic place in Christian discipleship and mission. We seek a vibrant ministry to husbands and wives as well as to men and women. We seek a vibrant, dynamic ministry to teens and children in a way that affirms and strengthens the role of parents.
Embracing the lifestyle of a growing disciple, authentic worshipper and genuine member of Christian community is the part each of us plays in our own spiritual transformation.
As we become more like Christ, we increasingly become people of Godly impact and service in the world. That means we grow in our ability to embody and communicate the love and truth of God and to connect that grace and righteousness to the people of our community, its culture and institutions and its spiritual and practical needs. This then points to . . .
Our Vision for Evangelism and Service
We encourage and equip every member of All Saints Church to love and serve the people of our community and world in word and deed, in the context of a life of grace and godliness. The impact of genuine spiritual transformation is genuine Christian influence in our community and world. We value our community and the people who live in it, and we pray for our community and its leaders. We seek to serve our community by meeting real needs in the lives of people, living as people of grace, mercy, justice and truth.
We seek to live as people of integrity and hope who clearly and winsomely communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We seek to engage our culture thoughtfully and confidently, believing that Christ and His truth are utterly relevant to the issues and struggles of our community.
We operate in Kingdom-partnerships. We partner actively with other like-minded churches and institutions to serve our community, and we partner actively with mission agencies, missionaries and indigenous ministers to take the gospel across cultures and around the world. In addition, we are part of an Anglican Mission church-planting network that works together to multiply and expand the work of Christ in our region, state and nation.