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UGANDA: ECUSA Missionary Couple Axed Over Robinson Consecration

UGANDA: ECUSA MISSIONARY COUPLE AXED OVER ROBINSON CONSECRATION

Special Report

By David W. Virtue

KAMPALA, (7/22/2004)--A missionary couple appointed by the American Episcopal Church have been told by the Primate of Uganda that they can no longer minister to his people because his province is in a state of broken communion with the ECUSA.

In a letter to the couple, The Most Rev. Henry Orombi wrote to Phil and Jennifer Leber praising them for their work and ministry, but said that in light of the state of broken communion with ECUSA, and the deadlines established by CAPA and the Lambeth Commission, "I am compelled to advise you to explore alternative oversight and funding for your missionary work in Uganda. Consider transferring your affiliation to another mission agency as soon as possible."

"We feel very strongly that God intends for us to remain in Uganda to continue the work we have been doing since 1998. It is clear that we can no longer serve as Appointed Missionaries from ECUSA, but we are assured that the Lord will faithfully provide for our ministry through other means," said Leber in a personal note to Virtuosity.

Said Orombi: "The Primates of the Council of the Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), on 19 April 2004, issued a very strong statement regarding the position of ECUSA in violation of Lambeth resolution 1.10 of 1998. The Church of Uganda endorses the CAPA statement in its call for discipline of ECUSA in the event ECUSA refuses within three months to repent of its decision to permit the consecration of a non-celibate, openly homosexual priest as Bishop.

"I am committed to prayerful support for the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lambeth Commission set by him to report, by September, 2004, on the appropriate action recommended to be taken against ECUSA by the Anglican Communion as a whole.

"As you know, the Church of Uganda has previously communicated that it is in a state of broken communion with ECUSA over this issue, and that we will no longer accept funds or missionaries from ECUSA. You are currently assigned as Appointed Missionaries from ECUSA to the Provincial Office of Missions and Evangelism The Church of Uganda recognizes your unwavering commitment to the Word of God, and we greatly appreciate your years of service to the people of Uganda. We strongly desire that you will continue standing with us as we carry the Light of Christ throughout Uganda and beyond.

"May our Father richly bless you as we join hands to reach the people of Uganda with the love of Christ."

In a subsequent letter the Archbishop strongly endorsed the ministry and mission of the Lebers and urged faithful Episcopalians to provide the financial support for the missionary couple to carry on saying, "We need them to continue standing with us as we carry the Light of Christ throughout Uganda and beyond."

"The Church in Africa has boldly proclaimed the authenticity of Scripture and we stand firm in guarding our faith. We are determined to be a steadfast voice of Truth and righteousness, and we will not compromise the integrity of the Gospel. In fact, the Church of Uganda has severed its relationship with the Episcopal Church of America (ECUSA) due to its actions at General Convention last summer."

The archbishop went on to express his deep appreciation for Phil and Jennifer Leber, who are mission partners with the Church of Uganda. "The Lebers have a firm commitment to the orthodoxy of Scripture, and we need them to continue standing with us as we carry the Light of Christ throughout Uganda and beyond."

The Primate said he first met the Lebers in 1995, when Phil accompanied him as he ministered in the U.S. Since that time, our families have developed a strong friendship. In 1998, they joined the staff of the Provincial Office of Missions and Evangelism as mission partners. The focus of Phil's ministry is to encourage the renewal of worship that is Biblically rooted, culturally relevant and energized by the power and presence of God. Jennifer has a heart for discipling young women who will be future leaders of Uganda, and she has a vital ministry to orphans and street girls, said Orombi.

"Phil and Jennifer have my full support and blessing in their ministry. Their lives exhibit a deep love for the Lord, and they share a passion to teach the Word. We are very blessed by their unwavering commitment to the Word of God and their love for the people of Uganda."

"I am aware that the position of ECUSA will have significant financial impact on the Leber's mission, as they will no longer be associated with ECUSA as Appointed Missionaries. They are seeking a replacement sending agency, and I am asking that faithful churches continue to support their work here. If you are not a part of their network of prayer and financial supporters, please consider joining their team. Support for the Lebers is support for Uganda."

For those interested in supporting the Leber's they can be reached at: leber@ugandamission.org. There website can be accessed at www.ugandamission.org that describes our ministry here in detail. Their mission's vision at http://ugandamission.org/renewal.htm

NOTE: If you are not receiving this from VIRTUOSITY, the Anglican Communion's largest biblically orthodox Episcopal/Anglican Online News Service, then you may subscribe FREE by going to: www.virtuosityonline.org. Virtuosity's website has been accessed by more than two million readers in 45 countries on six continents. This story is copyrighted but may be forwarded electronically with reference to VIRTUOSITY and the author. No changes are permitted in the text.

END

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