Diocese Committee exists to develop mutual relationships of prayer and
presence with fellow dioceses throughout the Anglican Communion. On
this firm foundation, mission opportunities for further pilgrimages and
work trips are explored, planned and enacted, patterned on a model of
shared labor, investment and benefit.
We invite you to enjoy the five
below to get a sense — better than
words can do! —
of the vibrant life of the church in Ecuador. The
slidehows will open in a separate window.
People, land, and church life
A mountainside Eucharist and the Bishop's
visitation and confirmation
The delivery of Bibles in Quichua — and
subsequent delight of the people!Quichua
is the native language of many Ecuadoran people
A glimpse inside an Anglican church in San
Felipe, a parish in Ibarra, about three hours north of Quito.
Visit the diocese of Ecuador Litoral, the large coastal area west of Ecuador Central with whom we've just started a companion relationship.
Since our report to the Diocesan Convention in March the CDC has had
several developments of interest. This will recap that report and
update our major activities through this summer. In October we
conducted a mission trip to Cuenca, the third largest city of Ecuador
and within the Diocese of Ecuador Central. Twelve of us spent a week
renovating the top floor of La Sagrada Familia Mission there. In
addition to patching and painting five rooms and a hallway, we funded
new bathroom fixtures and the replacement of a badly leaking roof. This
floor is now being used as a dormitory for men who have brought family
members from outlying areas for treatment at the local hospital. In
addition to providing an income stream to the mission, this arrangement
provides a much-needed public service to an underserved population.
In February, four members of the CDC attended the Diocesan Convention
of Ecuador Central in Quito. The Rev. Salvador Ros presented a workshop
on stewardship to some fifty clergy and lay members attending. The team
held extensive meetings with Bishop Victor Scantlebury, Interim
Diocesan Bishop of Ecuador Central, to clarify our mission there and
plan future work. The diocese has experienced serious conflict between
the bishop and clergy and between several clergy factions. This has
made work there difficult and, as a result, two other dioceses in the
United States have terminated their relationship with Central. We have
decided to stay the course, although our ability to make tangible
progress there may be constrained by the political climate for the time
There are two Episcopal dioceses in Ecuador. Ecuador Litoral includes
the large coastal area immediately west of Ecuador Central. It
comprises thirty missions but is served by only seven priests. Last
year Ecuador Litoral petitioned the Diocese of New Jersey to enter into
a companion diocese relationship with them, which Bishop Councell
recently formalized. Members of the CDC have made two exploratory trips
to Ecuador Litoral, the second to attend their diocesan convention at
its Episcopal See in Guayaquil in February. All indications are that
this diocese enjoys a healthy relationship between its bishop, clergy
and lay members and that we can make significant contributions to its
development free of political undercurrents. In July our Diocesan Youth
Group sponsored a relationship-building youth pilgrimage to the diocese
led by the Rev. Dcn. Debi Clarke, our first of what we believe will be
many such trips. The CDC is working with Ecuador Litoral to identify
and prioritize projects that will make the greatest contribution to
this struggling diocese. One of these, for example, is to underwrite a
mortgage that will enable one of the larger missions to purchase land
on which to build their church.
Bishop Scantlebury of Ecuador Central was our guest for a week in March
to attend our Diocesan Convention, visit several parishes and witness
much of the relief and recovery work being conducted by our parishes
after Hurricane Sandy. He addressed our convention and was presented
with a silver chalice and paten to be used by La Sagrada Familia
Mission in Cuenca. We believe that this visit reinforced the bond
between our dioceses and further convinced the bishop of our
determination to help spread the Word in Ecuador Central.
A large percentage of the Episcopal clergy in Ecuador are former Roman
Catholic clergy who have had no formal training in the Anglican
tradition. Opportunities for such training in Ecuador are non-existent.
A major portion of the CDC’s operating budget for the foreseeable
future will be dedicated to providing tuition and expenses for
education in an Anglican seminary in the Dominican Republic. This
August we sent a young man trained as a Roman Catholic transitional
deacon for a year’s training there to be followed by ordination to the
priesthood in Quito. By far the most critical need in both Ecuadorean
dioceses we serve is the development of clergy who understand Episcopal
traditions and practices. We view our educational ministry, comprised
of workshops, hands-on training and tuition grants, as our major
contribution toward their future success.
Both Episcopal dioceses in Ecuador are fragile and in need of support
from their mother church in the United States. Over 80% of their
financial support comes from The Episcopal Church and it will be a long
time before they are self-sustaining. We believe that the CDC plays an
important role in funding critical projects, training and providing
personal encouragement through mission trips in which we work
side-by-side with clergy and lay members. Our ministry is largely one
of presence but we believe that to be an invaluable part of doing the
Lord’s work in our sister dioceses in Ecuador.
At the end of September, 2012 a group of 12 clergy and lay from all
over the Diocese of New Jersey went to
Cuenca, Ecuador for
an 8 day mission trip. They spent the time at La Sagrada Familia
mission renovating a 5 room apartment. This space is now being used as
a dormitory for men who have family members in a local hospital and is
much appreciated. It was a fulfilling trip for all who went there. See pictures from our trip!
A trip to
Quito, Ambato, Chimborazo, with
Bishop Councell (Click here for a slideshow.)
Ackerman writes: Bishop
Councell, the Reverend Harry Mazujian, the Reverend Pedro Guzman and I
attended the diocesan convention and traveled to indigenous
communiuties in La Hondonada, Ambato, Riobamba and Guamote. In the
slideshow, Guamote is where Bishop Councell is celebrating (in locally
made vestments presented by the community) and blessing the child and
mother. Bishop Councell, Father Guzman and Father Mazujian participated
in the ordination of three deacons and a priest. (In the slideshow, you'll see one photo
that shows a water trough with snow melt from Chimborazo volcano.)
Councell's reflections: Along
with Pete Ackerman, Chair of our Companion Diocese Committee and Fr.
Pedro Guzman, Vicar of San Andres, I traveled to the Diocese of Ecuador
Central. Our first destination was a church and school near Ambato, a
city of 150,000 (fourth largest in Ecuador), about 80 miles south of
Quito. There we met clergy and lay leaders, including the Rev. Marco
Mejia, who once served at Grace Church in Elizabeth. They joined us in
our van as we drove up and into the farmlands and communities that
spread across the surrounding hills, covering them like a patchwork
quilt of various shades of brilliant green. Set against that background
were the people of Chimborazo, most of whom wear a dark red wool poncho
and a white felt bowler hat. Here, as elsewhere, Ecuador is a land of a
beautiful pallet of rich colors.
We made our way around the region for two days, visiting churches,
schools and homes. The people were unfailingly gracious and generous.
One evening we were welcomed into a home where we feasted on beans,
eggs and cheese, with hot milk. When it was time for us to leave, our
host made certain that we took strawberries and goose eggs with us. The
next day we enjoyed corn and potatoes for lunch while school children
sang for us. At a celebration of the Eucharist a lay woman preached a
powerful message. A women’s choir sang songs of praise in their
distinctive, high-pitched style. And we visitors were each presented
with our own red poncho.
The gifts and hospitality of the people were splendid but their faith
and their joy were glorious. We have much to share with them, to be
sure. It made me proud, for example, to see the concrete floor of one
church that was poured by members of our Diocese last September. And it
was a joy to present to our companions sets of vestments (made by
members of St. Martin’s, Lumberton) and Bibles in the indigenous
language Quechua (thanks to the Rev. Thomas May and the American Bible
Society). But we need the riches of their life with Jesus Christ and
with one another.
There is much more to report: the dinner with Bishop Ruiz, his wife
Tania, members of his staff and diocesan leaders, on the eve of their
Convention; the Ordination service, attended by some 400 indigenous
Episcopalians; the gathering of the Convention itself; and the faces of
new friends in Christ; along with the light in their eyes, the joy in
their hearts and the warmth of their embrace.
I can’t wait ‘til I can go back. Right Onward!
A weeklong adult trip to Quito and
south to the Chimborazo region (including Riobamba) enabled Jersey
Episcopalians to live and work with the indigenous people seeking to
become part of the Anglican Communion.
trip was a rousing success! (Click
here for a slideshow.) Our
hearty band included 19 people, ages 28 to 82, and all of us were
welcomed into the churches, homes, and hearts of the wonderful people
of Chibuleo, about three hours south of Quito.
work project in a new parish building transformed the floor from dirt
to cement. Side by side with our friends and hosts, we moved rocks,
stones, sand and cement by sack, bucket, and wheelbarrow until the job
was completed. What a thrill! Our friends were ever so gracious — and
did they ever feed us! Calorie counting was ignored by even the most
we attended — and Diocese of New Jersey clergy participated in — a
beautiful ordination service for three new priests at the Cathedral in
Quito. And we were present at one of the new priest's first Eucharists
at la Iglesia de San Salvador in Ambato.
Chair, Companion Diocese Committee
Canon Kep Short will lead a youth
visit to Quito and Riobamba, Ecuador to work with local diocesan youth
and begin a ministry with the leaders of tomorrow.
Harry Mazujian of Calvary Church in Flemington, begins a sabbatical in
Trish Morck, a New Jersey missionary, a member of Ecuador Central’s
Companion Diocese Committee and coordinator of a Colombia refugee
relief program, visited Diocesan House and attended our committee
by Canon Emily Holman, a first-ever Vocational Diaconate exploratory
trip to Ecuador was successful beyond expectations. Workshops were
heavily attended. Parish visits were warm and enriching.