Jerry Kramer

Name ID 2309

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Extract Author: The Very Revd Jerry Kramer
Extract Date: 15 April 04

A Letter from Africa

4-17-04 - A Letter from Africa

(Lifted directly from Kendall's blog http://titusonenine.classicalanglican.net/index.php?p=922)

April 15, 2004

The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church

815 Second Avenue

New York, NY 10017-4503

USA

Your Grace,

Easter greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus. Stacy and I thank you for your kind letter of April 1, 2004 offering to appoint us as Volunteers for Mission of the Episcopal Church here in Tanzania.

While we are Episcopalians in good standing in the Diocese of Texas, and very much love and respect our dear Bishop Don Wimberly, we cannot accept your offer at this time. When first arriving in Tanzania, we were told in no uncertain terms that we would be asked to leave had we come here affiliated in any way with The Episcopal Church Center. Neither can we represent the ECUSA, in conscience, having denied the truth of scripture and the Church’s traditional beliefs on issues of human sexuality. We categorically reject the consecration of Gene Robinson as an act that is not of God and whose Office we will never recognize.

Our ministry here has been hampered from day one by deep suspicions directed at any one coming in the name "Episcopalian." We can tell you first hand that African Christians feel utterly and brutally betrayed by the Church in America. The consecration of Gene Robinson has caused enormous harm here and emboldened persecution and violence against the Christian Community.

We love you as a Christian brother and pray for you daily. Please do not take this response as an act of malice in any way; we harbour none against you or anyone else who shares a differing opinion on this issue. Our ministry here in Tanzania simply cannot be credible, nor would it be accepted, if affiliated publicly with the ECUSA. In fact it would put us at greater jeopardy than we are at present. Nor can we represent the ECUSA officially because of its sinful actions that are tearing the bonds of our Global Communion. Please keep us in your prayers and be assured of ours.

Sincerely in the Risen Christ,

The Very Revd Jerry Kramer

Rector

Christ Church Cathedral, Arusha

cc: The Rt. Rev. Don Wimberly, Bishop of Texas

The Rt. Rev. Charles E. Jenkins, Bishop of Louisiana

Extract ID: 4720

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: John Masare
Page Number: 329
Extract Date: 15 July 2004

‘The Anglican Church in the Global North needs to repent and reform’

‘The Anglican Church in the Global North needs to repent and reform’

The Very Reverend Jerry Kramer has come to Christ Church Cathedral in Arusha at a time of great controversy in the Global Anglican Church. Recently he spoke to John Masare about his position and hopes for his new Parish.

Question: When did you begin your ministry at the Christ Church in Arusha?

Answer: We arrived in November of last year.

Q: Was this your first visit?

A: No. My wife and I came out in May 2001. I made a second visit in 2002.

Q: How old is the Christ Church in Arusha?

A: Well, the bell was cast in 1893! But I believe that the current church building is 72 years old.

Q: What made you decide to come out to Tanzania?

A: We felt called for foreign missionary work. Before taking a parish in the States, we wanted to serve the global church. When I was in seminary, however, I said that the one place I would not go was Africa. But God has a sense of humor and here we are.

Q: So, how do you feel now?

A: Its been a wonderful, difficult, exciting challenge which has greatly improved my prayer life. There are always those resistant to change because of their own interests, but the people at Christ Church have been most supportive.

Q: What are your views on the controversy within the Anglican Church regarding human sexuality just now?

A: The controversy is far greater than just human sexuality. It’s about how we define the authority of sacred scripture. We are awaiting the outcome of the Lambeth Commission. The key will be how the African and Global South Primates respond; they very much hold the future of the Communion in their hands. The Anglican Church in the Global North needs to repent and reform. Otherwise we have no basis for "Communion." All we can do right now is be faithful and pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Q: I see a lot of renovation going on?

A: We’re completely renovating the vicarage; the guest wing is now complete. We’re also doing some much-needed work on the church. Ultimately, what we hope to develop is "Cathedral Square." This will include a Center for Evangelism, offices, and classrooms for adult and children’s religious education. This will also be available as a resource for the entire community. We also intend to include shops where youths can train in marketable trades. Good jobs at good wages are always the key for advancement. And with that done, we’ll knock down the old hall and reclaim some green space for a prayer garden and other uses.

Q: What is your vision for Christ Church?

The most important thing for us to keep in mind is first and foremost to seek God’s vision for Christ Church . His dreams are always bigger than ours. Cathedrals have historically been much more than a place just for Sunday worship. They’ve always served as centers for the greater community. Cathedrals should be at the heart of the community’s cultural life, education, service to others, especially the poor. I believe that in being faithful to God’s Will we will live into this role in new and exciting ways. Everything we do should be for God’s glory and there’s so much more we can do.

Extract ID: 4719
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