Trip builds stronger partnerships through radical accompaniment, advocacy, solidarity, and people-to-people connections

Dr. Emily Sikazwe and Dr. Mwiche Zulu wrap the Moderator in a beautiful black cloth printed with white doves.
Dr. Emily Sikazwe and Dr. Mwiche Zulu wrap the Moderator in a beautiful cloth gifted to her.
Credit: Japhet Ndhlovu
Published On: March 21, 2024

“When we are rooted in love, we cannot keep from building community, from practising equity and justice. We cannot keep from using our God-given discernment in mourning, standing up for our siblings, and saying ‘Not in my name. Not in the name of my God.’ We must build relationships that have space for vulnerability and trust and respect so that when we hurt each other—because we are human and we will—we don’t have to live in fear because we have forgiveness, and we are already forgiven. But we must always strive to be worthy of that forgiveness. So, when we know better, we must do better.”

These are the words of The Right Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne, from her sermon to St. Paul’s United Church of Zambia in Lusaka on March 10, Mothering Sunday. It was the first full day of a two-week visit to Zambia and Kenya with Rev. Dr. Japhet Ndhlovu, Executive Minister of the Church in Mission unit of the General Council Office.

The Moderator’s visit in Zambia included a partner round table with the Council of Churches in Zambia and visits with People’s Action ForumWomen for Change, and the United Church of Zambia University (UCZU). As with local congregations here in Canada, she encouraged global partners with a message of flourishing, urging them to celebrate being alive even when they feel challenged.

“I hope that we will have many more conversations about our mutual flourishing during my time in Zambia,” she concluded her sermon on that first Sunday, “because if we are to survive end stage capitalism, its effects on those made marginal by systems of oppression, and especially its effects on our greatest mother—the earth—we must be hopeful about the promise that we have life and have it in abundance. That abundance requires our flourishing.”

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