Monday, July 28, 2008

First Female United Methodist Bishop in Africa Elected

Did you all notice the news that Rev. Joaquina Filipe Nhanala was elected this July as the first female United Methodist bishop in Africa? I think that's pretty exciting, although I haven't seen much about it in the blogosphere except over at Luke Wetzel's blog.

An excerpt from the news story:

Besides serving a large church in Matola, a suburb of Maputo, Nhanala has coordinated women's projects for the Mozambique church and led a World Relief HIV/AIDS program designed to mobilize churches for education and advocacy in Mozambique's three southern provinces. Nhanala and the program were featured in the 2004 Bread for the World video, "Keep the Promise on Hunger and Health."

Among those celebrating her election were members of the denomination's Missouri Annual (regional) Conference and its Mozambique Initiative ministry, which connects churches, groups and individuals in Missouri with partner United Methodist congregations and districts in Mozambique to strengthen the church there.

"We in the Missouri Conference have had a long relationship with Rev. Joaquina Nhanala, providing assistance for her to attend the clergywomen's event in California several years ago, working together in workshops around women's issues in Mozambique, and as a pastor of a covenant partner church, Matola UMC in Mozambique," said Carol Kreamer, coordinator for the Mozambique Initiative.

Nhanala is the only female United Methodist pastor in Mozambique holding a master's degree in theology, she noted.

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