Revd Canon Dr Helen Van Koevering who was the Director of Ministry in Niassa and is now a MANNA trustee has recently completed a doctoral thesis entitled;
‘Mission from the Middle: Spontaneous Growth of Church Communities, Community Priests and Spirituality in the Diocese of Niassa, Northern Mozambique.’
In the midst of migration and extraordinary church growth of 2003 – 2013 in the Anglican Diocese of Niassa, northern Mozambique, a training program for community priests was developed for church communities in mission formed by historic disintegrative and integrative cycles of trauma, and tradition that included an Anglo-Catholic missionary heritage.
A workshop was held in August 2015 which included Bible studies with ‘lectio divina’ methodology, interviews and conversations around prayer, leadership and healing. These revealed; a complicated identity, an ethic of joy and a spirituality for mission as the ‘beautiful community’ were signs of the always-remaining Spirit, and that the community priest program was an effective response to ‘running after the Spirit’, the agency of local believers and the attractiveness of the gospel and the church for transformation.
The appendices of the thesis include the life stories and interviews of the 10 community priests (pictured above) who participated in this workshop:
Revs Osvaldo Mzama, Lucas Ngondo, Jaime Eduardo, Samuel Kapala, Francisco Nacamo (all from the Lakeshore), Ernesto Joao Carlos Chokani (Zambezia), David Pedro Gribate (Lichinga), Hilário Muahete, Claudina Cabral, and Albertina Mucona (all from Lúrio archdeaconry).