Rooted in Jesus Final Report
Rooted in Jesus Conference, 29 Jan - 1 Feb, 2020, Kitale Diocese, Anglican Church of Kenya
We completed a successful Rooted in Jesus initial conference in Kitale Diocese in Kenya. Some 126 participants - an equal mix of clergy and lay - received certificates of completion. This was a great size conference, although it’s on the larger size of what is readily manageable for 4 facilitators - especially leading our example lesson on the first day. It would have been great to have Rt Revd Elisha Tendwe with us - sadly he was unable to come because of illness.
It was invaluable to have Revd Benjamin Kibara with us. Benjamin coordinates Rooted in Jesus in Butere diocese - a couple of hours drive from here. We had introduced Rooted in Jesus in Butere three years ago, since when more than 700 Rooted in Jesus groups have met. Benjamin shared his experience of the difficulties of implementing that in Butere (too simple, what happens to our existing fellowship groups etc...) during his talk on ‘Rewards and Difficulties in Ministry’. It was electrifying and you could feel the impact this testimony had on the participants who were wondering how and if this program would work for them.
It was wonderful to have Rev John Eldridge and Rev Morey Andrews on the team with me. I know John from leading the first conference in Butere, and it was great to see him again. Morey fit straight in with the team of three of us who know each other from a previous conference. Both are excellent presenters, prayerful leaders and would be fully capable team leaders of potential future conferences.
A weakness was that the Diocese had not appointed a coordinator prior to our arrival. Bishop Emmanuel did appoint Revd Tarus Kirionon in the middle of the week and it was good to have him identified and able to connect with Benjamin who is an experienced coordinator. In retrospect (always a good viewpoint) I should have made more of the importance of making this appointment well ahead of the conference and followed up with Bishop Emmanuel ahead of time.
Bishop Emmanuel was a great example to his people in the Diocese. After introducing us, he said ‘Now I’m going to sit down as a student’, took his seat, and faithfully attended every single session of the conference. In the busy life of a bishop this is extremely impressive and a testimony to his people in its own right. He was the first to receive a certificate of completion and has already identified some of the people he will invite to the Rooted in Jesus group that he will lead. This bodes well for the successful implementation of the program in the Diocese.
The Diocese took very good care of us and of the participants and were well organized throughout. We’re very grateful to Bishop Emmanuel and his whole team for their thorough preparation.
There were many points during various times of worship, prayer and ministry where the Spirit’s presence was very tangible. Participants commented on how this had been a spiritual experience for them and not simply informational. We pray that the Spirit would continue to deepen these faithful ministers in their relationship with Christ and empower them for ministry in this Diocese.
Please continue in prayer for the Diocese as it implements Rooted in Jesus over the coming months and years.