Sharing the presence and work of Christ in the world.
“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
The purpose of the Global Mission Committee is to advance the global ministry of the Episcopal Church by establishing partnerships across geographic and cultural boundaries and by engaging our parish in international concerns and crises, thus sharing the presence and work of Christ in the world.
Our vision is rooted in the baptismal vow to “seek and serve Christ in all persons,” as all are equally God’s children. The three primary geographical areas of our involvement are South Africa, Honduras, and Ecuador, where we work with, and support, long-term mission partners in providing education and support to disadvantaged children. In addition, we support Episcopal Relief and Development efforts around the world and promote events for parish engagement and service in global outreach.
The Chapel of the Cross has collaborated with the Kwasa Centre www.kwasacollege.org in South Africa for over a decade. The Kwasa Centre is an independent diocesan school that serves students in pre-school through grade seven, an after-school program for older children, and two “safe houses” for homeless or displaced children. Under the leadership of the Venerable Sharron Dinnie, former rector of St. Peter and St. Paul Anglican Church in Springs, South Africa, Kwasa College has expanded from two pre-school classes operated out of shipping containers to a permanent facility that serves children from pre-school through seventh grade. Kwasa’s plans include adding a grade level each year until the school educates students through grade 12. The school is located approximately 50 miles outside of Johannesburg near an informal settlement of 15,000 living in extremely impoverished conditions.
Chapel of the Cross parishioners have participated in two recent pilgrimages to Kwasa and hosted Ven. Dinnie, along with Kwasa students and teachers, on several visits. The Chapel of the Cross was instrumental in the construction of “The Chapel of the Cross at Kwasa.” In 2016 a COTC delegation participated in the dedication of our namesake chapel. Most recently, through a grant from the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, we brought two teachers from Kwasa to Chapel Hill to be trained in the Augustine method of teaching reading. This has greatly enhanced their skills in teaching literacy to children whose first language is not English. These teachers are now sharing the techniques learned with other teachers at Kwasa. In 2019, members of COTC traveled to Kwasa to meet with school leaders, discuss technology and fund raising, and see this training in action.
For over a decade the Chapel of the Cross has been involved with institutions and persons dedicated to the care and education of children in Honduras.
In 2010, we became involved with the Hope of Jesus Children’s Home (La Esperanza de Jesus). This home is associated with the Episcopal Diocese of Honduras and was founded by Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders (SAMS) missionaries Kim and Mike Miller. La Esperanza is located in a small rural town, and seeks to provide a loving, Christ-centered, family-oriented environment for abandoned, orphaned, and abused children. It includes a farm with livestock that provides food for the children and a small coffee plantation that provides some funding. In 2011 we were instrumental in establishing a chapel, La Capilla de la Cruz, at the home. We have made several mission trips to Honduras and have hosted Mike and Kim when they have visited as part of annual trips back to the US. Over the last several years our Sunday school classes have collected school supplies for the children at La Esperanza. Recently our church helped connect Mike with business professors and students at UNC in order to assist him in increasing sales from their coffee farm, Hope Farm Coffee.
Our committee provides support for former Chapel of the Cross parishioner, Cameron Graham Vivanco and her husband, Roberto Vivanco. They both serve as SAMS missionaries in Quito, Ecuador and work with Youth World. This ecumenical program trains youth leaders for service in Ecuador and Latin America.
Another of the Vivancos’ numerous ministries is a scholarship program founded by Cameron, Education Equals Hope (E=H). E=H provides micro-scholarships to children who live in desperate and difficult circumstances making it possible for them to stay in school. Since its formation, E=H has spread to four other countries. In 2018 and 2020, members of the Chapel of the Cross traveled to Ecuador on a Discovery and Mission Experience to meet with Cameron and Roberto, visit a number of Education Equals Hope ministry sites, and meet with scholarship students and their families. We have hosted the Vivancos at COTC on several occasions, as well.
Recently we applied for and received a grant from the NC Episcopal Diocese to fund a micro market at one the E-H Mission sites to make low-cost basic food available to the local, impoverished community.
Mission Trips & Pilgrimages
Mission in the Episcopal Church is based on companionship with other dioceses, parishes, and individuals at the international level. Global Mission Committee members and other Chapel of the Cross parishioners periodically go on mission trips and pilgrimages to establish and affirm our companion relationships. Based on the concept of growing together as equals, these companionships form the basis for a common community in Christ. The goal of all such trips is to identify how best all in the parish may be engaged in supporting our global mission partners and in developing meaningful reciprocal relationships.
The Global Mission Committee periodically responds to unexpected international humanitarian crises by contributing funds to appropriate relief agencies, including Episcopal Relief and Development and UNICEF. In 2008, the Diocese of North Carolina and the Diocese of Botswana agreed to a Companion Link for Ministry. In 2010, two of our Chapel of the Cross parishioners visited Botswana to participate in HIV/AIDS workshops for church leaders and to assess other opportunities for partnerships and joint ministry.
The Global Mission Committee meets monthly from September through June, usually the third Monday of the month, at 7:00 pm in the library, but for now we are meeting via Zoom.
We invite you to join us. Your attendance and participation are always welcome. Please contact our chair for further information and a Zoom link to our meetings. Also, we welcome you to engage in any program and service event in support of global missions and our global mission partners.