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A big tree has fallen in the Methodist forest!
It was with sadness that the President and Officers of the World Methodist Council learned of the
passing of His Eminence Sunday Coffie Mbang on 16th May 2023 at the age of 86.
Sunday Mbang was a man of unusual courage and steadfast principles. His visionary leadership
gifts and skills were recognized very early in his ministry, and it came as no surprise when he
was elected as the second Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, an office he held for two
decades. He was also elected as the second African President of the World Methodist Council.
His Eminence Mbang worked tirelessly for justice, peace, and reconciliation in the church and
society. He was honored by many organizations, including the World Methodist Council Peace
Award, the Order of Niger, and Honorary Doctorates from the Baptist Seminary Ogbomosho,
Oyo State, and the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nsakka, Enugu State.
His Eminence provided courageous leadership as President of the Christian Association of
Nigeria during the dark days of Military dictatorship. He also worked with the Muslim
leadership to ensure religious harmony and peaceful coexistence of people of different faiths.
World Methodist Council General Secretary commenting on the passing of Sunday Mbang said,
“He was an iconic leader of immense compassion, integrity, and wisdom, a role model for a
younger generation of ministers like myself. We all drew inspiration, confidence, and hope from
our ‘father in the faith’ who was unwilling to settle for nothing less than our full potential in
exercising the gifts God gave us.”
Even in his retirement, His Eminence Sunday Mbang contributed significantly to support
colleagues through his wise counsel, advancing mission and development.
The WMC passes sincere condolences to the Mbang family during their time of bereavement.
We owe the family a great debt of gratitude for sharing a father, uncle, and grandfather with us.
Our lives are much richer because of him.
We will miss his mischievous smile, his impish laughter, his big heart, his magnanimous spirit,
and his warm friendship. We give thanks to God for his life and ministry.
Sleep well, dear father. Sleep well in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection.
The World Methodist Council extends sympathy and condolences to General Secretary Ivan Abrahams and his wife Esme upon the recent loss of her sister Pamela Veronica Fester.
She was the daughter of the late Edward and Freda Mostert. After a brief battle with cancer she departed this life on Saturday 22 April at the age of 71. She was born in Steurhof and spent most of her adult life in Square Hill, Retreat where her mother, an exceptionally hardworking woman was the local midwife.
Pam started a nursing career at Victoria hospital but then met the love of her life, Clive Fester who literally swept her off her feet to devote all her time to her family and the many friends who
frequented their home in Portlands, Mitchell’s Plain. Pam had an incredible memory and was the repository of the family history. She leaves an indelible mark on many lives.
Surviving Pamela is her loving husband, Clive, her children Bradley, Graham, Gail, their partners and their children as well as her sisters Esme and Sandy, their children and a host of family and friends.
May she repose in peace and rise in glory.
Memorials may be made to the Nurse Mostert Scholarship, which supports young women entering the nursing profession. To contribute please contact the office for more details.
Together with the All Africa Conference of Churches, Council for World Mission, FIAN
International, Lutheran World Federation, Organisation of African Instituted Churches, World
Communion of Reformed Churches, and World Council of Churches, the World Methodist Council
is organizing a Online Consultation on the converging food and debt crisis. Climate-related
disasters, a world reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic, combined with rising
international food prices – aggravated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine – mean increasing
malnutrition and starvation, particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America. For churches called to
promote life-giving agriculture and a New International Financial and Economic Architecture
(NIFEA) for an Economy of Life, responding to the converging crises causing much suffering
amongst the poorest is nothing less than a moral imperative. The Online Consultation offers a
possibility to learn how to respond to the needs of those starving and how to implement systemic changes.
The online consultation will be held in English, with simultaneous interpretation into French and Spanish.
Here is the Zoom link to register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIpc-qtqTsjGtUG9vq8ohW11L2xkm-sojBi
All Partners in Mission,
With much sorrow it is shared that the Most Revd. Dr. Anand Chandu Lal, former Moderator of the Church of North India and former Bishop of the Diocese of Amritsar (CNI) departed this life today, Saturday, 17th December, 2022.
We are thankful to God for the life, witness and leadership of the Most Revd. Dr. Anand Chandu Lal in the Church of North India, especially in the Diocese of Amritsar. We believe that the contribution he made to the Church at large will always be cherished with gratitude.
As Moderator of the Church of North India he brought in new theological dimensions and insights into the process of Ministerial formation in the Rural & Dalit context of the Church by introducing the Towards Holistic Understanding of Mission program at the CNI Synod level which left an indelible imprint on the life, mission and Ministry of the Church.
As Bishop of the Diocese, he raised the Diocese of Amritsar, Church of North India from scratch and brought about a legal identity and financial stability in the face of many legal & property matters and created a congenial atmosphere to carry out the pastoral care ministry among the Churches in the Diocese.
On behalf of the entire Church of North India family, especially my brother Bishops and the Office Bearers of the CNI Synod, I express my deepest condolences to the bereaved household. May God grant His peace to all those who are grieving for this great loss.
May the soul of the faithful, the Most Revd. Dr. Anand Chandu Lal rest in peace, and rise in glory.
THE MOST REVD. DR. P. K. SAMANTAROY
GENERAL SECRETARY, CNI SYNOD
The World Methodist Council expresses its sincere condolences to the families of flood
victims in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. As mop-up operations continue after a
week of heavy rainfall and flooding, the death toll reached 433. Scores of people are still
missing and thousands displaced.
Bishop Ivan Abrahams, the General Secretary, is deeply saddened by the loss of life
and devastation and expressed prayers for a speedy recovery for those injured. He concurred with
climate scientists that we will continue to see extreme weather patterns due to global
warming. Abrahams appealed to Methodist relief agencies to assist those affected.
Seven days after Russian troops crossed into Ukraine, we gather with ecumenical partners and all people of goodwill to remember political leaders, soldiers, and civilians caught up in the current conflict. We pray that God may “guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:79)
The World Methodist Council supports Pope Francis’s peace initiative to mediate the conflict between Russia and Ukraine after recent talks failed to lead to a ceasefire. We note that the Pontiff called on leaders of both countries “to examine their consciences seriously before God, who is the God of peace and not of war.”
Methodists are committed to peacebuilding and have a long tradition of solidarity with all who challenge violence and injustice.
May we read the signs of the times and interpret them in the light of the gospel.