February – May 2017: A Spring full of Gifts

This continues to be a spring filled with events and gifts to celebrate on many fronts, among others:

February 2017:
Being named as Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology. The fellowship will allow me to take a year off from teaching (Jan – Dec 2018) to focus on my research on “Who are My People?”, which will allow me to do research on various exemplars of social love in response to ethnic, religious and ecological forms of violence in Africa.

A number of significant lectures including:
February 9, 2017:
The 2017 Payne Lecture and keynote address for Black History Month at Seminary of the Southwest in Austin (Feb 9), and an opportunity to visit with my seminary friend Fr. Isidore Ndagizimana, now pastor of the vibrant parish of St. Thomas More Catholic Church: https://www.stmaustin.org/welcome/pastors-welcome

February 20-22, 2017:
The 2017 Henry Martyn Lectures in World Christianity at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, with the opening night attended by among others, the Uganda High Commission to the UK, Dr. Joyce Kikafunda; In the three evening lecture series, I outlined my next research project, “Who are My People”.

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March 5-12, 2017:
A Keynote address on “Theology Research Matters” at the Christianity and Social Change in Contemporary Africa, a Templeton funded conference of Africa Scholars hosted by the Nagel Institute in the Study of Christianity Worldwide at Abidjan, Ivory Cost.

March 30, 2017:
St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame Indiana, speaking in the 2017 Distinguished Lecture series on “Called to Intervene: Violence, Spirituality and Solidarity.”

April 8-11, 2017:
Hosting Maggy Barankitse, and introducing her to the Notre Dame community. Here are some pictures and links of her visit at Notre Dame.
The Courage of Giving Refuge Lecture

MaggyFor more on the leadership of this extraordinary woman who “love has made [] an inventor” see:

1. Opus Prize (7 mins)
2. Maison Shalom
3. Testimony before Pope Francis

A Holy Thursday Gift, April 13, 2017:
lamentWaiting for me at the front doorsteps, a box of ten copies of Born From Lament: The Theology and Politics of Hope in Africa! What an appropriate Easter gift for in Born from Lament I make the argument that the character of Christian hope is the surprising experience of resurrection in the midst of death, new life in context of suffering, joy and celebration in the midst of hardship!

May 6, 2017:
A beautiful baptism ceremony at Sacred Heart Church La Plata Maryland, of Godfrey Jude Ddungu Jr, followed by a reception at the Ddungus.

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Winter Break in Uganda: December 2016 – January 2017

December 28, 2016

A brief Christmas time in Uganda whose highlight was the family celebration of mother’s 91st birthday! See some pictures from the event:

January 5-8, 2017

Another highlight was a 3 day “Indaba” at Bethany House (Jan 5-8) with key leaders from East and Central Africa, on identity and violence in Africa, culminating in the witness at the Great Lake Initiative Institute of Fr. Bernard Kinvi.
Read and watch more about Fr. Kinvi’s extraordinary leadership during the “religious” violence in Central African Republic.

On the Bethany Land Institute (BLI) front, energy and momentum with the setting up of a BLI office in Luweero; the confirmation of our 501c3 in the United States, Sara Hohnestein’s (director of operations at Issachar Fund ) January visit, and the completion of the site mapping process by EMI, offering what promises to be a beautiful campus. See pictures below.

Site Overview

Masterplan

Masterplan

Guesthouses

Commons & Dorms

Fall 2016

September 8-9, 2016:

A vision casting meeting for Bethany Land Institute at the Hyatt Regency in Rosemont, IL (near O’Hare) launches the Bethany Land Institute into a new phase.
The event also serves as the first board meeting of the newly registered BLI USA, which culminates in a gift of $100,000 matching grant challenge from an anonymous family foundation!

Soon after, EMI led team of engineers begin site mapping process at BLI land in Uganda

October 13-20, 2016:

Family Matters! A wonderful time with Joe during his annual US visit with a week here in South Bend; and an addition to the family (October 11) with the birth of Godfrey Jude Ddungu to nephew Godfrey and wife Lucy, joining William and Gabriella: Congratulations!

Summer 2016

A week at Songhai Center, Porto Novo, Benin

July 13-20, 2016:

Bob and Macky Johnson: a week visiting Uganda and BLI

July 27 – August 9, 2016:

Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope to Uganda and Rwanda

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plague commemorating father of Fr Emmanuel St Henry school

Spring 2016 Highlights

Hello all, I am back from my blog hiatus. This is the first of a series of updates since last year.

June 8, 2016:

10th Anniversary of the Duke Center for Reconciliation, honoring the co-founders, Chris and Emmanuel.

June 10, 2016:

Speaking at the CTSA plenary in San Juan Puerto Rico, responding to Margaret Farley. Read my plenary address.

June 17, 2016:

Plenary Keynote address at the American Society of Missiology Annual Meeting, St. Paul Mn. Read my address on “Field Hospital”.