04/08/2011

Twelve Compass Rose Society members left Belém at 8:30 AM with Bishop Saulo Barros and his wife and USPG missioner Ruth Barros. Together, they packed two airplanes and flew to Gurupá, in the low Amazon River.

The Anglican Church has been developing a ministry in that community for the last five years. It all started with the Rev. Fernando Ponçadilha and leadership from the Quilombo Maria Ribeiro (a community of former maroons), especially Mr. Duca Castro and his wife, Vitória. The first steps of the mission happened through a partnership with the Ecumenical Service Coordination. Currently, there is an Anglican community in Gurupá, which is visited by the Rev. Amaro Daniel de Barros (who lives in Macapá) and by the lay leader Vanilse Castro.

As soon as they arrived in Gurupá proper, the group was taken to its port, where three small ferries took the fourteen people to the maroon community Maria Ribeiro. There, they visited the elementary and middle school, the computer center and the community radio station, which is the first of its kind in Brazil.

After that, there was a meeting at the community center, where Mrs. Barros explained to the local women the steps they need to take in order to start a community bakery, which will be supported by the Anglican Service of Diakonia and Development. Bishop Philip Poole left a Compass Rose tile as a gift to the community and told that it was made in Old Jerusalem, near the Via Dolorosa through which Jesus walked prior to his crucifixion.

The women of the community sang their anthem, which was composed by Mrs. Vitória Castro, and accompanied the group on the trucks that took them to the margin of the river where the ferries were waiting for them.

Back to Gurupá, the group had lunch and went see the parcel of land which was acquired by the diocese and where the first Anglican church building in the low Amazon river will be built. After a long day, the group flew back to Belém and was reunited with other members who stayed for a different trip.

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The Rt. Rev. Saulo Barros

Diocesan Bishop – Diocese of the Amazon

Categories: Belém, Featured, Mission, News

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