Celebrating Pentecost – voices of resilience from “every nation under heaven”

19 May 2021

One of the joys of being part of the Anglican Alliance is seeing the global picture – seeing the Church, in its Anglican expression, living out the Marks of Mission in every part of the world. We witness the Church functioning as the global Body of Christ and see this is not just as a metaphor but as a lived reality.

One particularly striking example of this has been the Resilience course, which was launched last October.

The Resilience course is a year-long cooperative learning exchange to increase the disaster resilience and response capacity of congregations and dioceses around the Anglican Communion. It was created by the Anglican Alliance and Episcopal Relief & Development, and has proved enormously popular and successful. Over 140 people from 42 countries representing 23 Provinces of the Anglican Communion have enrolled. The course is being conducted in six languages and each session takes place four times to allow people in different times zones of the world to participate.

With its geographical reach, multiple languages and its mix of lay and ordained, young and old, and male and female participants, the Resilience course is a wonderfully inclusive expression of the Anglican Communion. This remarkable diversity, along with the joyful enthusiasm of the participants for the course, is captured in a new video, launched today.


The video is also available with subtitles in PortugueseSpanishFrenchBurmeseTagalogKiSwahili, Arabic and English.
A press release about the video launch is available in Portuguese, Spanish, French, Burmese, Arabic and English.

The video is being launched now as a celebration of Pentecost and the deep resonances between the events and promises of Pentecost, as described in Acts 2, and how we see those promises being fulfilled in today’s world.

Amongst the last recorded words of Jesus were his assurance, “Remember, I am with you to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20) and his assertion that “You will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). In Acts 2, we see the beginning of the fulfilment of these words, when people “from every nation under heaven” heard the disciples “speaking in the native language of each… about God’s deeds of power” (Acts 2: 5, 6 & 11). Two thousand years later, we continue to see the fulfilment of these words. This video, voiced in multiple languages by participants in the Resilience course, points to the holistic mission of the churches in nations across the world today, building hope and strength in vulnerable communities.

“Bringing together learners from a wide range of countries from across the Anglican Communion has enabled some fantastic conversations about experience and challenges in developing local resilience and disaster response capacity. We also learn about the underlying structural forces that create or aggravate disaster, which equips us to speak out on these issues at a global level,” said Dr. Janice Proud, Disaster Resilience and Response Manager at the Anglican Alliance. “Much like the disciples at Pentecost, the video celebrates the many voices and languages of our gathered learners and the spirit of the course.”

Nagulan Nesiah, Senior Program Officer for Disaster Resilience at Episcopal Relief & Development, spoke of the importance of the course, saying, “We believe that cultivating our capacity to address disaster resilience and response will equip our churches to do better in accompanying the most vulnerable communities in our midst in times of crisis”.

The Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Lebombo, Mozambique, Rt. Rev. Carlos Simao Matsinhe, spoke of the impact the course is having on participants from his diocese, saying, “Learners have expressed their excitement at the opportunity to engage in Portuguese and to connect with other learners from Angola and Brazil, as well as facilitators from different countries – a celebration of unity in diversity”.

Dilce Regina Paiva de Oliveira, Servicio Anglicano de Diacono e Desenvolvimento (SADD), Brazil, has also spoken about the connection the course has offered, saying, “The highlight of the Resilience Course for me was recognizing that, while our cultures and geography may be different, many of the events we face are the same around the world”.

You can find out more about what the course involves and how it came about here: the Resilience course.

The course will be offered regularly from 2022. To register interest in future courses please email: anglicanalliance@anglicancommunion.org

As tropical cyclone Yasa approached Fiji, youth from the church helped put up shutters and tied ropes to secure houses of elderly residents. Photo credit: CIVA, Fiji