By Rev. Hilton Gomes
Renewal and Hope. These two words come to my mind and heart when I think about what is happening in the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil (IEAB), and in Brazil as a whole.
For years, Brazil has seen the ascension of racism, prejudice, homophobia and segregationist ideology. Many of us had thought these were evils we could be proud we had already addressed, if not resolved. However, we see how much still needs to be done.
The election of Lula as president of Brazil brought back the Hope that had been suffocated.
In this context - which I would call the “Ascension of Hope” - the Church in Brazil has, for the very first time in its history, elected a woman to lead the Church. When so much has been done in Brazilian society to diminish the importance of women, this is a sign that our Church gives to Brazil and to the whole world that we are intent on being, like John the Baptist, a Prophetic voice in the wilderness.
Renewal and Hope are, without doubt, what the Church is experiencing right now. When I call lay people or clergy in Brazil, or when I read their posts on social media, they say: “It took some time, but it happened”, and “I am glad to be part of the change”, and “We will support and pray for our Primate”.
Like some of our folks in Huron, Sandy and I had the opportunity to have +Marinez with us in Windsor when she came to visit our Deanery of Windsor/Essex. Her enthusiasm, her passion, her charisma, her ability to connect with people, her smile, her intelligence and wisdom, are a gift given by God for the good of the Church, a Church that is present in this world as a sign of Hope and Renewal.
Rev. Hilton Gomes is a priest in the Diocese of Huron, co-chair of the Companion Diocese Committee, and a Brazilian.