March 23, 2011, New York, NY Archbishop Desmond Tutu has issued a statement in support of the efforts of The Episcopal Church to help the Diocese of Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake through its Rebuild Our Church in Haiti appeal.
Archbishop Tutu stated:
“We are all God’s children and we must be one. For this reason I am proud of my sisters and brothers in the Episcopal Church who are joining as one to help their sisters and brothers in Haiti rebuild the church that has helped them endure such difficult times. There is no “conservative” or “liberal” in this project. There is no rich or poor. There is one community of faith joining hands across a continent to raise up a new place for hope to dwell. I honor the church-wide effort to rebuild Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince; it deserves our wholehearted and generous support.”
Rebuild Our Church in Haiti is a church-wide appeal that seeks to engage Episcopal dioceses, congregations, and individuals in helping the people of Haiti to rebuild Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince. Already gifts have been received from 70 dioceses, and congregations are spearheading local efforts to raise funds.
“The support of Archbishop Tutu, a Nobel Peace Laureate and internationally recognized advocate for human rights, will inspire and energize Episcopalians who are participating in the appeal,” said Donald V. Romanik, President of the Episcopal Church Foundation which is coordinating the appeal.
Ms. Barbara Byers, the Diocesan Coordinator for the Diocese of Southern Virginia noted that “we are honored and delighted to learn of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s support of this effort. We are truly one church, joining as one to help our brothers and sisters in Haiti.” The Very Rev. Stephen Carlsen, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis (Diocese of Indianapolis), which has announced a joint matching gift with Trinity Wall Street, NYC (Diocese of New York) of $500,000, said, “Archbishop Tutu’s support will help inspire us all to respond to the challenge of rebuilding the Church in Haiti. This is our chance to come together – across the country, around the world, from all ends of every spectrum – and answer this simple, clear call.”
The emphasis of the Rebuild Our Church in Haiti appeal is one of unity and participation across the Church. Among the dioceses that are involved is the Episcopal Area Mission in Navajoland. In response to Archbishop Tutu’s statement, the Rt. Rev. David Bailey, Bishop of Navajoland Area Mission, stated, “The people of the Episcopal Area Mission in Navajoland are inspired by the strength of the Haitian people and know too well the need for support from brothers and sisters beyond their borders. While we are limited in our resources we are honored to respond with financial donations, gathered throughout this year, for the rebuilding of the Cathedral in Haiti.”