New Missionaries Join the Team of the General Secretary of the IEAB (the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil)

On the morning of Friday, 24 January 2014 the Secretary General, Reverend Arthur Cavalcante, welcomed missionaries Monica Vega and Heidi Schmidt to the Sao Paulo Office. They will be part of the Provincial team, which includes Sylvia Fernandes (Financial Assistant) and Rev. Ivan Vieira (Assistant to the Secretary General).

Rev Arthur Cavalcante explained that Monica and Heidi are missionaries of TEC (The Episcopal Church) for nearly 10 years and their sending Diocese is the Diocese of Virginia, with their home parish, St Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia.  They have been missionaries in Africa for 18 years.

The Secretary explains how he came to know them, “Ï met Monica at a mission conference in Colorado organized by TEC in 2011. She was one of the main speakers of the conference and I was impressed by her work and enthusiasm for mission. It was there that I invited her to work with us at the IEAB, at the beginning thinking specifically of the Mission District.”  We had a discernment process regarding this that lasted about a year and a half.

Monica was in Brazil in 2012 and again in April 2013, together with Heidi, they came to know and deepen their knowledge of our reality.  They visited the Mission District, the Diocese of Brasilia, and our church in Sao Paulo.  The Primate, then, Dom Mauricio Andrade, and the Secretary General, met, discussed, and discerned which could be their work and presence in Brazil. “From that point on, we felt from both sides that a companionship and partnership could be possible, and mutually enriching.” confirmed Rev Arthur Cavalcante.

On 4 June 2013, the Executive Council of the Provincial Synod came to the decision to support this initiative that comes with an important collaboration of the Diocese of Sao Paulo.  Since then, Monica and Heidi prepared themselves to start the process of moving to Sao Paulo, spending 3 months studying Portuguese in the program CENFI, (an immersion course for foreign missionaries) in Brasilia.  They were also present and participated in the 32nd Provincial Synod where they worked with the General Secretary’s team, and at the same time were able to deepen their relationships with the leadership of the Anglican Church of Brazil.

Regarding the role of these missionaries, Rev Arthur says that they will work in the coordination of missionary work in our Dioceses, with a focus on the Mission District.  They will work at the office of the Secretary General in Sao Paulo,  with periodic visits to the mission sites, as well as supporting the Missionary Dioceses. All of this without forgetting their own Diocese, the Diocese of Sao Paulo, their hosting Diocese.   We  understand that they have a great grass roots mission experience and it will be crucial that we take advantage of this, to assist in the coordination  of the Mission Group Team, the former Mission Desk.  They will be focused on missionary work, always in connection with the Secretary General, the Executive Council, and the Dioceses, supporting the work and bringing visibility of the mission work inside and outside the IEAB.

To know more about our missionaries, this video is available.