The Rev. Jean Mweningoma planned and led a two-week training session for 20 women in the Diocese of Buye in Burundi during the summer of 2018. He used a subsequent grant, during the summer of 2019, for followup training for this group and to train a new cohort of ten women. Topics addressed during the training included an introduction to Biblical content, worship leadership (reading, preaching, and leading worship), teaching the catechism and community evangelism. His grant work in the second year also included visits with the priests in the parishes where the women are serving, and reflecting on the strengths they bring to ministry.
Diocesan Bishop Sixbert Macumi visited the groups both years, during training, and encouraged the women in their discernment. Two women priests joined Fr. Mweningoma during the second summer, and their testimony inspired the trainees.
Fr. Mweningoma sees evidence of growing support by male clergy for women in ministry. Their training has prepared them for effective parish leadership, and they bring unique gifts to evangelism in homes. He believes that God’s Kingdom will continue to expand as the cultural barriers that prevent people from flourishing in ministry are transcended, and that training empowers the trainees, the congregations they serve, and those who support them.
His work was featured in the monthly newsletter of the School of Theology of the University of the South. Read the article here.