The Diocese of Albany is One Church fulfilling the Great Commandment
and the Great Commission, moving from membership to discipleship; equipping,
emboldening, and sending disciples to make disciples.
A Saturday Night in Albany
It wasn't just another
Saturday night in downtown Albany...this Saturday night was something very special. The bishop from Karen State, a small
state within the county of Myanmar (formally Burma) traveled half way around the world to visit with some of his former
congregants. Over a period of nearly 50 years of civil war and persecution, numerous Burmese ethnic minorities have run
for their lives to various welcoming countries around the globe. Many of those who ran from the terrors of war and
oppression have been welcomed here to this country, to the cities of Albany and Rensselaer, and now call these cities home.
But on this Saturday night, Bishop Saw Stylo came to see his people, to visit them, pray with them and to
offer them news of the country, the people, and the family members they left behind. And on this Saturday
night on the corner of Clinton Ave and Robin St., in a church named St. Francis Mission, he came to preach
to his people and to help lead a worship service in their native language.
Karen, Karenni and Burmese Christians came from every corner of the capitol District and as far as Utica
to hear the Bishop preach and to get a chance to talk to him about the place they used to call home.
American-born came too, from different corners of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany to hear the Gospel
preached and to listen to the Mass said in a language they could not understand. They came to support the
refugee community that they helped welcome and who they now count as their Christian brothers and sisters.
In a worship service that lasted nearly an hour and a half and where no more than a handful of English
words were spoken, the message was perfectly clear. Jesus Christ reigns and Jesus Christ heals. On this
very special Saturday night in a corner of downtown Albany, it was more apparent than ever that the love
of Christ transcends borders, skin color, ethnic traditions, and economic divisions and that the word of
God and the lifesaving message of the Gospel is the same in every language.
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