AFRECS: American Friends of the Episcopal Church of

PO Box 12026
3737 Seminary Road Alexandria, VA 22304

Click here to
send us an email.

Annual Conference, AFRECS


Annual Conference
Marriott Hotel
West Des Moines, Iowa
October 21-23, 2016

“We need constructive support from our Sudanese brothers and sisters outside the country as we seek to
restore peace and rebuild trust in South Sudan.”
-- Rev. Peter Gai, Chairman, South Sudan Council of Churches

Program Information

This conference will bring together Sudanese from the Diaspora and from South Sudan with American friends of South Sudan and Sudan to work for peace and reconciliation in the world's youngest nation.

We will ask ourselves:

  • Where are the opportunities to support the Diaspora in the USA in its
    efforts for peace and reconciliation in South Sudan?
  • How can the friendship of Americans contribute to peacemaking in South Sudan and Sudan?

You can expect:

  • Inspiring stories of how partnerships of South Sudanese and Americans, even during these last thirty months of conflict, are working together for positive outcomes
  • News of South Sudan from African guests
  • Opportunities to meet and work for peace with friends dedicated to building a stable nation in South Sudan
  • Workshops led by experts with experience in mediation and peace building
  • Learn what the Commission for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation and the Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Commission are doing to train and enable peace mobilizers in South Sudan
  • Hear from Sudanese leaders about their challenges, learnings and successes as the work to build reconciling congregations in the American Diaspora
  • Learn ways the US government is seeking to build peace, and what the church is doing to speak for peace to governments

Distinguished Guests:

  • His Excellency Pa'gan Amum Okiec: former Secretary General of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement, signer of the Transitional Peace Agreement, August 2015
  • Dr. James A. Leach:  US Representative, Iowa 1st Congressional District, 1997-2007; retired Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Dr. Dane F. Smith: former Senior Advisor in the Office of the US Special Envoy for Darfur, Deputy Chief of Mission in Sudan, and Ambassador to Guinea and Senegal
  • The Rev. Phil Groves, Continuing Indaba Project, Secretariat of the Anglican Communion, London

Conference begins Friday at noon and closes with Eucharist at 10:15 on Sunday.


Cost: $100 registration fee covers full attendance.  Meals are included (Friday lunch and dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch and banquet; Sunday breakfast.)

Scholarships: Diaspora attendees, seminarians, and students are automatically granted full scholarship.  Please register and identify yourself as scholarship-eligible to help us plan the meals.  You may make a free-will donation at your discretion.  Any surplus funds at the end of the conference will go to the work of the Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Commission in South Sudan.                         

Hotel: West Des Moines Mariott,  1250 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
Telephone: 515-267-1500, Conference Rate: $109 (plus tax) per night
Click here to book your room at the group rate.

IMPORTANT: To get the special rate, which applies to the nights of October 20, 21 and 22, you must book NO LATER THAN Monday, October 3.  Please book online or by phone directly to the hotel.  This rate will not be  available on travel websites. 
Air Travel:  Fly to Des Moines International Airport (DSM). For best fares you are urged to book ar transportation by August 31. If you fly to DSM and stay at the Marriott Hotel the hotel will provide complimentary transportation to and from the airport.  For best service call the hotel ahead of time and give them your flight information. 

Conference Registration

To register online:

Online registration is a two-step process.

Step 1: Please Enter Your Registration Information

Step 2: Please make your payment online via PayPal

The conference registration fee is $100 per person.  An automatic scholarship for conference fees is available to students and members of the Diaspora. 

To register by mail:

Click here for a printable registration form,
and mail it and your check to:

PO Box 12026
3737 Seminary Road
Alexandria, VA 22304


For program information, contact AFRECS at

For logistics information, contact