AFRECS: American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan

PO Box 12026
3737 Seminary Road Alexandria, VA 22304

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Annual Conference, AFRECS

AFRECS: Partners in Peace

Tenth Anniversary National Conference

October 23-25, 2015
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Alexandria, Virginia

 

Overview

As previously announced, the 10th Anniversary AFRECS Conference will take place on October 23 and 24 with a concluding Eucharist on Sunday, October 25th.   The Conference will take place at St Paul's Episcopal Parish and the theme of the conference is PARTNERS IN PEACE.
 

We are now hoping that the IGAD Peace Agreement signed by both sides of the devastating conflict that began in December 2013 takes hold and that the fighting that has brought suffering to thousands has ended. 
 
We shall gather as friends of the people of South Sudan and most especially the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan as they forge ahead with the work of peace making and reconciliation.  We are gathering at a critical time in the history of South Sudan as our church friends there attempt to recover from a war that has severely weakened the country and made the task of peace making especially urgent.  Our conference will provide an opportunity to hear first hand from church leaders in South Sudan as to what needs to happen for recovery to take hold and for the nation to bind its wounds and become the free and independent nation that was hoped for when independence was declared four years ago.
 
As we reflect upon our ten years as a collection of Episcopal dioceses and parishes with ties to the ECSSS, we will consider the partnerships that have emerged during this period and how those partnerships have made a difference for both sides.  Bishop Wayne Smith of the DIocese of Missouri will address the conferees about the companionship which Missouri has enjoyed with the Diocese of Lui and what lessons from that experience might be applicable to ongoing and future partnerships.  Because it is the experience of partners that matters so significantly in thinking about our future as a network of partners, time will be allotted to a sharing of experiences that will add to our collective understanding of how we can strengthen our ties with the ECSSS and among ourselves.
 
Joining us for the conference will be several bishops from the ECSSS.   Bishop Samuel Peni who heads the church's Justice, Peace, and Reconciliation commission will share plans that the church has for forging ahead with peace making activities.  Bishops Joseph Atem (Renk) and Moses Deng (Wau) will join us, providing insights into how the church and its leaders can be major agents of healing as peace is restored and the country rebuilds.
 
As we consider peace making as topic, we shall invite persons trained in peace and reconciliation work to guide parts of our discussion.  We have experts in the Washington - Virginia community who have worked broadly in peace work, including Africa, and whose professional engagement in peace work will be enriching.
 
The conference will commence with lunch on Friday October 23rd with dinner that evening at the parish.  We shall resume discussion on Saturday morning at 9 am with an anniversary dinner that evening.  The Sunday forum at St Paul's will feature the South Sudanese bishops whom the conference is hosting followed by eucharist at 11 am in the St Paul's sanctuary.  The worship service will incorporate our South Sudanese friends who worship at St Paul's.

Registration information will be available soon.

Hotel Information

 

We have reserved a block of rooms at a reduced rate at two different hotels near St. Paul’s (the Hampton Inn on Richmond Highway and the Hilton on King Street in Old Town).  For the Hampton Inn, your reservations must be made no later than Monday, Sept. 21st—this is the “cut-off date” after which the rooms will no longer be reserved for our conference.   For the Hilton, your reservations must be made no later than Sunday, Sept. 27thAfter the cut-off dates, rooms may not be available or room rates may be considerably higher.  (Hotel space in the metropolitan DC area is very scarce during the weekend of our conference due to the Marine Corps marathon.)

 
When making your reservations over the phone or on-line, a credit card will be required.  Your card will not be charged until check-out at the conclusion of the conference.  For attendees departing the conference early, there is no guarantee that the hotel will not impose a charge for the cancellation.  Early departures should be brought to the attention of the hotel at check-in.
 
Details on the hotels follow.
 
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Hampton Inn & Suites—Alexandria Old Town Area South
5821 Richmond Highway
Alexandria, VA  22303
HamptonInnAlexandria.com
 
AFRECS Daily Group Rate: $149 plus tax (approx $18) for arrival Friday, Oct 23, 2015 and departure Sunday morning, Oct 25th.
 
To get the low rate negotiated with Hampton Inn, your reservation must be made by Sept 21, 2015.  When reserving the room on-line or over the phone, use Group Code AFR (or Name of Group:  AFRECS).
 
All rooms have two queen beds.
 
All rooms have a microwave and refrigerator.
 
A free full breakfast is served in the lobby area every morning.
 
The hotel runs a free shuttle to King Street (Market Square), a few blocks from St. Paul’s.  Shuttle availability and times and availability can be coordinated with the front desk.
 
A taxi to Old Town is approx $15—the front desk can help arrange taxis.
 
Attendees arriving early on Friday morning can store luggage with the front desk if rooms are not ready.
 
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Hilton Alexandria Old Town
1767 King Street
Alexandria, VA  22314
703-837-0440 (Press 1 for reservations)
 
When making reservations over the phone, Name of Event is “AFRECS Room Block”.  The code for our group reservation is OAF.
 
Hilton set up a web site exclusively for AFRECS room reservations.  Click on the following link to make a reservation:
 
AFRECS Daily Group Rate: $189 plus tax (approx $28) for arrival Friday, Oct 23, 2015 and departure Sunday morning, Oct 25th.
 
To get the low rate negotiated with the Hilton, your reservation must be made by Sept 27, 2015.  
 
Located next to the King Street Metro station.
 
All rooms have a refrigerator.
 
A free “trolley” shuttle is available, making stops the entire length of King Street.
 
The front desk will help attendees interested in sharing a taxi.