June 5, 2015
ABM wishes Fr Drew Schmotzer well for his future as he settles back home in the USA after serving 7 years as Chaplain to the Most Rev Dr Mouneer Anis, the Bishop of Egypt and President Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East. We remember him fondly from his time as an ABM visitor in 2012.
Here are some reflections from ABM’s Partnerships Coordinator, Robert McLean and Bishop Mouneer:
In 2012 ABM was fortunate to receive a visit from the Rev Drew Schmotzer. Fr Drew was the Chaplain to the Bishop of Egypt (also the President Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East), the Most Rev Dr Mouneer Anis. While in Australia as our Good Friday Gift Visitor Fr Drew visited the staff of ABM and spoke at a gathering of ABM supporters at the office. He also travelled to the Dioceses of Newcastle, Ballarat and Perth and spoke eloquently about the work of the Diocese of Egypt and in the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East more broadly. You can learn more about that work by looking at this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJSMcVu-eV0.
A year ago I was fortunate enough to visit Cairo for a 48-hour whirlwind tour of diocesan activities there. I was part of an ABM ‘mini pilgrimage’ (along with Peter Burke – a member of ABM’s Partnerships Committee, and Fr James Collins – Rector of St Paul’s, Burwood in Sydney) which was on its way to St George’s College, Jerusalem.
When we arrived at the diocesan offices in Zamalek, a diamond-shaped island in the middle of the Nile, perhaps best known for its soccer club, Fr Drew was there to greet us, along with Bishop Mouneer and other members of their team. We were impressed by the work the diocese is doing, particularly the exciting ministries done through their Episcocare centres. We were also full of admiration for the dedication and commitment of the staff, particularly Fr Drew. He’d be the first person to tell you he isn’t superhuman, yet he seemed to be on the go all day from dawn till long past midnight. We experienced first-hand how he was easily able to juggle a thousand tasks in a day – everything from administration to pastoral work to hospitality to worship preparation to leading Bible studies to learning Arabic. Amongst all of the busyness he managed to maintain a life of prayer and a sense of humour.
Fr Drew originally intended to work in the Episcopal Diocese of Egypt for three years. In the end he stayed for seven, working tirelessly for God’s kingdom. Recently he returned home to the USA.
(The top image and following text is quoted from the Diocese of Egypt’s newsletter)
Good Bye to Rev. Drew Schmotzer
“On the 19th of April, during the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury, we said goodbye to Rev. Drew Schmotzer. It was not easy to see him leave after seven years of being part of the diocesan family. During this time Rev. Drew helped me as my chaplain. He was a God-sent helper at a time when I needed support in my office. He was a real servant not only to me but to everyone in the diocese. He helped as an interim rector of St. John the Baptist, Maadi, and Priest-in-charge of the English-speaking congregation of All Saints Cathedral. However, the time came for Rev. Drew to move on to continue his ministry in another place. I am so grateful to Rev. Drew whom I consider as my son.”
“… Archbishop Welby’s visit was Rev. Drew’s last day in Egypt. During the service, we were able to honour Rev. Drew’s humble service to the Diocese of Egypt. I presented him with the shield of the diocese in gratitude for his ministry.
“God is not unjust,” it is written in Hebrews, “he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people.” The virtue of honour is one the Eastern Church can share with the Western. Our Anglican Communion is blessed to have so many from all cultures who, in humility, exhibit it already.”
May the Lord bless you.