We the Anglican Fraternity in Kenya have learnt with deep sorrow the passing away of our dear Sister in Christ Lay Canon Dr Agnes Abuom on Wednesday, May 31st 2023 at the Coptic Hospital, Nairobi. We are forever grateful to God for having given us such a devout Christian, and a person of great international repute, having just recently completed her term as the Moderator of the World Council of Churches, Central Committee.
As the former Provincial Development Coordinator (1991-1997), Dr. Abuom played a pivotal role in advancing matters of national peace and advocacy. She was the second National Director of Anglican Development Services, then the Human Development Department of the Anglican Church of Kenya. As the Director, she provided strategic leadership to the development and advocacy work of ACK. During that period, ACK emerged as a pillar of social justice that stood out as a beacon of hope. Our Bishops were provided with evidence-based facts for national advocacy. As a development worker, and together with us, she initiated a restructuring that saw the development of the 10 regional offices and the re-invigoration of our networking, which took the Church development work to the grassroots. As an organizational development practitioner and expert, she was instrumental in guiding the Anglican Development Services on governance issues.
Her life has impacted so many ecumenists worldwide and she leaves behind a rich legacy of humble, tested, thoughtful, and committed leaders. She never shied away from expressing what she believed was the right approach to building strong national, regional, and global institutions. For this, and many other outstanding contributions, she will be forever remembered.
During the last (September 2022) Standing Committee of the Provincial Synod, we were honored to have her speak in one of the sessions. She affirmed that contextual ministry would help the Church better confront emerging issues affecting the world such as Climate change and the state of social and ethical values. She urged that the Church “is called to be on the margins… and lift the voices of those who cannot be heard, and empower them to speak.”
Her installation as the Lay Canon of the All Saints Cathedral Diocese was essentially one way of demonstrating our love and recognition for her tireless service to humanity. We believe she is in the Lord, taking her turn with the faithful to whom the Lord extends His gracious invitation: “Come and share your master’s happiness” (Matthew 25:23).